More on Malformations

This is a real frog. Its extra leg is one kind of malformation that the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations keeps track of.
[Photo: United States Geological Survey]

What are common amphibian malformations?

Where have malformations been reported?

To answer these questions and more about amphibian malformations, visit the NBII Amphibian malformations page for more on common malformations, a field guide to malformations, a database of reported malformations , and ideas about the causes of malformations .

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Abnormal Amphibian Surveys

Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) with polymelia (extra limb).
[Photo: Laura Eaton-Poole, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Environmental Quality is actively involved in studying amphibian declines and abnormalities. To better study amphibians and the concerns facing them, the Fish and Wildlife Service has developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for abnormal amphibian surveys on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuges. The Fish and Wildlife Service's Amphibian Declines and Deformities Web page provides more information about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve threatened and endangered amphibians.

Report a Malformation

Report malformed amphibians and help investigate the causes

Have you found a frog that has extra or missing legs, missing eye or a jaw, or looks otherwise deformed, "mutated," or abnormal? Report your sighting by filling out the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM) online form to help researchers investigate the causes of amphibian declines and malformations.

  • Following your contribution of about 20 minutes to complete and submit an online report on this page, your data will be reviewed and verified by a team of professional herpetologists at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab (SREL).

  • After experts verify your report, all personally identifying information is removed from the record. [For details, see Privacy Notice on this page].

  • Your verified report will then published in the NARCAM searchable database, where researchers can view verified malformations data by species name, state or county, or malformation type. NARCAM is also working towards providing a map interface to visualize the data.

The online reporting form consists of four parts. Each part collects information needed to verify your report [See Report Approval Process for Quality Assurance on this page].

1. Information about the Reporter - this information is required in the event that an SREL herpetologist needs to follow up with you regarding a question about your report or observations. Please note that all personally identifying information is removed from your report prior to publication [See NARCAM Privacy Notice for details].

2. Location of Amphibian Sighting - Please indicate where you saw the abnormality you are reporting, for example "Rock Creek Park," or "Old Mill Pond." You may choose to describe the location, e.g. "my backyard," or "culvert along 12 East." The USGS National Map Viewer (opens in new window) can help you identify the location of your sighting for this section of the report.

3. Species Observed at this Location - You must submit a photograph or provide a description to allow a scientist to verify your report. Reports cannot be verified if the species is not identifiable from a photograph or description . The USGS Amphibian Identification Guide (opens in new window) can help you learn or double-check the name of the species you have found.

4. Malformation Data - If you need assistance identifying types of malformations, the Field Guide to Amphibian Malformations [pdf] provides photo examples and can be opened in a new window.

OMB Control Number 1028-0056
NARCAM: Data Submission Form
Please note:
  • Fields denoted with a red asterisk * are mandatory.
  • Do not use the web browser Back button.
  • To move on to next data entry screen, click "Continue" button.
  • Please complete all data screens and click the "Submit Final Report" button
    on the Review Report screen which allows you to correct any data
    before they are added into the database.
I.  Information About the Reporter
* Reporter's Name:
* Email address:
Phone number with area code:
Your Street Address:
Zip/Postal Code:
* Are you a
List your position/title and institution, if applicable :
* May we follow up with you if we have additional questions about your report?
Is this report being submitted in conjunction with

About the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM) Data Submission Form

Report Approval Process for Quality Assurance
Reports of amphibian malformations submitted by users to the NARCAM system are subjected to further review before approval for inclusion in the complete searchable database. Currently, the NBII is partnered with scientists from the Savannah River Ecology Lab who review amphibian malformation reports for NARCAM and confirm or reject each report. Click the "more" link below for details about the NARCAM report review process.

Privacy Notice: You may have questions about NARCAM's need to require a limited amount of personal information about you in the report. This information is required in the event that an SREL herpetologist needs to follow up with you regarding a question about your report or observations. NARCAM strives to obtain the most accurate reports possible from its user community; sometimes that requires us to get clarification on some aspect of your report. Please note that any personally identifying information from your report - names, street addresses, email addresses, phone numbers - are removed from the record before it is made publicly viewable and searchable on the NARCAM site. No user of the NARCAM database will ever be able to view your personal information in association with a specific report. Further, all personal information remains confidential; it will never be accessed by or shared with any other party.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement: The information collected will be used by scientists and agencies to identify areas where malformed amphibians occur, and the rates of occurrence. Correlating this information with other data about hypothesized causes of malformations may lead to better analyses of those features. Participation in this data collection effort is voluntary. An agency may not conduct or sponsor collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The currently valid OMB control number of this survey is 1028-0056; the expiration date is 2014-05-31 (May 31, 2014).

Burden Estimate Statement: Public burden for reporting information requested for this form is estimated to average 20 minutes per respondent. Comments regarding this collection of information may be directed by mail to the USGS Information Clearance Office, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., MS 807, Reston, VA 20192.

Founded and developed by the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, NARCAM is managed by the Southeast Information Node of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) in partnership with the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab.


The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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