North American Watersnakes: A Natural History

North American Watersnakes: A Natural History

by J. Whitfield Gibbons, Michael E. Dorcas
     
 

ISBN-10: 0806135999

ISBN-13: 9780806135991

Pub. Date: 08/28/2004

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Many people fear snakes, and watersnakes in particular have one of the worst reputations of any snake found in North America. Some species are commonly mistaken for venomous cottonmouths, and a few may eat popular game fishes. Unfortunately, few people realize the important roles many watersnakes play in natural ecosystems and, consequently, they are still

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Overview

Many people fear snakes, and watersnakes in particular have one of the worst reputations of any snake found in North America. Some species are commonly mistaken for venomous cottonmouths, and a few may eat popular game fishes. Unfortunately, few people realize the important roles many watersnakes play in natural ecosystems and, consequently, they are still persecuted in many regions today.

Seeking to overcome common misperceptions, J. Whitfield Gibbons and Michael E. Dorcas have compiled North American Watersnakes, the first comprehensive study of all fourteen species of watersnakes found in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba.

Individual species accounts explore all aspects of the natural history of watersnakes in North America, including their behavior, physiology, life history, ecology, and conservation. Almost 100 color photographs accompany the text, illustrating all 14 species and nearly all subspecies. Supplementing the species accounts are detailed color maps depicting each species distribution and stunning black-and-white drawings by Peri Mason. Easy-to-use keys help readers to identify specimens at hand.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806135991
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Animal Natural History Series
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Foreword
Pt. 1Watersnake biology
1Taxonomy, systematics, and evolution of North American watersnakes17
2Field and laboratory techniques for studying watersnakes26
3General biology and ecology of watersnakes32
4Conservation of North American watersnakes48
Pt. 2Species accounts
Key to the watersnakes of North America63
Nerodia clarkii (salt marsh snake)67
Nerodia cyclopion (western green watersnake)76
Nerodia erythrogaster (plain-bellied watersnake)88
Nerodia fasciata (banded watersnake)102
Nerodia floridana (eastern green watersnake)117
Nerodia harteri (Harter's watersnake)125
Nerodia rhombifer (diamondback watersnake)138
Nerodia sipedon (northern watersnake)178
Nerodia taxispilota (brown watersnake)197
Regina alleni (striped crayfish snake)212
Regina grahamii (Graham's crayfish snake)224
Regina rigida (glossy crayfish snake)235
Regina septemvittata (queen snake)246
Seminatrix pygaea (black swamp snake)259
Afterword : research opportunities with North American watersnakes275
App. 1Synonymies, type specimens, and type localities of the 14 species of North American watersnakes in the Genera Nerodia, Regina, and Seminatrix283
App. 2Scutellation of North American watersnakes295
App. 3Verification sources of U.S. county records for watersnake species299

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