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 Post subject: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 11:43 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
Posts: 511
Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Hi all. After living in Australia for 13 years I'm back in the U.S.A., currently living in south-central Florida (top end of Lake Okeechobee). I need field guide help. I just ordered the Audubon Society Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of North America from Amazon. com. Hate it - hate the layout and lack of photographs of subspecies, and maps showing only the species as a whole. Any recommendations to an alternative would be greatly appreciated. I'd still like to stick with a not too large volume if that's possible. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks, John


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 2:02 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Posts: 1176
I still like the Peterson guides. There is an eastern and western version.


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 4:00 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Thank you Bryan, can you tell me a little about that guide? Photographs vs drawings, maps showing delineation of subspecies, range maps on same page as the animal?, etc,? Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 4:08 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
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John Martin wrote:
hotographs vs drawings, maps showing delineation of subspecies, range maps on same page as the animal?


All of the above. Its really the premiere guide(s) and the maps are often better than some of the state guides.

They are also very, very reasonably priced at around $15.

I haven't used the newly revised eastern version in the field yet but the western guide is still my go to. Stebbins really put together an incredible product. The "bible" really for me.


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 4:11 pm 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:46 am
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Make sure to look at state/regional guides as well--they are often more detailed with better maps (dot locality) and better natural history information. Florida has several herp guides.

FH


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 5:00 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Excellent, thanks Bryan. And thank you for your input also FH.


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 6:38 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
OK, I've looked at the Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, fourth edition online, but it states "over 100 color photographs". Doesn't sound like a photo of every species and subspecies? Which Peterson guide do I need? Sorry to be a pain, but I'm having a problem with guide selection. I really don't have easy access to a decent book store to hold a book in hand. Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 12th, 2018, 8:06 pm 
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Joined: December 14th, 2015, 4:56 pm
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Hi John

Most of the Petersons field guides to my knowledge have the hand drawn illustrations by Stebbins, so I'm guessing the 100 photographs are in addition to those. The illustrations are really quite good and as far as I remember there are illustrations for different subspecies, color variants, and patterns if immature vs mature animals look different.

I've used a Peterson guide as my primary field guide for over a decade and it's been great. Unfortunately with so much information being online now I rarely use it, but whenever I go on trips the trusty guide is always in my car.

Jeremy


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 13th, 2018, 4:52 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Another vote for the Peterson Guide for the East, especially in the field.

I'm not as pleased with the newest edition because he must have done range maps from preserved specimens only.
There are several incidents of minor range differences with our own data base.

Still it's the most comprehensive and easy to take to the field.

PS
I think you'll enjoy the area you are moving to. Habitat (and thus species) variation is great there, not to mention its historical herping legacy.


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 13th, 2018, 2:18 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Thanks for the input guys. Bill, are you saying you like the third edition more than the fourth?


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 13th, 2018, 5:43 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
I preordered the latest and have used it since it came out.
The newest has the most up-to-date taxonomy accepted by CNAH and SSAR, and some more real photos mixed in the text, so it is pretty good.

I've been using that series since the 1958 edition and each release gets better.

My issue was with a few errors that a good editor would have caught, and some minor range map issues.

I would get the latest.


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 Post subject: Re: U.S. field guides
PostPosted: October 14th, 2018, 5:30 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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Location: Ohio, then Arizona, now South Australia
Thanks Bill!


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