A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California Contact Information
and Email Topics

observation link

(If you are want to email other contributors to this web site, check the list of names here.)
Please Send all Email to Gary at   

I will only answer questions about this website by email. The email address above is the only one I use for that.

Please don't text, telephone, or send me snail mail regarding this website.

Include words in the Subject Line that mention or something related to reptiles and amphibians to help me separate your message from Spam.

If your email is automatically put in my Spam folder by my email host, I might not see it, so if you don't hear from me in a few days, try sending it again.

If you have your email account set up to reject mail from anyone who is not on your email list, and if you want to receive a reply from me, put me on your list before sending me mail! It is extremely frustrating to take the time to reply only to have my response rejected after I send it. I will not follow your sites's directions to add myself to your list because that should be your responsibility.
Please limit your questions to topics such as these
* Reptiles and amphibians found in California, (or anywhere else covered by this web site) regarding their distribution or
   identification or natural history, etc., including alien species.
Don't forget to look at the Herp Identification information before asking me.

* Questions about identifying a particular herp you have found. (See below for more info.)

* Reports of interesting sightings or unusual herps or animals out of range in California or elsewhere. (These are my favorite topics.)

* I welcome comments about mistakes on the site as well as constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.

* Anything else found on this website, including the non-California herps stuff.
Identifying Herps - Helpful information to give me
I will be glad to help you identify a snake, lizard, salamander, frog, or turtle you have found in the wild.

Email a picture of the herp for the best results.


People too often forget to do that. Knowing the location can help me a lot in determining what it is.
All I need to know is the city, or at least the county.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when people are trying to describe a fast-moving snake or lizard, but if you don't have one try to give me a good description of the animal:

* What did it look like?

    - Was it a snake, lizard, frog, salamander, or turtle?
    - What color was it on top, on the sides, on the head?   
    - Did it have stripes or rings around the body?
    - Did it have spots or blotches or markings of any kind?
    - Did it look wet and shiny or dry?
    - If it was a snake, what did the head look like? Was it much larger than the body or about the same size?
    - If it was a snake, was it long and thin with a thin tail, or was the body thick with a thick tail?

* When did you see the animal, day or night? (Some are only active at night, etc.)

* Where did you find it?

    -What city was it in and what kind of habitat - forest, grass, sand, mountains, etc. and w
    -Was it in a shaded area or in the sun or in the water?

* What it was doing?

    -Was it moving fast or slow or just sitting still.
    -Was it climbing a bush or tree or swimming, etc.

I'm still not bored with looking at pictures of even the most common animals, so don't worry about sending me pictures.
But I really like getting pictures of unusual animals or animals found where they're not supposed to be, including escaped or abandoned pets, so please send me those also. (I enjoyed very much helping to document a few alien species not yet officially known to be established in the State based on information emailed to me by users of the site.)

It might be more fun and educational for you to first look at the Herp Identification section or try to find the answers to your questions in the information written in the species descriptions on the site on the page for each individual animal before you email me.

I continue to try to improve the identification information here, but I still have a long way to go. I understand that the subject is not easy and it can be hard to find the information you want here, and that many herps are hard to idenitify if you're not familiar with them, so feel free to send pictures and questions if you don't find something in the identification information. Sometimes it won't be there because you have found something that doesn't belong there.
Using Photos, Sound Files, or Movies from this Web Site

This web site does not exist to be a free stock photo source for your project. Free use means that you don't ask me to do anything except give you permission. Don't ask me to send you high-resolution images, to print, sign, scan, and email release forms, or to help you choose images. If you need me to do extra work for you, you should make me an offer to pay for the use of the image(s).

If you want to contact me to ask if you can use or license a photo or sound or movie from this web site that is credited to Gary N or Gary Nafis (on the picture itself - I don't add my name below each picture) please do so, but you might find the answer faster by reading the Usage Guidelines first. (I will ask you to pay me to use my things for commercial use.)

For permission to use images credited to other photographers, find their email address on the Photographers List and email the photographer directly. Some of these email addresses no longer work, but they are the only ones I have. Please don't ask me to contact them for you.
Submitting Photos For Use on this Site

It's ok to send a couple of pictures to see if I can use them, but please ask me in advance if you want to send me a bunch of pictures. This site has been made so much better by the addition of pictures from many different photographers. I am always looking for pictures that illustrate something about an animal that is not already illustrated here or pictures of an animal from a location that is not shown here, but keep in mind that I don't have the time or the space to put up every picture I receive.

Please don't be offended if I decline your offer. Your pictures might be better than anything I have, but they may not be something I need. It takes a lot of my time to add new pictures from new photographers to the site so I might not have the time to do it.

Most of the pictures I get these days are from smart phone cameras. These photos may not be professional quality, but they are almost always good enough to show here.
Subjects That I Can't Help You With

I may ignore emails about the following subjects.
I only add these here because I have gotten too many questions like them over the years.

I cannot give out information about buying or selling animals, including frog eggs and tadpoles,
or releasing snakes on your property to be used for pest control.

I don't know enough about the pet trade in herps or the laws about what you can and cannot buy and keep to be of assistance.
There are plenty of good sources for this information on the web. Try for starters.

I will ignore all emails asking me where you can buy certain animals. I don't know and I don't care!
This is not a pet information site.
I will try to identify a wild escaped pet you find but I cannot give out advice on caring for or buying captive herps.

Do an online search or see my very limited page of Pet Care Links page for a few places to look for much better information about herp husbandry than I can give you.
I cannot help you plan your California herping trip.
Don't ask me to give you specific locations where you can find or photograph herps.

I enjoy discussing herping in California or anywhere, but I'm not a free travel guide and I don't have the time to help plan herping trips. Try posting a request for information on one of the field herping forums. Don't be offended if nobody will tell you exactly where to go. Most herpers are protective of good herping locations because of damage they have seen that is caused by careless fieldherpers or simply by too many people going to a location.
I can't help you decide what to do with a herp you have found or no longer want.

I get plenty of emails about captive herps people want to release. Most of them are about turtles people have picked up thinking they were lost or in danger, and want to help them survive, not realizing that it is normal for turtles to leave the water and travel on land at times, especially when they are looking for a place to lay eggs. I admire your intentions to help the animal, but really the best thing you can do if you see a wild turtle is leave it alone, or if it is in danger of getting run over on a road, or it is trapped in your yard or somewhere, move it away from the road in the direction it was heading as close to where you found it as you can.
Don't ask me to help you with your school or work projects.

Some smart and sneaky young students and their parents often send me questions that may or may not be the subject of this website that are obviously for a school assignment. You are welcome to get information from the website for your assignment, but I don't have time to do the research for you. Every thing you need to know is probably already on the web site, if you just take the time to look for it yourself. If you don't find it, then you can let me know.
Please don't ask to interview me.

I don't give interviews or do lectures about herps. Everything I have to say is already online and available to anyone who can find it.

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