Following on from my last blog post about my trip to Bulgaria to find and photograph reptiles and amphibians, I was lucky enough to be able to take along a copy of a new book with me on the trip, 'Amphibians of Europe, North Africa and The Middle East: A Photographic Guide' written by Christophe Dufresnes and published by Bloomsbury.
I have been on the lookout for books that I can take away on my trips and have the Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Britain and Europe, but this is quite a heavy book when you have weight restrictions it's the first thing to be left out, so to my delight when the new book arrived I knew this would easily be able to go with me on my trip. I know it only covers amphibians but it a much more manageable size.
Size aside what about the book?
The book is packed full of information from the start covering evolution, classification, diversity, life cycles and threats and conservation that these amphibians face. From there it is broken down into families with each of the 139 species having its own page and similar taxa on consecutive pages to allow for easy comparisons.
For each species there are good, clear colour photographs with numbered identification points where appropriate. Under the photographs there is a brief introduction along with distribution maps, details on identification criteria, size, habitat, reproductive period, sexual dimorphism, calls, spawn, tadpoles and the IUCN Red List information.
At the end of the species guide there is a subspecies appendix which provides photos and possible distribution maps based on scientific studies and molecular evidence.
The layout of the book allows for easy and quick identification in the field and easily fits into my bag and will certainly be coming on all future field trips with me both home and abroad.
About the Author
Christophe Dufresnes is a French herpetologist and researcher conducting research into the genetics, diversity and conservation of amphibians.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in European amphibians and especially to those who spend time searching for and photographing them.
Amphibians of Europe, North Africa and The Middle East