Amphibians and Reptiles make up about half of the terrestrial vertebrates of the West Indies and exhibit the highest levels of endemism.

With 31 species representing nearly two thirds of the total terrestrial herpetofauna, Cockpit Country has by far the highest diversity in Jamaica.16 species have a large percentage of their populations in the Cockpit Country including nine species with over 50% and including four species that are endemic to the area; another seven species have between 20% and 50% of their populations in the area. Casual visitors to Cockpit Country usually will not observe any reptiles during the day except the most common Anoline lizards. Most others tend to be hidden in rocks or leaf litter during the day. Nocturnal frog choruses fill the air, but it is difficult to locate individuals among the foliage. Two nocturnal geckos ("croaking lizards"), Aristelliger praesignis and Sphaerodactylus ., are frequently found in houses.

Amphibians and reptiles of Cockpit Country have evolved some fascinating ecological and behavioural strategies, including some advanced examples of brood care. The limited availability of freshwater on the highly porous limestone base makes bromeliads ("wild pine") an attractive site for many species. Jamaica's hylid frogs breed in the water-filled leaf-axils have adapted to the harsh environments of bromeliads (i.e., low oxygen levels and limited food reserves) by producing rapidly developing eggs and by laying further eggs which are eaten by the first-born larvae. Remarkably, the eggs laid for the first few days are fertilised (presumably this means they are a "back-up" in case the first clutch fails: but fertilised eggs also "keep" longer); later on, the eggs are laid unfertilised, presumably because the larvae now consume them rapidly enough that "shelf life" is not an issue.

Frogs of the species Eleutherodactylus cundalli breed in the Windsor Great Cave, where the humidity is 100%. Sitting in complete darkness, males call to attract females. After copulation, females deposit a clutch in the cave and guard it until the young hatch as tiny froglets (all Eleutherodactylus frogs have direct development -ie omit the tadpole phase-) and then climb onto the back of the mother who carries them out of the cave.

The lizards are the most conspicuous component of Jamaica's reptile fauna. They are diurnal and often sit exposed on tree trunks and branches. Males possess a colourful throat fan which they display often. Up to 6 species may coexist within the Cockpit Country. A distinctive form of Anolis garmani not among those currently granted taxonomic recognition in Jamaica has been collected from an isolated location along the Burnt Hill Road (Lazell 1996).

The Jamaican Yellow Boa, Epicrates subflavus, Jamaica's largest native terrestrial predator, is not poisonous (none of Jamaica's snakes is poisonous), but although harmless to humans, is heavily persecuted. The traditional Jamaican antipathy to reptiles in general and snakes in particular is a serious problem in their conservation. In the absence of an education campaign, snakes are killed on sight. In fact this snake is frequently attracted to the food resources such as rats, in human-disturbed areas so that it may be becoming even more endangered. Anecdotal evidence suggests that they seem to be larger on the south side of Cockpit Country, reaching 2.50m length, compared to about 2m on the north.

A good resource for Caribbean herpetofauna is

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