Although not a book (which is what the ‘Reading Room’ sub-forum usually deals with), the free phone app “Calamaria of Borneo” is essentially a field guide. Available for Android as well as iOS, it helps you to identify the 21 species of sometimes overlooked and often mis-identified Calamaria spp. (reed snakes) found on this tropical island. Based primarily on data in the Calamaria monograph by Inger & Marx (1965), the app contains a novel type of identification key that helps you narrow down the number of possible candidates – even when all you have is a photo that might not show all the salient scale characters. The species accounts deal with scale characters, variation in color and pattern, how to tell similar-looking species apart, and from where they have been recorded.
The app contains ca 200 photos, most of them provided by fellow snake enthusiasts, showing all of the 21 Calamaria species known from Borneo. Most species are shown both alive and preserved; some just as preserved museum specimens (including several holotypes and paratypes). Whenever possible there are multiple photos showing color variations, the whole snake from above, the belly, the underside of the tail, and different sides of the head. You can tap on each photo to zoom in on finer details in the scalation. Because of all the high-resolution photos, the size of the app is approximately 100 MB.
The app works offline, which is great when you are deep in the rainforest with no reception. It will hopefully make more people appreciate what interesting snakes Calamaria spp. really are, and what kinds of photos to take in order for you (and us all) to verify their identity. There is still much to learn about them!
We are indebted to all the kind people -- some of which are FHF members -- that helped make this app possible. You are listed in the Acknowledgments page of the app, and the photographers’ names appear below their photos. Copyright for photos remain with the respective photographer unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Björn Lardner, Dennis Hägg, and Anders Larsson / app creators
Link to app store for Android version:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... .calamaria
Link to app store for iOS version:
https://apps.apple.com/app/calamaria-of ... 1595132024
Herp literature forum.
Moderator: Scott Waters
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