Monday, April 25, 2011
New and Recent Titles
1) Abbott, John C. Dragonflies and Damselflies of Texas and the South-Central United States: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. 2005. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 344 pages. Price: $39.50 U.S.
SUMMARY: This is the first guide to dragonflies and damselflies of the south-central United States. The book covers 263 species, representing more than half of the North American fauna. The area of coverage significantly overlaps with other regions of the country making this book a useful aid in identifying the dragonflies and damselflies in any part of the United States, Canada, or northeastern Mexico.
More photographs of damselflies in North America appear here than in any other previously published work. All 85 damselfly and 178 dragonfly species found in the region are distinguished by photographs, numerous line drawings, keys, and detailed descriptions to help with identifications. Features include:
*Discussions of habitats, zoogeography, and seasonality
*Details on dragonfly and damselfly life history and conservation
*An introduction on studying and photographing dragonflies and damselflies
*An entire section devoted to the external anatomy of dragonflies and damselflies
*Species accounts organized by family into sections on size, regional and general distribution, flight season, identification, similar species, habitat and biology and ecology
*Range maps for each species, as well as an extensive bibliography and a list of resources for further study
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the Odonata of the region!
2) Feinstein, Julie. Field Guide to Urban Wildlife. 2011. Stackpole Books. Paperback: 454 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: This title helps to identify and understand the North American wildlife most commonly found living near humans - and how they have adapted to thrive in cities and suburbs. This is the first field guide of its type ever published. This title includes species that accounts for 135 common urban North American mammals, birds, and insects. It explores the relationships between animals and humans.
RECOMMENDATION: A good introduction on the subject.
Boas and Pythons of the World. 2011. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 160 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Few reptiles command more respect than the mighty boas and pythons. Prized for their size, relative docility, and spectacular coloration and patterning, they are the most dramatic snakes in the world. But the same snakes that many consider gentle giants--the Green Anaconda can exceed twelve yards in length--are also finely tuned killing machines. In Boas and Pythons of the World, renowned snake expert Mark O'Shea takes readers on an exciting continent-by-continent journey to look at these snakes in their native habitats. Stunning color photographs and intriguing stories from O'Shea's encounters with these snakes in the wild bring these reptiles to life.
There is a tremendous variety of boas and pythons. While the largest are measured in yards, the smallest, the Javelin Sand Boa, is no longer than thirty-two inches. And they inhabit a vast range of habitats on five continents, from stony desert to lush tropical forest. In more than one hundred detailed species accounts, Boas and Pythons of the World examines snakes as different as the cryptically patterned Madagascan Ground Boa and Australasia's beautiful Green Tree Python.
Although some of these snakes are capable of attacking and killing humans, boas and pythons are much more likely to be man's victims. Across the world, these snakes are retreating in the face of habitat destruction, hunting, and climate change. Addressing the dire risks they face, O'Shea discusses what can be done to help save what are among our most fascinating reptiles.
*Snake expert Mark O'Shea's tour of the fascinating world of boas, pythons, and basal snakes--from primitive blindsnakes to the mighty anaconda
*Dramatic accounts of O'Shea's personal encounters with these great snakes in their natural habitats--on five continents
*Detailed information about the snakes' habitats and behaviors
*Over 150 superb color photographs that capture the diverse beauty of more than 100 species, including rarely seen and endangered species
*Two world maps showing the distribution of the various families of boas, pythons, and basal snakes
RECOMMENDATION: This title is a well illustrated introduction to the boas and pythons of the World. Also by the same author: Venomous Snakes of the World