A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Report Your Observations of Native and
Non-Native Wild Amphibians and Reptiles

observation link

If you see a reptile or amphibian in the wild, dead or alive, and want to report the observation to an organization to help them keep track of the status of herps in California and around the world, you can send your observations and photos of the animal to one or all of the organizations listed below. You can also look at herp observations that others have made. In most cases, after you join the organization, all you need to do is log in and fill out a simple form to make a report.

These organizations are not affilitated with Please contact them if you have any questions.

Add your observations of reptiles and amphibians to the H. E. R. P. Database (Herpetological Education & Research Project)
a North American Field Herping Association (N. A. F. H. A.) project.

Go to, read and agree with the N. A. F. H. A. bylaws, then create an account, log in, and add a new record for your observation.
You can add pictures also.

Here is some information about how to enter data into the database and the security of the location information you report.

More information is available on the N. A. F. H. A. Forums which are hosted by

logo                     logo                 logo
You can also add your observations of wild amphibians and reptiles to

The Global Amphibian BioBlitz or the Global Reptile BioBlitz projects are citizen science/social networking organizations created to document observations of wild amphibians and reptiles around the world.

The RASCals program collects information about the amphibians and reptiles of Southern California.



You can also add your observations of reptiles and amphibians to HerpMapper "a cooperative project, designed to gather and share information about reptile and amphibian observations across the planet. "


Report Non-Native Watersnakes Seen in California

If you find an aquatic snake in California that you think is a Watersnake (Nerodia - similar to those shown below or here, and here),
please send pictures of it to the California Watersnakes Site, which is tracking the distribution of this potential threat to native fish and wildlife.

nerodia  nerodia


Report Deformed Frogs Seen in California

Severe deformities and malformations have been reported in amphibian populations with growing frequency since the early 1990s. Typically such abnormalities involve the limbs and especially the hind limbs of affected frogs, including deformities such as extra limbs or digits, missing limbs or portions of limbs, or limbs that are twisted and misshapen. These abnormalities are most common in frogs that have recently metamorphosed from their tadpole stage, likely because affected individuals do not survive to adulthood. Malformed individuals do not swim, jump or forage as well as their normal counterparts and field studies have shown they have reduced survival in natural populations.

If you see frogs with deformities or malformations, photograph them and record the location where you observed them. This information is extremely useful to researchers. You can send along an email account to

You can read more about frog deformities on the CaliforniaHerps page,
and read about amphibian malformations on the Johnson Lab Web Site,
and you can look at and download a .pdf brochure about amphibian conservation and frog deformities.

deformed frog
© Pieter Johnson

Report Non-Native Brahminy Blindsnakes Found in California

If you think you found a Brahminy Blindsnake in California:

Please notify Dr. Gregory B. Pauly at Dr. Pauly is Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and is part of a team that is documenting the rapid introduction and establishment of this species into Southern California with the help of people who contact this website and other citizen science projects. If you can, take pictures and send them to him, including close-ups of the eyes and nose if possible. Also, please keep the snake if you can. Someone may want to collect and examine it to confirm that it is a Brahminy Blindsnake and not a native Western Threadsnake which looks a lot like it. 

Go Here to learn how to distinguish the Brahminy Blindsnake from the similar native Western Threadsnake.
snake  snake

Report an Invasive Species Sighting to the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Report a Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Sighting to the USGS

Report a Rare Herp Sighting to the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife

You can find out how to submit data to the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) about rare species here:


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