In 1995, Massachusetts revised its list of those reptiles and amphibians that require a permit to possess in captivity. This revision is the first since the list was written in the 1970's, with the help of the Massachusetts Herpetological Society. The New England Herpetological Society was instrumental in the revision of the list - many animals commonly captive bred were removed from the list (for example, Bearded Dragons and Leopard Tortoises).

The lists available below are a combination of the new Permits List and the Massachusetts list of endangered, threatened, or special concern species (which only deals with species native to Massachusetts). Other animals that also require a permit are those that are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and those species listed in the Red Book of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). For example, although not listed here, Galapagos tortoises would require a state permit.

Permit applications can be obtained from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife at 100 Cambridge Street, Leverett Saltonstall Building, Room 1902, Boston, MA 02202. Their telephone number is (617) 727-3151. Two types of permits are available: a permit to possess a single animal, and a permit for multiple animals (necessary for captive breeding). Permits are renewed on a yearly basis, for a small fee (per permit, not per animal). Permits are relatively easy to obtain for animals that are captive-bred (if they aren't already exempt) except in the case of venomous species. For rare, imported, or endangered animals, permits are issued on a case-by-case basis; if you want to work with an endangered species for example, it helps if you have a lot of experience with related, non-threatened, species. A number of members of the New England Herpetological Society possess permits for many different animals. Ask around at a meeting for more information if you are interested.

The revised regulations were circulated to Massachusetts pet stores in August of 1995. To read the cover letter that accompanied the regulations, click here.

 

Amphibians:

| Only the indicated species require permits: | |
| Jefferson Salamander | Ambystoma jeffersonianum species | | Blue-spotted Salamander | Ambystoma laterale species | | Marbled Salamander | Ambystoma opacum species | | Spotted Salamander | Ambystoma maculatum species | | Silvery Salamander | Ambystoma platineum species | | Tremblay's Salamander | Ambystoma tremblayi species | | Spring Salamander | Gyrinophilus porphyriticus species | | Four-toed Salamander | Hemidactylium scutatum species | |Eastern Spadefoot | Scaphiopus holbrooki species |

Crocodilians:

| All crocodilians require permits | |

Lizards:

| All the lizards in the following families require permits: | | | Amphisbaenids | Worm Lizards | | Anniellids | American Legless Lizards | | Helodermatids | Gila Monster/Beaded Lizard | | Pygopodids | Australian Scaley-foot Lizards | | Xenosaurids | Knob-scale Lizards | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Varanids | Monitor Lizards | | - except Spiny-Tailed Monitor | Varanus acanthurus | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Agamids | Agamas | | - Bearded Dragon | Amphibolorus/Pogona species | | - except | Calotes species | | - except Frilled Lizards | Chlamydosaurus species | | - except Hydrosaurus species | | | - except Uromastyx | Uromastyx species | | - except Water Dragon | Physignathus species | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Anguids | Lateral Fold Lizards | | - except Slowworm | Anguis species | | - except Alligator Lizard | Gerrhonotus species | | - except Glass Lizard | Ophisaurus species | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Cordylids | Girdle-tailed Lizards | | - except Plated Lizard | Gerrhosaurus species | | - except Malagasy Plated Lizard | Zonosaurus species | | - except Girdle-tailed Lizard Cordylus species | | - except Rock Lizard | Platysaurus species | | - except False Club-tailed Lizard | Pseudocordylus species | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Iguanids | Iguanas | | - except New World Chameleons | Anolis and Ctenotus species | | - except Basilisks | Basiliscus species | | - except Zebra-tailed Lizards | Callisaurus species | | - except Collared Lizards | Crotaphytus species | | - except False Iguanas | Ctenosaurus species | | - except Green Iguanas | Iguana iguana species | | - except Spiny Lizards | Sceloporus species | | - except Tree and Bush Lizards | Urosaurus species | | - except Tree Iguanas | Liolaemus species | | - except Mophead Iguanas | Uranoscodon species | | | | | In the following families, all species require permits except the indicated species: | | | Lacertids | Lacertas | | - except Fringe-Fingered Lizards | Acanthodactylus species | | - except Gallot's Lizards | Gallotia species | | - except Lacertas | Lacerta species | | - except Wall Lizards | Podarcis species | | - except Sand Lizards | Psammodromus species | | | | | In the following families, only the indicated species require permits: | | | Gekkonids | Geckos | | Big Bend Gecko | Coleonyx reticulatus species | | | | | In the following families, only the indicated species require permits: | | | Scincids | Skinks | | Florida Sand Skink | Neoseps species | | Solomon Isle Skink | Tribolonotus species | | | | | In the following families, only the indicated species require permits: | | | Teiids | Tegus | | Earless Teiid | Bachia species | Desert Tegu | Dicrodon species | Rough Teiid | Echinosaura species | Spectacled Teiid | Gymnophthalmus species | Brown Water Teiid | Neusticurus species | | Snake Teiid | Ophiognomon species | | Worm Teiid | Scolecosaurus species | | | | | In the following families, only the indicated species require permits: | | | Night Lizards | Xantusids | | Utah Night Lizard | Xanthusa virgilis utahensisspecies |

Snakes:

| All of the families listed do not require permits. | | | Species listed in red are exceptions, and REQUIRE a permit. | | | Uropeltidae | Short-Tailed Snakes | | Xenopeltidae | Sunbeam Snakes | | Typhlopidae | Blind Worm Snakes | | Leptotyphlopidae | Slender Blind Snakes | | Anomalepididae | Blind Snakes | | Boidae | Boas, Pythons, Anacondas | | - except African Rock Python | Python sebae species | | - except Reticulated Python | Python reticulas species | | - except Anaconda | Eunectes species | | Garter and Ribbon Snakes | Thamnophis species | | - except Two-striped Garter | T. elegans hammondi | | - except San Francisco Garter | T. sirtalis tetrataenis species | | Water Snakes | Nerodia {Natrix} species | | North American Rat Snakes | Elaphe species | | - except Black Ratsnake | E. obsoleta obsoleta species | | Asian Rat Snakes | Bogertophis, Elaphe, Ptyas, Zaocys species | | Tropical Rat Snakes | Spilotes species | | King and Milk Snakes | Lampropheltis species | | Gopher and Pine Snakes | Pituophis species | | Green Snakes | Opheodrys species | | Glossy Snakes | Arizona species | | Ground Snakes | Sonora species | | Diadem Snakes | Spalerosophis species | | House Snakes | Boaedon/Lamprophis species | | Texas Indigo Snakes | Drymarchon corais erebennus species | | Brown and Redbelly Snakes | Storeria dekayi species | | Western Hognose Snake | Heterodon nasicus species |

Turtles & Tortoises:

| Only the indicated species require permits: | | | Blandings Turtle | Emydoidea blandingi species | | Red Bellied Turtle | Chrysemys rubriventris species | | Diamondback Terrapin | Malaclemys terrapin species | | Bog, Spotted, Wood Turtle | Clemmys species | | - except Pacific Wood turtle | C. marmorata species | | Eastern Box Turtle** | Terrapene carolina carolina species | | Gopher Tortoise | Gopherus species | | Pancake Tortoise | Malacochersus tornieri | | Argentina Tortoise | Geochelone chilensis |