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.


Single copies

The Vernal Pool Association does not sell single copies. We suggest Mass. Fish and Wildlife with whom we co-produced it or Connecticut Valley Biological Supply Co. They charge $12 and $10 respectively per copy. Some Massachusetts Audubon Society Sanctuaries and other Nature Centers carry it.

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.

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 $13.65.  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.

Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools

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© 2019 by Vernal Pool Association. 

The Vernal Pool Association, Inc is a 501(c)3 corporation

PO Box 2295

Peabody, MA 01960

contact us here