By: J White
19 pages, 13cm x 19cm.288p. Ill. Paperback
Because of its geographic position and its geologic past, the Delmarva Peninsula is a transition zone between the northern and southern sections of the Atlantic Coast of North America. The north-south influences result in a high diversity of species of plants and animals, including amphibians and reptiles, for the small size of the peninsula. Delmarva's amphibians and reptiles are overlooked by the vast majority of people living in the area. Many have never heard a northern spring peeper call or seen a salamander, even though a breeding chorus of peepers is common in the spring, and salamanders are residents of most woodlands in Delmarva. Misconceptions also abound. For example, people sometimes think they have seen "cottonmouths" (water moccasins) on Delmarva, even though this venomous species is not known to occur north of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Other common fallacies are the belief that snakes are slimy or that handling a toad can give you warts. This first field guide to amphibians and reptiles of Delmarva will be useful to a wide variety of people interested in these fascinating creatures -- from the curious child who brings home a salamander to students, experienced naturalists, and professionals in need of life history, behavioral, and distributional information on Delmarva's amphibians (salamanders and frogs) and reptiles (turtles, lizards, and snakes). Seventy-three species are included -- seventy known to occur on Delmarva and three that the authors believe either occur there or once did. Outstanding color plates aid in identifying the species.
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