Consider also using the Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).
Requirement 8 a: Maintain one or more reptiles or amphibians for at least a month. Record food accepted, eating methods, changes in coloration, shedding of skins, and general habits; or keep the eggs of a reptile from the time of laying until hatching; or keep the eggs of an amphibian from the time of laying until their transformation into tadpoles (frogs) or larvae (salamanders). Whichever you chose, keep records of and report to your counselor how you cared for your animal/eggs/larvae to include lighting, habitat, temperature and humidity maintenance, and any veterinary care requirements.
NOTE: Scouts must not use venomous reptiles in fulfilling requirement 8a. Species listed by federal or state law as endangered, protected, or threatened must not be used as live specimens in completing requirement 8a. When you decide keeping your specimen is no longer possible or desired, be sure to find another appropriate home for it or return it to the wild at the location of capture. Check with your merit badge counselor for those instances where the return of these specimens would not be appropriate.
Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are, or may be, protected by federal law. The same ones and/or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species.
Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Check with the wildlife and fish and game officials in your state regarding species regulations before you begin to collect.