Abdomen: the posterior, segmented region of insects and crustaceans, referred to as the tail in latter group

Anal fin: fin positioned on the lower posterior end of fish

Anal scale: ventral scale immediately anterior to and overlying the cloacal opening or “anal” vent of a lizard or snake; demarcates body from tail

Anterior: toward the head, opposite of posterior

Aquatic: living in water, especially fresh water

Areola: the posterior portion of a crustacean's carapace, immediately anterior to the abdomen, generally separated by a distinct groove from the anterior or cephalic portion of the carapace

Band: a partial ring of color that crosses the back and extends onto the sides of a snake

Bridge: that portion of a turtle's shell joining the carapace and plastron

Calcar: the modified toe that supports the tail membrane in bats

Carapace: upper (dorsal) part of a turtle's shell; the hardened shell covering the anterior half of a crustacean (crayfish, shrimp), in front of the tail or abdomen

Caudal: at or near the tail

Costel: any of the large paired scales covering much of the carapace of a turtle, excluding the midline and outer rim

Collumella: the inner spiral of a snail shell

Coverts: small feathers that cover the bases of the larger flight feathers of the wing and tail of a bird; includes upperwing coverts, underwing coverts, and tail coverts

Diurnal: active during the day

Dorsolateral: referring to that area of an animal or body part between the back or top and side

Dorsum/dorsal:referring to the back or top side of an animal or body part; opposite of venter/ventral

Eft: immature, terrestrial life stage of a newt

Elytra: the usually hard outer wings, covering inner membranous wings, of a beetle

Endemic: restricted to a given geographic area

Ephemeral: temporary, especially in reference to the hydrological cycle of a pond

Estuarine: living in waters where rivers empty into the ocean or marine bays

Exoskeleton: the relatively hard outer layer of insects, crustaceans, and other arthropods

Extirpated: eliminated from a given area or region; locally extinct

Ground color: background color which may be overlain by patterns such as spots and stripes

Guard hair: the longer protective hair in some mammals

Inflated: deep or broad, in reference to shell of a mussel; opposite of flat or compressed

Internasal scales: paired scales on top of a snake's snout, between rostral, prefrontal, and nasal scales

Keel: a ridge, commonly referring to ridges on shells of turtles or scales of snake

Larva (pl., larvae): immature stage of most amphibians, typically aquatic and with gills that may be internal or external; includes tadpole stage of frogs

Lateral: pertaining to the sides of an animal

Lores: tiny feathers or skin between the eye and bill of a bird

Mandible: typically the lower jaw of vertebrates, or one of several mouthparts of insects and crustaceans; in birds, either the upper or lower part of the bill

Marginal: any of the small scales around the rim of a turtle's shell

Marine: living in oceans

Morph: a color variant of a species, unrelated to age or sex

Nacre: the mother-of-pearl layer lining the internal surface of mussel's shell; its color is useful in species identification

Nocturnal: active during the night

Nuchal: the unpaired, central scale at the front edge of a turtle's shell, immediately above the neck

Paedomorph: amphibian that becomes sexually mature while retaining such larval characteristics as external gills, a tail fin, and an aquatic lifestyle

Pectoral fin: fin positioned on either side of a fish just behind the gills

Peritoneum: the thin membrane lining the abdomen of vertebrates

Plastron: lower or ventral part (belly) of a turtle's shell

Pleopod: one of a series of small paired appendages attached to the ventral side of the abdomen (tail) of a crustacean; also known as swimmeret; used by female crayfishes to carry their eggs

Posterior: toward the tail (opposite of anterior)

Postorbital: behind the eyes; may refer to a scale or color pattern

Prefrontal scales: paired scales on top of a reptile's head, in front of scale row between eyes

Primary feathers: nine or ten long flight feathers attached to the "hand" of a bird's wing

Rostral scale: scale at tip of a reptile's snout

Rostrum: the anterior projection of the carapace of a crustacean

Scute: any of the scales covering the shell of a turtle

Secondary feathers: flight feathers growing from the "forearm" segment of a bird's wing

Shorebirds: generally refers to small- to medium-sized birds that frequent coastal beaches and mudflats; includes the plovers and oystercatcher in this guide

Smooth scale: scale lacking a keel or ridge stripe: a line of color that runs lengthwise on the body of a snake or lizard or along the leg, neck, or head of a turtle

Suture: in snails the seam between shell whorls; also the seams between bones of a skull or a turtle shell

Terrestrial: living on land

Thorax: the middle body region between the head and tail or abdomen; in insects and crustaceans, the site of attachment of legs and wings

Tragus: a lobe extending upward in the opening of a bat's ear

Umbo: the raised area on each valve of a mussel's shell near the hinge; also known as the beak

Valve: either of the two halves that make up the shell of a mussel

Venomous: poisonous, usually as result of a bite or sting

Venter/ventral: referring to the belly surface; opposite of dorsum/dorsal

Wading birds: generally refers to long-legged waders like herons, egrets, bitterns, ibises, spoonbills, storks, and flamingos