A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Frequently Asked Questions


observation link

Can I use your pictures (or sounds, or videos) for free?

Maybe. Maybe not. Take a look at my Usage Guidelines.
What is this snake (lizard, frog, turtle, salamander) that I found?

I enjoy getting pictures of herps and identifying them for you, so you are welcome to do that until my inbox is too overloaded that I have to stop. So far, that hasn't happened. I have also put together some pages on Identifying California Herps - not herps from other states - so you can try there, too.
I have some pictures of herps I took. Do you want to use them on your site?

Maybe. I welcome contributions of interesting animals that I don't have illustrated here, especially pictures showing behavior such as feeding, breeding, fighting, and displaying. There is even a page of some of the things I need - but definitely not everything. But please don't send me a large number of huge image files. Email me to tell me what you have first.
How can I attract herps to my property (or frogs to my backyard pond)?

Check out our Living With Herps page.
How can I keep herps (especially rattlesnakes) away from my property?

Check out the pertinent links on our Living With Rattlesnakes page.
I found a herp that is not a native herp where can I release it?

It's against the law to do that. It's bad for the herp you want to help and bad for the native herps. Try contacting a local pet organization, herp society or pet rescue organization to find out if they can find someone to adopt it.  Some veterinarians who work with exotic pets may also be a good source of information. maintains a list of herp societies and rescue organizations.
I found a herp. What should I feed it and how do I take care of it?

This is not a pet care information web site. I probably don't have enough experience with your herp to give out that kind of information.
Check out the Caring for Captive Herps online resources page.
I want to buy some herps, can you help me find some to buy?

I'm a herp exporter from another country. Do you want me to send you a list of animals that I have to sell?

No thank you. This is not a website about captive reptiles and amphibians.
I am not interested in buying selling or trading herps through this web site or in any other way.

The legal trade in pet reptiles and amphibians has caused a lot of problems for native herp populations around the world and has led to the establishment of many alien species around the world, but I am not entirely opposed to it. But this web site has nothing to do with the pet trade or herps in captivity.

If you want to find out which native California reptiles and amphibians you can legally buy and sell, I can't help you. Look somewhere else.

Where can I find herps in the wild?

I do not provide information to help strangers find herps in the wild and I will not help you plan a herping trip in the state.

Do your own research instead of asking me to waste a lot of my time helping you for nothing.

Can I collect and keep this animal?

Maybe. Take a look at my California Herping Regulations page or look at the current CDFW fishing regulations.
To find the regulations in other states you'll have to search elsewhere.
How can I find out what herps are in my area?

Check out my regional guides to the Bay Area and Southern California. If you are not in those regions, look at all of the range maps.
How can I find out what pictures and videos and sounds you have recently added to this web site?

Check out the New Additions Page.
What is the best book or books about California's Reptiles and Amphibians?

Check out the Recommended Books page.
What does that fancy word mean?

Maybe the Glossary will explain it.
I don't care about taxonomy and scientific names, where can I just look at some pictures and videos?

Yeah, sorry about that. Try the Behavior pages.
How can I cite your website?   The information you need with some examples can be found here.
Why can't I get the sounds or videos to play?

The sounds are Quicktime mp3s and most of the videos are Quicktime videos. Make sure you have the necessary plug-ins in your browser that let you play these formats. I believe you need the Quicktime plug-in to play the videos on the Windows platform.

Recently I have noticed that the Chrome browser will not play Quicktime videos. Instead, it downloads the entire video to whereever you have designated downloads to go. It will play mp4 videos.

If you're on a mobile platform - I can't help you. My iPhone plays the sounds and videos with the Safari browser using a WiFi connection, but I haven't tried the Android platform yet or other methods.
Mistakes Found on the Web Site

Thank you very much for pointing out the mistake. I will investigate your observation and correct it as soon as I can.

I have corrected a lot of really dumb mistakes (mostly typos) pointed out by user email, and there are no doubt many more that need to be fixed, so please feel free to let me know. Users are my only editors besides myself.

I also appreciate learning of other mistakes, such as mis-labled photos, inaccuracies found on the range maps, etc.
Who are you and what gives you the right to clog up the precious internet pipes with all those frogs?

Excellent question. Maybe you'll find the answer here.
Can you direct me to the location shown in your habitat pictures?

No. I like to keep locations private to protect them from overuse.

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