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A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – March 27, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0395982723 ISBN-10: 0395982723 Edition: 3rd

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A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides) + Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition (Peterson Field Guides) + A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 3 edition (March 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395982723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395982723
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.


Robert C. Stebbins is a professor emeritus and the author of over a dozen books.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
The pictures are fantastic.
M J Fouquette
The species accounts in the back are quite useful, and the range maps comprehensive and detailed.
Philip Kahn
I have several field guides, but the Peterson guides are the best.
leland wayne liston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Carr on March 26, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stebbins does it again. As a biologist who works throughout southern California I find this book indispensable. It is a vast improvement to the last edition (which was very good to begin with) with lots of color photos, many more color plates and the range maps are great too, again with color. It has revised the taxonomy of many species and included a many of the lastest subspecies designations. This book is easy to use from the novice to the advanced and should be in any nature enthusiasts library.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert K. Pyles on November 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love this book because I have the National Audubon Society First Field Guide for reptiles and I would often run in to reptile that the I couldn't Identify. I knew that I needed a bigger better book. So I bought the western and eastern Peterson Field guide for reptiles and amphibians and it had a lot more reptiles and it had amphibians which I never had a book that had information about them before, it has a lot more reptiles and it's shows you were they are each located. It give you a detailed description of each animal and a detailed drawing of each animal. Because of this I have been able to identify reptiles and amphibian that I couldn't before. I don't like that they use drawing of the animals instead of pictures and the drawings just show the heads of the snakes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jerry L. Boyer on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
great detail & pictures are in color this edition! Maps are in color also! This is helpful when out in the field looking for your "herps". Thanks to Robert Stebbins & all involved in compling all the data needed for the updated guide
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Megarat on August 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a kid, I grew up on the first edition of this field guide. When I was an undergraduate, I upgraded to the second edition, and it was a constant companion on several herp-hunting road-trips with my like-minded friends. This is the book that got me into herping, a hobby that I have enjoyed around the world, and today I own more than thirty different herp field guides, collected across North America and five other continents. And at the end of the day, I regard Stebbins's as the best, especially w/r/t its illustrations. The animals are captured with such great form, character and detail, and are optimized for identification. Absolutely top-notch.

Without any hesitation, I must say that I love this book. Illustrators of other reptile/amphibian field guides should look to Stebbins's illustrations and follow his example.

But ... this third edition is lacking. I find that it has suffered the field-guide-equivalent of feature creep. In striving to be the best, this book has lost sight of "good enough" and strayed into the realm of the impractical.

Of course, the new full-color plates are fantastic. And I love that this book completes the final mile, by including plates for those animals that were marginalized in earlier editions with only monochrome plates (or none at all). As an added bonus, many animals are complemented with color photographs. And hey, the maps are in full color as well. This book is just bursting with color, and that's usually a good thing. But the cost of this ubiquitous color is that every page of the book consists of glossy paper, which is thicker and heavier than regular paper. (And more-economical to print full-color images on.) At least half of this book only sports monochrome text, yet it's printed on glossy paper as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence E. Mulryan on August 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This field guide is very well organized and illustrated. It is quite complete. With over 300 pages of information this is a must for westerners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip Kahn on September 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This excellent field guide identifies western NA herps down to species level, and rather than photos (which may be misleading), it has excellent generalized pictures, with lines pointing to locations of key diagnostic features. The species accounts in the back are quite useful, and the range maps comprehensive and detailed. Absolutely a critical resource for anyone who likes to catalog animals, or has interest in identifying species.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Hill on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another excellent Field Guide book! I have the first edition of this book and when one compares how the reptile and amphibian poplulation has changed in our country, it is amazing. If you purchase this book you must also buy the Field Guide to Eastern species.
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By Tom T on May 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loaded with info and pictures, it covers all of the species we have in our state and surrounding states. I love the Peterson series field guides.
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