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Field Guide to Snakes of the Middle East
Damien Egan, published by Bloomsbury

The Field Guide to Snakes of the Middle East is a comprehensive and essential guide to the 180 plus species of snakes found in the region.

The book begins with an introduction to snakes and the uneasy relationship we often have with them along with the threats that they face before going on to illustrate the areas of the Middle East with concise descriptions and accompanying photographs of each area and habitat and the species that can be found in each one.

There is an easy to understand and well illustrated section on snake behaviour and morphology covering the different types of locomotion, feeding, self-defence and reproduction and this is followed by an extensive section on venom and snake bites. What I really like about this section is that it explains about the five different types of venom before going on to discuss snakebites in detail including how to prevent being bitten and what to do if you or someone you are with is bitten with specific details for if the snake has been positively identified.

Before it gets stuck into the individual species accounts, there is a very good section on how to use the book, including an in depth section on how to identify different species using colour and markings and a very detailed section on the scales.
The individual species accounts have good descriptions, distribution maps and illustrations showing the full body and close ups of the heads and showing other species that it may be confused with showing the differences in markings and in some cases scale patterns.

Field Guide to the Snakes of the Middle East is more than just a field guide, it is truly fascinating and educational and a celebration of the extensive and beautiful snakes that live in this area. A must for anyone visiting the area or anyone with an interest in snakes. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading my way through this book and would love to visit some of these areas one day.

Field Guide to Snakes of the Middle East