Honduras is the second largest of the seven Central American countries. Its snake fauna, however, has been one of the least known in the region and numerous studies have referred to the "Honduran hiatus" in distribution and in our understanding of the systematics of indigenous species. James R. McCranie, who began field work in Honduras in 1976, has made an intensive study of the herpetofauna and has now produced a book that will serve to make the snake fauna of Honduras one of the best known in the world. He has spent a total of more than 1600 days in the field and has personal field experience with nearly every species. He has examined nearly 6200 specimens in researching this book. The result is a model faunal study that will be a welcome reference for scientists and conservationists alike. It will be a reminder of the potential loss of biodiversity in a country in which deforestation and loss of habitat have greatly accelerated over the last two decades. This book is a companion to "The Amphibians of Honduras," by McCranie and Larry David Wilson, also published by SSAR (2002).
The Honduran snake fauna consists of 136 species in nine families: Anomalepididae (1 genus: 1 species), Leptotyphlopidae (1:2), Typhlopidae (2:4), Boidae (2:2), Loxocemidae (1:1), Ungaliophiidae (1:1), Colubridae (50:108), Elapidae (2:6), and Viperidae (7:11). The book has extensively illustrated identification keys in both English and Spanish, a discussion of the Honduran environments, a brief history of reptilian study in Honduras, distribution, and essays about the conservation of the Honduran snake fauna. The bulk of the book consists of detailed accounts of the species (each one includes synonymy, range, diagnosis, description, references to published illustrations, remarks, ecological distribution, natural history, etymology, and specimens examined).
There is a gazetteer of Honduran localities, a glossary, a comprehensive literature cited section, and indexes to authors and taxa. Finally, there are 20 color plates including 22 photographs of habitats and 158 of snake
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