Reptile and Amphibian Study

You can find a list of counselers for this merit badge on the following page: Reptile and Amphibian Study Counselor List

Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge Patch
1.
Describe the identifying characteristics of six species of reptiles and four species of amphibians found in the United States. For any four of these, make sketches from your own observations or take photographs. Show markings, color patterns, or other characteristics that are important in the identification of each of the four species. Discuss the habits and habitats of all 10 species.
2.
Discuss with your merit badge counselor the approximate number of species and general geographic distribution of reptiles and amphibians in the United States. Prepare a list of the most common species found in your local area or state.
3.
Describe the main differences between
(a)
Amphibians and reptiles
(b)
Alligators and crocodiles
(c)
Toads and frogs
(d)
Salamanders and lizards
(e)
Snakes and lizards
4.
Explain how reptiles and amphibians are an important component of the natural environment. List four species that are officially protected by the federal government or by the state you live in, and tell why each is protected. List three species of reptiles and three species of amphibians found in your local area that are not protected. Discuss the food habits of all 10 species.
5.
Describe how reptiles and amphibians reproduce.
6.
From observation, describe how snakes move forward. Describe the functions of the muscles, ribs, and belly plates.
7.
Describe in detail six venomous snakes and the one venomous lizard found in the United States. Describe their habits and geographic range. Tell what you should do in case of a bite by a venomous species.
8.
Do ONE of the following:
(a)
Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Recordfood accepted, eating methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins,and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile from the time of laying untilhatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until theirtransformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders). Whichever youchose, keep records of and report to your counselor how you cared for youranimal/eggs/larvae to include lighting, habitat, temperature and humiditymaintenance, and any veterinary care requirements.
(b)
Choose a reptile or amphibian that you can observe at a local zoo,aquarium, nature center, or other such exhibit (such as your classroomor school). Study the specimen weekly for a period of three months. Ateach visit, sketch the specimen in its captive habitat and note any changes in its coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits and behavior. Discusswith your counselor how the animal you observed was cared for to includeits housing and habitat, how the lighting, temperature, and humidity weremaintained, and any veterinary care requirements.

Find out, either from information you locate on your own or by talking to thecaretaker, what this species eats and what are its native habitat and homerange, preferred climate, average life expectancy, and natural predators.Also identify any human-caused threats to its population and any laws thatprotect the species and its habitat. After the observation period, share whatyou have learned with your counselor.

9.
Do TWO of the following:
(a)
Identify at night three kinds of toads or frogs by their voices. Imitate the song of each for your counselor. Stalk each with a flashlight and discover how each sings and from where.
(b)
Identify by sight eight species of reptiles or amphibians.
(c)
Using visual aids, give a brief talk to a small group on three different reptiles and amphibians.
10.
Tell five superstitions or false beliefs about reptiles and amphibians and give a correct explanation for each. Give seven examples of unusual behavior or other true facts about reptiles and amphibians.

Current requirements are available at Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge Requirements

Eagle RequirementNo
CategoryNatural Science
Requirements Date2019
Current Pamphlet Number35941
Current Pamphlet SKU649156
Current Pamphlet Copyright Date2016
Additional Formats
BSA Requirement Date2018
BSA Requirement PDFReptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge Requirements