Boas of the West Indies is a comprehensive survey of boid 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 established knowledge 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, which in many folk legends may grow to 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 behaviour. 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 colour 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.
R. Graham Reynolds is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville, an Associate at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and a National Geographic Explorer. He is co-editor of The Amphibians of Tennessee and The Reptiles of Tennessee.
Luis M. Díaz is Curator of Herpetology at the National Museum of Natural History in Cuba. He is co-author of Guía Taxonómica de los Anfibios de Cuba.
Tomás M. Rodríguez-Cabrera is a Researcher at the Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática in Cuba. He is the author or co-author of more than ninety scientific papers and book chapters.
Alberto R. Puente-Rolón is Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez. He is the author or co-author of more than thirty scientific papers and book chapters.
"An impressive work of scholarship. Boas of the West Indies seamlessly weaves existing literature on these beautiful snakes with important new information and striking images into an attractive, accessible volume."
– Peter J. Tolson, Toledo Zoo, coauthor of The Natural History of West Indian Boas
"With beautifully written species accounts, valuable natural history observations, and stunning photography, Boas of the West Indies is unparalleled in its significance for the study of West Indian herpetofauna."
– Timothy J. Colston, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguëz