Geniez, Philippe

Originally published in French, (now translated)  this is a fully up-to-date and comprehensive photographic field guide to the snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Lavishly illustrated with 387 colour photographs, it includes coverage of all 122 snake species found in these regions.

The guide’s detailed introduction discusses snake anatomy, biology, habitats and taxonomy. It also explores the health of snakes in captivity and conservation measures, and provides a succinct explanation of the chemical composition, physical effects and cultural uses of snake venom. Species accounts are arranged taxonomically and provide identification features, a description of the species’ habitat and behavior and information about whether a snake is venomous. Abundant distribution maps describe each species’ geographic variation and usual habitats. Clear photos aid identification and are supplemented with illustrations highlighting key anatomical features. A table of all species, country by country, is included at the back of Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The first dedicated field guide on snakes to appear in many years, Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will be indispensable for anyone interested in learning more about these unique reptiles.

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Princeton University Press, April 2018.  379 pages, paperback, 387 colour photos, black and white illustrations, 122 colour distribution maps