Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe (Collins Field Guide) Hardcover – 7 Oct 2002
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‘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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
If you only buy one field guide then buy this one.
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.
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...
Trust me, this is the best friend you can have during your trips in Europe or simply if you are interested in European herpetofauna.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really nice field guide, arrived on time and it is absolutely lovely! Exactly what I needed.Published 9 months ago by Silvio Santori
Very good book which I used to i.d. lizards in Spain. Excellent illustrationsPublished 20 months ago by AGHall
Another good one from Collins guides.....Bought as a gift for a keen amateur naturalist and seemingly a much appreciated gift.Published on 8 Nov. 2013 by Ian Wrapson
Detailed descriptions and distributions as well as habitat preference, along with beautifully coloured plates enables everyone to determine almost always the specimen's identity. Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2013 by Luca
A Herpetologists and animal scientist must have. Scientific keys for species adult and larval identification. Schematics of scale and skeletal.Published on 25 May 2013 by pamela morris
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