Useful References & Links

In addition to the recommended sources listed below, you may find the print resources listed on our Additional Reading page helpful.

Identification (field guides/books)

A few good field guides to reptiles and amphibians exist. These help you identify herptiles but do not give you life history information. One that is easy to find and helpful is listed below but be aware it is not always accurate with its local distribution information in our area.

Powell, R., R. Conant, and J.T. Collins. 2016. Peterson field guide to reptiles and amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Fourth edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 494 pp.

Identification posters

The posters listed below contain photos, distribution maps, and identification information on all of Vermont’s species. They can be purchased through the posters page on this website. All income from the posters helps support our efforts.

Andrews, J.S. and A.K. Burgess, 2006. Native Vermont Reptiles Part 1: Snakes and Lizards

Andrews, J.S. and A.K. Burgess, 2006. Native Vermont Reptiles Part 2: Turtles

Andrews, J.S. and A.K. Burgess, 2007. Native Vermont Amphibians Part 1: Frogs

Andrews, J.S. and A.K. Burgess, 2007. Native Vermont Amphibians Part 2: Salamanders

Natural History

These resources focus less on identification and more on natural history, local distribution, and conservation. Many of these titles are out of print but you can often find used copies online or through your library.

Breisch, A. R. (text) and M. Patterson (illustrator). 2017. The snake and the salamander: reptiles and amphibians from Maine to Virginia. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
Not a field guide or a distribution guide, but a good source of local natural history information.

Franke, V., and J. Andrews. 2008. Rattlers, peepers, and snappers: the first complete DVD guide to all the amphibians and reptiles that breed in New England. Peregrine Productions, Waterbury, VT.
This guide includes field trips, songs, quizzes, and information on the natural history, identification, and conservation of all of New England’s herptiles.

Gibbs, J.P., A.R. Breisch, P.K. Ducey, G. Johnson, J.L. Behler, and R.C. Bothner. 2007. The amphibians and reptiles of New York State: identification, natural history, and conservation. Oxford University Press, New York. 422 pp.
This is the local guide that I use in my classes. It includes all Vermont species.

Harding, J.H. and D.A. Mifsud. 2017. Amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes Region: revised edition. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 392 pp.
All our species are included.

Holland, M. 2013. “What a snake’s eyes can tell you”. Naturally Curious with Mary Holland (online). Accessed September 7, 2013 at
Round and elliptical pupils have different advantages.

Hulse, A., C. J. McCoy, and E. Censky. 2001. Amphibians and reptiles of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York. 419 pp.
Most of our species are included.

Hunter, M.L., A. Calhoun, and M. McCullough (eds.). 1999. Maine amphibians and reptiles. University of Maine Press, Orono, Maine. 272 pp.
This edition includes a very useful CD of local frog calls.

Klemens, M.K. 1993. Amphibians and reptiles of Connecticut and adjacent regions. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Bulletin No. 112. 318 pp.

Krulikowski, L. 2007. Snakes of New England: a photographic and natural history study. Self-published. 320 pp.

Mills, P. B., 2016. Metamorphosis: Ontario’s amphibians at all stages of development. Self-published. 104 pp.
Ontario has almost all the same species as New England.
This is a very useful small guide that is particularly helpful with ID of amphibian larvae in the field. To order, visit the author’s website at

Tyning, T.F. 1990. A Guide to amphibians and reptiles. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 400 pp.


Cornell University: Macauley Library (audio, online). Accessed April 3, 2013 at
The Macaulay Library is a scientific archive of audio and video recordings under the auspices of Cornell University. Analog records as far back as 1929, as well as more recent digital ones, are available. Amphibian recordings can be browsed from; reptiles at, but we recommend coming in through the main page.

Eliot, L. 2004. The Calls of Frogs and Toads. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Includes audio recordings.

Franke, V., and J. Andrews. 2008. Rattlers, peepers, and snappers: the first complete DVD guide to all the amphibians and reptiles that breed in New England. Peregrine Productions, Waterbury, VT.

Jones, Dr. Patricia and Animal Diversity Web. 2006. Frog Calls: Is that a frog I hear? The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed June 23, 2011 at
Includes examples of frog calls in several formats (.mp3, .wav, .aiff, .au) so you may need a variety of players.


Many useful sites exist. Some provide more reliable information than others. A few reliable sites, some with many links to other resources, are listed below. We also recommend a few local natural-history and herp blogs as well. Links should open in a new window or tab.

Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy

an excellent source of information on amphibians

Animal Diversity Web
A selection of frog calls is available at
The examples of frog calls are in several audio formats (.mp3, .wav, .aiff,.au) so you may need a variety of players.

The Canadian Herpetological Society Identification Key to Reptiles and Amphibians

New York State Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project (1990-1999)
and more about Herps from NYS Department of Conservation

Northeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC)

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)
PARC is “dedicated to the conservation of the herpetofauna–reptiles and amphibians–and their habitats”. Membership is free.

Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University: Online Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Connecticut

The Reptile Database

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR)

The Snakes of Massachusetts
Includes all our local snakes.

University of Massachusetts: Center for Agriculture – Research and Extension
Downloadable documents on Fish, Wildlife & Biodiversity, from mitigating transportation impacts to wetland assessment to additional links.

University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web
Or jump straight to their Reptile or Amphibian sections. The amphibian section includes examples of frog calls in several formats.


There are several good blogs out there for herpers and natural history buffs and other friends and fans of the outdoors. Some we particularly like include:

AFK: herping by Kiley Briggs

Below the Surface by ECHO Vermont staff
You can also view just those posts tagged with keywords, e.g., “Amphibian“, but not all staff tag their posts.

Naturally Curious

North Branch Nature Center

Management Information

Management guides are just beginning to be available. All of these include reptile- and amphibian-related information.

Biebighauser, T. 2002. A guide to creating vernal ponds. USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the Izaak Walton League of America. Morehead, Kentucky. 33 pp. Call 606-784-6428 to order or download from (2.9 MB PDF).

Calhoun, A.J.K. and M.W. Klemens. 2002. Best Development Practices: Conserving pool-breeding amphibians in residential and commercial developments in the Northeastern United States. MCA Technical Paper No. 5, Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. 57 pp. Call 924-925-9175 to order, or download from

Calhoun, A.J.K. and P. deMaynadier. 2004. Forestry habitat management guidelines for vernal pool wildlife. MCA Technical Paper No. 6, Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. 32 pp. Call 924-925-9175 to order.

Evink, G. 2002. National Cooperative Highway Research Program Synthesis 305, Interaction between roadways and wildlife ecology, a synthesis of highway practice. Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C. 78 pp. Impacts of roads on herptiles and some conservation strategies. A big problem, good information. Order at 202-334-3213 or download from (5.1 MB PDF).

Flatebo, G., C. Foss, and S. Pelletier. 1999. Biodiversity in the forests of Maine: Guidelines for land management. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #7147. C. Elliot editor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Orono, Maine. 168 pp. Contact UME Extension Office at 207-581-3188 or view online at

Mifsud, David. 2014. Michigan amphibian and reptile best management practices. Herpetological Resource and Management, LLC.
Although this is a Michigan guide, the practices recommended are very pertinent here. A free electronic copy of this guide is available on line at

Kingsbury, B. and J. Gibson. 2002. Habitat management guidelines for amphibians and reptiles of the Midwest. Midwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (Midwest PARC). 57 pp. Visit the PARC website for more information.

Mitchell, J.C., A.R. Breisch, and K.A. Buhlmann, 2006. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Northeastern United States. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Technical Publication HMG-3, Montgomery,Alabama. 108 pp. Visit for more information, or to order for a suggested donation of $10.