top of page

Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools

The Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools provides a comprehensive look at the amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates that use vernal pools in Massachusetts. Each account provides photographs and a description of the organism and information about its natural history in relation to vernal pools.

The guide is a useful introduction to the vertebrates and invertebrates of vernal pools which can be seen with the unaided eye or with a hand lens. Though specific to Massachusetts, the animals found between these pages are commonly encountered throughout New England and beyond.

This was a cooperative effort between the MA Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program and the Vernal Pool Association to produce a pictorial guide which will help students and others to easily identify the vertebrates and invertebrates which are commonly found in vernal pools in Massachusetts. The guide was reprinted June, 2009, with a few minor changes.


Two sample pages are available in pdf format, the wood frog page and an invertebrate page.

Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools


Single copies

The Vernal Pool Association does not sell single copies. Single and multiple copies are available for $12 from Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife with whom we co-produced the field guide.

Local libraries are a good source for a loaner. At one time almost all MA libraries were provided a copy.

The guide is readable on line in pdf form in a somewhat degraded version (very dark images - text is fine) on This scan is the original 2000 printing. The current version (3rd printing 2009) has a few updates but is essentially the same. ( is an internet archive and we have no control over the quality of the material they make available.)

Classroom sets (educational copies)

Sets of 20 or more copies of Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools are available at $5 each plus priority mail shipping. Shipping for 20 copies is $15.05.  We accept checks and such as well as purchase orders.  We do not accept credit or debit cards or PayPay at this time. Email us from the Contact page or order from VPA, PO Box 2295, Peabody, MA 01960.

bottom of page