German Reptiles VocabularyFree Word List

German Vocabulary

German reptile names are fun to learn. Let's look at venomous snakes, lazy lizards, golf-course crocodiles and some other cold-blooded, scaly sun-worshippers!

Die Schildkröte: A toad with a shield - that's what they are - riiiight?

Learning the vocabulary for German reptiles is fun: How hilarious is it, that turtles are just "toads with a shield" in German? While there are quite a few funny German animal names and also some very quirky German animal idioms this post just focuses on the German names for reptiles.

German Reptiles Vocabulary

Let's dive right in! We'll start with lizards, move on to snakes and then tackle crocodiles & turtles.


Lizards are a reptiles that can be found in a wide range of habitats around the world. Here is some German vocabulary for different kinds of lizards:

das Chamäleonchameleon
der Geckogecko
der Leguaniguana
die Echselizard
die Glattechseskink

Some lizards are super duper awesome, because they're able to regenerate their tails and some might even change colors.


Now, there aren't that many dangerous snakes here in Germany, but there are snakes to be found. For example: "Die Kreuzotter" or "Die Ringelnatter" are very common snakes in Germany.

Here is a short list of the German names for the most common snakes:

die PythonPython
die CobraCobra
die KlapperschlangeRattlesnake
die KönigsboaBoa constrictor
die Nattercolubrids

Crocodiles and Alligators

Crocodiles and alligators are large aquatic reptiles that belong to the order Crocodilia. They are closely related and can be difficult to tell apart, but luckily, we only care about the words for them in German:

The German word for crocodile is 'das Krokodil' while alligator is 'der Alligator':

das Krokodilcrocodile
der Alligatoralligator
der Gavialgavialidae
der Kaimancaiman

Turtles and Tortoises

The German word for turtle is "Schildkröte" (or "Wasserschildkröte") and the German word for tortoise is "Landschildkröte".

die Schildkröteturtle / sea turtle
die Landschildkrötetortoise
die griechische LandschildkröteHermann's tortoise
die Galapagos-RiesenschildkröteGalápagos tortoise

The word "Schildkröte" translates literally as toad with a shield. "Die Kröte" means toad and "Das Schild" means shield.

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