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Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe (Collins Field Guide) Hardcover – 7 Oct 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (7 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002199645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002199643
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘it is undoubtedly the best guide available on the market’ The London Naturalist

From the Back Cover

This book contains descriptions of every species of salamander, newt, frog, tree frog, toad, tortoise, turtle, terrapin, gecko, agama, lizard, chameleon, slow worm, skink, amphisbaenian and snake found in mainland Europe.

Every species and distinct subspecies is described in detail, with notes on its range, size, colour and markings, diagnostic characters, habitat, behaviour and, in the case of venomous snakes, the type and virulence of its poison.

The final part of the book deals with the identification of the eggs and tadpoles of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders. There are also introductions to each group of animals, with helpful keys to aid identification where necessary, an introduction to the biology of reptiles and amphibians and how best to study this fascinating part of our fauna.

The book is also beautifully illustrated with 49 colour plates and distribution maps for each species.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Davor Zanella on 6 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
We have five copies of the first edition of Collins field guide "Reptiles & Amphibians" in our laboratory, which we use almost daily. For last 6 months I have been waiting for my very own copy of the second edition, but every time I tried to order, I received the message "not yet published". Once I finally received my own copy, I was not disappointed.
This long-awaited second edition includes a more comprehensive and easier to use identification key with many more species and subspecies, including those which have been introduced to Europe (i.e. the red eared Terrapin Trachemys scripta which was previously found only in the Americas). The addition of 66 new distribution maps is also a valuable tool in determination. More plates have been added (i.e. sea turtles, skinks, Canary Island lizards, lacertas - new plate with 5 new species described). New species of snake have been added and described (i.e. 2 new species from the Colubridae family and 1 new viper).
The species are listed and described according the newest systematic classifications, thanks to genetic research since the first edition, aiding both the professional biologist and amateur nature lover in making a concise and correct identification in the field.
"Reptiles & Amphibians" has completed my Collins issue library of other valuable field guides, such as Collin's Bird and Mammals, Collin's Fishes, etc...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is quite simply the best field guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of the region. This revised edition now has all the plates grouped together for ease of reference and also includes many new species not previously covered.
If you only buy one field guide then buy this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By m on 25 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have the 1978 edition of this book and have always hoped there would be a revised, updated edition but knowing how long it must have taken to research I never thought it would be done. Well here it is and with newly discovered sub specieces, variations, Canary Island inclusions(if only I had the book last july when I was in Tenerife) it is well worth the wait. The plates are grouped together and good plates of the additional species. The maps have been revised and expanded too. I shall take it with me to Turkey & N Cyprus next august as it is just about small enough for carrying around. This is a very comprehensive reference/field book and is a must have for all reptile enthusiasts.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Srv Herault on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This guide has helped me to identify some of the species I have photographed on my travels and it's probably the only best guide available on the market at the moment.

However, I only give 3 stars to this book as I find that having to look at the plates which refer you to a page number for the full text description which sends you to a map number at the end of the book for distribution, really annoying, frustrating and time wasting. I have at home a new publication on dragonflies of Europe where everything (plates/text/distribution map) is on the same page!! Why can't Collins do that?

This publication is certainly very useful for the identification of species in general but contains some errors on the distribution of some species (maybe in need to be updated). For example, I have found some Common Tree Frogs in the Camargue (South of France) where the book shows that they are inexistant in the area.

Apart from that, the keys for identification are very good, the plates are excellent and the text description is full of useful information (habitat, detailed description including colour, length etc., similar species...). This is a book for any enthusiastic herpetologists.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "dan-the-snake-rescue-man" on 5 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the best herp book i've got...
It is very helpful, and full of colour plates, showing the main sub-species and geographical variations likely to be seen in Europe, including the Canary Islands and some of the islands off the coast of Asiatic Turkey (Sadly not Cyprus).
I'm planning on taking it on a school trip to see WW1 battlefields in March (6th-9th), to Belgium and France, and as I am sure I wil be able to see some herps, this book will prove very useful in identifing the species I may come across...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Jones on 19 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I can only add to the comments made by other users, this is the best book for the area covered and anyone interested in herps should get this book.

However there are a couple of personal niggles. It would be nice if it covered a greater area, such as North Africa, Cyprus and Asiatic Turkey, even at the expense of a slighly larger book. It could also be more user friendly with plates. maps and at least some of the more vital text in one place.

However these are minor problems and it remains a must buy book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is one of the most complete field guides that I ever seen, I used it in Italy, France, Slovenia and soon in Balkans and Greece. Here you can find all the European species of reptiles and amphibians, the key to their identifications, description and drawings of amphibian eggs and larvae as well as description of habits, calls and other useful information. All the Greek, and Canary islands are covered and the drawings are well done (apart from Laudakia stellio maybe, but it isn't a great problem).
Trust me, this is the best friend you can have during your trips in Europe or simply if you are interested in European herpetofauna.
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