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North American Watersnakes: A Natural History

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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: 8/28/2004
  • Series: Animal Natural History Series
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Whitfield Gibbons is Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab, Aiken, South Carolina. He is the author of the classic Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians.�

Michael E. Dorcas is Associate Professor of Biology at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Pt. 1 Watersnake biology
1 Taxonomy, systematics, and evolution of North American watersnakes 17
2 Field and laboratory techniques for studying watersnakes 26
3 General biology and ecology of watersnakes 32
4 Conservation of North American watersnakes 48
Pt. 2 Species accounts
Key to the watersnakes of North America 63
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 watersnakes 275
App. 1 Synonymies, type specimens, and type localities of the 14 species of North American watersnakes in the Genera Nerodia, Regina, and Seminatrix 283
App. 2 Scutellation of North American watersnakes 295
App. 3 Verification sources of U.S. county records for watersnake species 299
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2004

    AWESOME

    A must have for any herpetologist!

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