Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

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Joseph Jenkins
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Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by Joseph Jenkins » January 22nd, 2011, 8:45 pm

After my trip to the Smokies last summer, It has become very apparent to me that I need a good salamander identification guide.

I guess what I am looking for is a very descriptive book on Salamanders of North America that includes pictures and identification techniques for each specie of salamander.

If there aren't any very in depth guides for North America, then I would settle for the Southeast region.

Thanks,
Joseph

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by Bryan Hamilton » January 22nd, 2011, 10:07 pm

I like both of these

PETRANKA, J. W. 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.

DODD, C. K., JR. 2004. The Amphibians of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Knoxville.

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by justinm » January 23rd, 2011, 5:18 pm

Both books are great I have them in my collection. The Dodd book is often found on top of my toilet lol.

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brick911
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by brick911 » January 28th, 2011, 10:47 am

I got the Petranka book recently. Wow!

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Gyri
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by Gyri » January 30th, 2011, 7:10 pm

Salamanders of the Southeast by Gibbons and Mitchel is a solid book for the region. I ordered a copy as soon as I started to figure out there were a lot of duskies I was not going to be able to identify with the Georgia book alone.

Petranka is fantastic but will not include many of the species resulting from recent taxanomic splits. Duskies, slimies, and some other plethodons have been broken apart quite a bit since it was published in 1998. I highly recommend the book but think of it less as a field guide and more as a massive educational and lit resource.

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Joseph Jenkins
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by Joseph Jenkins » February 3rd, 2011, 9:23 pm

Thanks all,

I heard that Salamanders of the Southeast wasn't that good as far as information goes, but I really need a book just for identification of certain desmognathus, etc. Will it suffice?

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by justinm » February 4th, 2011, 5:04 am

The Dodd book will be best for helping ID Desmogs, but it's still tough even with some of them in hand.

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narumk07
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by narumk07 » February 8th, 2011, 6:02 pm

Is there a newer version of the Dodd book coming out? Also, Is there a Snakes (and/or Lizards) of the US and Canada book that is similar to the salmander version(or does anyone have recomendations of a book that's just as good)?

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by justinm » February 8th, 2011, 6:32 pm

There is a Snakes of the United States and Canada that is honestly one of the best books I own. Each species is given several pages of in depth writeup. I have it loaned out to a friend or I would tell you who wrote it etc. It's truly a gem in my collection.

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by narumk07 » February 16th, 2011, 8:09 pm

oops I meant the PETRANKA book.

Thanks Justin, I was hoping it is as good as the Salamanders of the US and Canada

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by justinm » February 17th, 2011, 5:29 am

Kevin,

The book is Ernst and Ernst and it's an excellent reference material. I even learned a few things about snakes I thought I really knew and understood. Great book that you won't regret during the cold months.

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Todd Pierson
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by Todd Pierson » March 10th, 2011, 4:42 pm

Gyri wrote:Salamanders of the Southeast by Gibbons and Mitchel is a solid book for the region. I ordered a copy as soon as I started to figure out there were a lot of duskies I was not going to be able to identify with the Georgia book alone...
Really? No offense to Whit (and I've liked the other SE books well enough), but I thought this book was pretty mediocre. Lots of typos and mistakes...and why the hell would you group salamanders by "aquaticness"? Now, I can read about Desmognathus marmoratus right alongside Necturus. Seems a bit silly.

I'd go with Petranka, and if you need to identify one of the groups that has been split up since, look to the primary literature.

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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by justinm » March 10th, 2011, 8:08 pm

Todd,

I agree totally with you on this one. I felt like the book was for younger guys, or beginners? I just felt I was a little "above" or advanced for that book. I don't mind having it though.

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-EJ
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Re: Recommendations for Books on Salamander IDs

Post by -EJ » March 13th, 2011, 12:49 pm

I'll look forward to picking up your book on salamanders.

You have to realize that if you are going to sell a book (which is the intent unless you are writing for another reason) you have to write it to appeal to the masses... that's kind of a...duhhhh.

The typos are a printer/editor problem and not the writers.

Also... any of the publications by Bishop are worth looking into. The taxonomy might not be up to date but it never will be. Handbook of Salamanders, Sherman Bishop, Commstock, 1943. I think Piankas work updated this.
Todd Pierson wrote:
Gyri wrote:Salamanders of the Southeast by Gibbons and Mitchel is a solid book for the region. I ordered a copy as soon as I started to figure out there were a lot of duskies I was not going to be able to identify with the Georgia book alone...
Really? No offense to Whit (and I've liked the other SE books well enough), but I thought this book was pretty mediocre. Lots of typos and mistakes...and why the hell would you group salamanders by "aquaticness"? Now, I can read about Desmognathus marmoratus right alongside Necturus. Seems a bit silly.

I'd go with Petranka, and if you need to identify one of the groups that has been split up since, look to the primary literature.

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