Our Purpose

The Kansas Vernal Pool Society is a group of individuals who share a common interest in the plant and animal communities unique to Vernal Pool habitats in Kansas. The purpose of the Society is to promote a better public awareness, understanding, and knowledge of this specialized habitat and to document the identification and distribution of obligate and facultative species.

Vernal Pools, also called Ephemeral Pools or Playa Lakes, can be identified by a wet pool and obligate species, or a pool that dries and evidence of facultative species.

The most obvious and most easily documented indicators are the obligate species which can only be observed during the seasons of breeding and development. Late spring and early summer is generally the best time to document a pool by the obligate species method.

During other times of the year, evidence of a vernal pool can be documented by the use of the pool by various facultative species. These are organisms which use permanent wetlands as well as vernal pools. If they are using a pool that is free of fish, the pool can be considered a vernal pool. If a pool is found in the dry condition, soil can be collected and rehydrated to see if any obligate species exist.


Mole Salamanders, Newts

Hylid Frogs

Semi-Aquatic Turtles

Tadpole Shrimp

Fairy Shrimp

Clam Shrimp




Facultative Species
Obligate Species
The Kansas Vernal Pool Society Facebook group is your place to get to know the other members of the Society and share information about your vernal pool adventures in Kansas.


Tadpole Shrimp

Longtail Tadpole Shrimp,
                        Triops longicaudatus

Clam Shrimp

Great Plains Clam Shrimp, 
                        Cyzicus belfragei
Centerhump Clam Shrimp, 
                        Cyzicus morsei
Mexican Clam Shrimp, 
                        Cyzicus mexicanus
Spinynose Clam Shrimp, 
                        Leptestheria compleximanus
Diversity Clam Shrimp, 
                        Eulimnadia diversa
Texan Clam Shrimp, 
                        Eulimnadia texana
Short Finger Clam Shrimp,
                        Lynceus brevifrons
Hookleg Clam Shrimp, 
                        Lynceus mucronatus

Fairy Shrimp

Kansas Fairy Shrimp,
                      Branchinecta mediospinosa
Versitile Fairy Shrimp,
                      Branchinecta lindahli
Rock Pool Fairy Shrimp,
                      Branchinecta packardi
Ethologist Fairy Shrimp,
                      Eubranchipus serratus
Spinytail Fairy Shrimp,
                      Streptocephalus sealii
Greater Plains Fairy Shrimp,
                      Streptocephalus texanus
Beavertail Fairy Shrimp,
                      Thamnocephalus platyurus

Large Branchiopods previously recorded in Kansas




Contact Us
Kansas Vernal Pool Society on Facebook
Membership Information