Monday, July 15, 2013

New Title


1) Chacon, Federico Munoz and Richard Dennis Johnston. Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Pocket Guide. 2013. Cornell University Press. Paperback: 172 pages. Price: $14.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Costa Rica is a remarkable place for amphibians and reptiles. Known for its biological diversity, conservation priorities, and extensive protected lands, this small country contains 418 herpetological species including the dangerous Fer-de-Lance and Black-headed Bushmaster, the beloved sea turtles, and numerous dink, foam, glass, and rain frogs. Additional species are thought to be nearing extinction while others have been introduced only recently.
      Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica is the perfect introductory guide to this diverse herpetofauna in a format that makes it easy to carry into the field. The focus is on identification with entries for all species in the country, including scientific and English common names, as well as the older names for the many species that have been recently reclassified. Key ID marks are noted as well as adult sizes. Range maps identify the region(s) where species are known to be present. Color photographs and drawings are provided for over 80 percent of the species, representing those that are most likely to be encountered. Designed with ease of use in mind, this guide will be a great aid to the observer in identifying the specimen at hand.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the herpetofauna of the region.




2) LeBuhn, Gretchen and Noel Pugh. Field Guide to the Common Bees of California: Including Bees of the Western United States. 2013. University of California Press. Paperback: 175 pages. Price: $21.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: This engaging and easy-to-use natural history guidebook provides a thorough overview of native and honey bee biology and offers tools for identifying the most common bees of California and the Western United States. Full-color illustrations introduce readers to more than 30 genera of native bees, noting each one's needs and habits and placing them in their wider context. The author highlights bees’ ties to our own lives, the food we eat, and the habitat we provide, and suggests ways to support bees in our own backyards.
      In addition to helping readers understand and distinguish among major groups of bees, this guide reveals how bees are an essential part of healthy ecosystem and how many plants, including important crop plants, depend on the pollination they provide. As growing evidence points to declining bee populations, this book offers critical information about the bond between plants and pollinators, and between humans and nature. Thoroughly researched and full of new insights into the ancient process of pollination, Field Guide to the Common Bees of California; Including Bees of the Western United States is invaluable for the window it opens onto the biodiversity, adaptive range, and complexity of invertebrate communities.
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated introduction to the bees of the region.

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