Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

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J-Miz
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Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by J-Miz » April 12th, 2016, 5:26 am

This title has been released today. Description below:

The new edition of this definitive guide reflects 25 years’ worth of changes in our knowledge of reptiles and amphibians. It includes descriptions of 122 newly recognized or recently established non-native species, updated maps, and new figures and photos. Color illustrations and drawings show key details for accurate identification. More than 100 color photographs and 322 color distribution maps accompany the species descriptions. Clear and concise species accounts provide key characteristics, similar species, habitats, and ranges, as well as subspecies, voice descriptions, and conservation status. This edition will be a crucial resource for professional and amateur herpetologists, naturalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and students.

Has anyone seen this guide? How much has it changed?

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 13th, 2016, 3:31 pm

I just got mine today. I'll take a look and let you know what I think.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 13th, 2016, 4:59 pm

I got mine on the 12th. I have several books ahead of it in the queue but I flipped through it briefly...just to see the range maps. They SEEM better in the sense that many are more refined (they reflect distribution based on habitat vs. simply filling in entire regions in between records); don't know how accurate they are though regarding recent county records/range extensions etc.

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Kyle from Carolina
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by Kyle from Carolina » June 12th, 2016, 5:44 pm

I have the new one and I prefer it over the old version so far. I have yet to examine it extensively but I had some initial thoughts:

Overall, I like that the taxonomy and associated range maps have been updated. Lots of splitting and lumping of species has been accounted for to reflect some more recent work since the last issue. This was the reason that I got the book and I am happy with these updates. For example, the salamanders of the 'red-back' group and many other plethodontidae. That being said, I showed it to a friend and he said that some of the newly split map turtles weren't accounted for. That might just have to do with how quickly the taxonomy can change.

The range maps are better although I immediately noticed an error with the eastern painted turtle, where the books shows it as being absent from a large part of New England, where they definitely occur. This might be an isolated issue, but they are well known to occur statewide in MA and CT too. I'm not sure how that error was made. Makes me wonder what else is screwy.

Much of the descriptive text has been reduced, but I never found that super generalized text very helpful in a field guide that covers such a large extent. One thing I didn't like was that some species illustrations are not included on a plate, but are inset on their own descriptive page. For example, the shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah). I first looked for it on a plate and couldn't find it, then had to search by index.

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by The Real Snake Man » June 17th, 2016, 9:09 am

Kyle from Carolina wrote:I showed it to a friend and he said that some of the newly split map turtles weren't accounted for.
I looked through the book again and the CNAH list of map turtle species, and they're all accounted for. I don't know what your friend must've thought was missing, but I assure you it's not.

-Gene

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Kyle from Carolina
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by Kyle from Carolina » June 24th, 2016, 2:26 pm

Gene,

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't investigate the discrepancy and I'm not sure what he thought was missing.

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Jeff
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by Jeff » July 11th, 2016, 3:59 pm

I hadn't looked closely yet, but Joe Mitchell just informed me that all of the natural history paragraphs were deleted at the request of the publisher. He is correct, all are gone.

Jeff

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Fieldherper
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Re: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern/Central...Fourth Edition

Post by Fieldherper » July 11th, 2016, 7:30 pm

There are certainly some range map errors. For instance, there is a section in NE NC where neither L. triangulum or L. elapsoides are shown to occur. In the past, these were considered intergrades between the two or "temporalis." Having seen many examples now, and speaking with those with more experience with these animals than myself, I am comfortable saying that they are elapsoides, albeit slightly different in size/pattern/coloration than those found in more southerly locales.

These animals are definitely found through the entire NE portion of NC and adjacent SE VA, but the new guide omits this. The Palmer/Braswell NC Reptiles book from the early 1990's shows them inhabiting this region (as do prior Peterson editions).

Otherwise, I do like the maps in that they are clearly based on locality records and show more detail than in past editions.

FH

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