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Field Guide to the Spiders of California and the Pacific Coast States (California Natural History Guides) by [Adams, Richard J.]
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Field Guide to the Spiders of California and the Pacific Coast States (California Natural History Guides) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Length: 452 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This guide will be your go-to reference."
(Bob Walch The Californian 2014-11-10)

About the Author

R.J. Adams is a special education teacher and wildlife tour leader in Monterey, California. He has a BS in biology from Humboldt State University, California and an MS in biology emphasizing entomology and host-parasite coevolution from the University of Utah.

Tim D. Manolis is an artist, illustrator, and biological consultant. From 1986 to 1990, he was the editor and art director of the magazine Mainstream. His papers on birds and his bird illustrations have appeared in many journals and magazines. He is the author of Dragonflies and Damselflies and illustrator of Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions.

Product Details

  • File Size: 30788 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (January 28, 2014)
  • Publication Date: December 20, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H55LA9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been studying spiders for almost a decade and am intimately familiar with all the spider field guides currently on the market in North America. (There truly are not very many.) I would consider this book the single best regional field guide on spiders in the entire country. The taxonomy is current, the information excellent, and the color plates are beautiful and accurately represent each spider. For any budding arachnologist, this should definitely be one of the books in your arsenal. Congrats to RJ Adams & Tim Manolis for a job well done!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received my copy of Richard J. Adams "Field Guide to the Spiders of California and the Pacific States" and was most pleased with it. The color illustrations by Tim D. Manolis are alone worth the investment in buying the book. It joins books on North American spiders and ants, and California dragonflies and damselflies, as well as bees, published over the last few years by the University of California Press. All of these are excellent works. The current guide for California and the Pacific states is probable the best modern regional guide to spiders that I have seen. While final identification of most spiders requires examination of the sexual anatomy with a binocular microscope, this guide will probably get most specimens to the families and genera covered, with some help from a hand lens. The coverage is remarkable and includes all of the families known from the area covered.

I do not know the author but have had correspondence with the illustrator. I was pleased to find three species that I described and named (two as sole author and one with Rick Vetter of the University of California-Riverside) discussed and illustrated. All three are recognizable from the excellent illustrations. A number of other species with which I am familiar were also easily recognized. I only wish such guide books had been available to me when I started out in arachnology.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the spider fauna of the Pacific Coast, and indeed it should serve fairly well in much of the western U.S.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a small yet hefty book with 300 text pages and 70 pages of plates containing 400+ color illustrations of California spiders. I found the text to be up to date, informative and with good references should you wish to take things further. It also seems to cover all the spider families found in California which is an achievement in itself.

The use of illustrations rather than photographs has pros and cons. Comparing it with similar guides based on photographs (~350 photos in A Guide to Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe by D. Jones or ~200 photos in Spiders of the Eastern United States by Howell and Jenkins), my feeling is that photographs usually make for better identification. Having said that, when checking against the spiders I know well I can say that the illustrations would enable accurate identification (and bugguide.com or nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/spiders/index.htm can always be viewed as a photographic supplement/confirmation).

The only illustration I found surprising was the egg sac of H. pluchei in plate 9. I observed marbled cellar spiders around the outside of our house for several years and never saw the egg sac in the nursery web in the way illustrated. In fact I only observed it released by the female temporarily for feeding or mating. I guess I question why such an unusual event was illustrated rather than the normal holding of the egg sac by the chelicerae. It would be helpful to have a bit more background about how the illustrations were made: were fresh specimens always used, how many of the species were observed in their wild habitat by the authors, and so on?

With the exception of the widows and a few others, all the spiders are given more or less equal coverage.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is written by Richard Adams and is another in the series of California Natural History Guides published by University of California Press. It is illustrated by Dr. Tim Manolis. Dr. Manolis authored another in the California Natural History Guides, i.e., Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. I met Dr. Manolis at a lecture he gave to our local bird group. Tim, as I think he would prefer to be called, told me he had a Ph.D. in ornithology and knew nothing about the odonates but was requested to write the book on odonates, and it took two years of 8 hour a day study of odonates before authoring this guide to dragonflies and damselflies.

I am a nature photographer with an almost total lack of ability to identify all but the most obvious odonate species. So when I emailed Tim a picture of what I thought was a bluet, Tim would immediately reply and tell me, when he could, what species it was. Often damselflies can only be identified with genus and species by examining their genitalia, another interesting fact I learned. I quickly learned that among species like bluets, ID by photo alone is often confined to telling what genus the damselfly is.

Not too long ago I discovered Tim had illustrated Field Guide to Spiders of California. Now I send him the photos I have of various local spiders along with my guess as to what species they are and invariably find my guess is wrong. Tim is very generous in tasking the time to respond to people like me, and his help is always appreciated.

As for the book, it would be of great value to anybody remotely interested in spiders.
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