Reynolds, R.G., R.W. Henderson, L.M. Díaz, T.R. Rodriguez-Cabrera, and A.R. Puente-Rolón. 2023. Boas of the West Indies: Evolution, Natural History, and Conservation. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, NY

Pre-order the Book: Cornell University Press

Boas of the West Indies is a comprehensive survey of booid snakes, commonly known as boas, found on the islands of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. Bringing together the expertise of leading herpetologists R. Graham Reynolds, Robert W. Henderson, Luis M. Díaz, Tomás Michel Rodríguez, and Alberto R. Puente-Rolón, this volume synthesizes current and new findings on the evolutionary biology, natural history, and conservation statuses of these iconic snakes.

One of the most ecologically diverse snake families, boas have inhabited the West Indies for millions of years. From the Cuban boa, a feature of many folk legends that may grow over twice a person’s height, to the Hispaniolan Vineboa, discovered only in 2020 and known to measure less than a meter long, Boas of the West Indies examines the eighteen species extant on these islands along with several others now extinct. Species accounts include details such as phenotypic traits, distribution, and behavior. Introductory chapters discuss the history of human-boa interaction, differences between West Indian and neotropical mainland boids, current conservation efforts, and more.

Illustrated with over a hundred color photographs and range maps, Boas of the West Indies is a benchmark reference for herpetologists, conservationists, and snake hobbyists that expands our knowledge of—and celebrates—these fascinating creatures so integral to the ecology of these islands.

Niemiller, M.L. R.G. Reynolds, and B.T. Miller (Eds.). 2013. The Reptiles of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN. 366 pgs.

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Tennessee’s biotic diversity has been well documented in field guides dedicated to its wildflowers; trees, shrubs, and woody vines; mussels; fishes; amphibians; and birds. Glaringly absent from this assemblage, however, is an equivalent statewide guide to the remarkably diverse reptiles of the Volunteer State. The Reptiles of Tennessee fills that void by offering the first authoritative overview of all sixty native species of reptiles occurring in Tennessee. Both a field guide and a scientific reference, this definitive work will prove useful to professionals who work with reptiles for a living as well as those just curious about the various creatures living in their own backyards.

The bulk of The Reptiles of Tennessee is devoted to individual species accounts, each of which includes a detailed range map and comprehensive information on identification, natural history, and conservation of the lizards, snakes, turtles, and alligator native to Tennessee. Also included is information on known introduced species and species whose presence in Tennessee is questionable. Vivid color photographs illustrate each species’ various life stages. Introductory chapters provide an overview of reptile anatomy and life history, and of the geography, climate, and habitats in the state. Giving special attention to reptile conservation, The Reptiles of Tennessee highlights various threats to Tennessee’s reptile species – including the destruction of their habitats, malicious killing, the pet trade, hunting, and pollution – and describes the most common methods employed by herpetologists and wildlife biologists to safely capture and document reptiles in nature.

Complete with a checklist that will help readers keep track of reptiles they discover, a glossary, and a list of recommended readings, organizations, and websites for those seeking additional information, Reptiles of Tennessee will prove an essential resource for teachers, biologists, and anyone having a stake in the conservation of biodiversity and the natural heritage of the Volunteer State and the nation.

Niemiller, M.L. and R.G. Reynolds (Eds.). 2011. The Amphibians of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN. 369 pgs.

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Brimming with color photographs and reflecting the latest scientific research, this book is the definitive guide to the rich diversity of frogs and salamanders found throughout Tennessee. Featuring detailed accounts of all eighty of the state’s species of amphibians, it will delight and inform the professional scientist and amateur naturalist alike.

The species accounts form the core of the book. Each account includes the scientific and common name of the species (with etymology of the scientific name); information on size, physical appearance, and coloration of adults, juveniles, and larvae; an up-to-date GIS range map showing both county records and potential ranges; and details on similar species, habitat, natural history, conservation status, and more. High-quality photographs illustrate the life stages of the various species.

Among the book’s other valuable features are detailed drawings and taxonomic keys to assist with identification, as well as introductory chapters that encompass amphibian biology and conservation and the geology and habitats of Tennessee. Sprinkled throughout the book are lively personal accounts, called “Field Notes”, which describe successful amphibian hunts.

The only complete work of its kind for the Volunteer State and generously supported by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, “The Amphibians of Tennessee” fills a long-standing need for both a popular identification guide and an authoritative reference.