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A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides) 3rd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 004-6442982726
ISBN-10: 0395982723
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  • A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides)
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  • A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
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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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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: 1.2 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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 for essentially my entire life, 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.
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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My grandaughters live in Colorado and see many snakes. This is an excellent book to show them how to identify
the snakes the come in contact with, especially the Rattlesnakes. Many other reptiles and amphibians in the book
with factual information. Their parents will have to help them read it as they are young.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this book. I go herping a lot and have used this many times to key out specific reptiles and amphibians. Amazing guide. Has pictures as well as natural and life history of most species. Everything you need in a good guide.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once I finally find the general area to search for information the book is very informational, but it is a bit difficult to find the pages I need to help me identify my critter.
I keep waiting for a reptile / amphibian reference "book" to come out in Kindle Fire format.
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