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This user-friendly guide identifies and describes all the amphibians and reptiles – salamanders, frogs and toads, lizards, snakes, and tortoises and turtles – that live in California. The species are described in detailed accounts that include range maps, lifelike color paintings by Robert C. Stebbins, clear drawings of various life stages including eggs, notes on natural history, and conservation status. Easy-to-use keys for every order help identify species, and informative chapters cover more general topics including evolution, habitat loss, and photography.
Robert C. Stebbins is Professor Emeritus of Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley and a curator emeritus of the University's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. The author of over a dozen books, his latest work is Connecting with Nature: A Naturalist's Perspective.
Samuel M. McGinnis is Professor Emeritus of Biology at California State University, East Bay. He is the author of another California Natural History guide, Freshwater Fishes of California
"A must have for those with an interest in the herpetofauna of California!"
– Ian Paulsen Birdbooker Report/The Guardian
"[A] detailed, enjoyable work – a model for the ideal field guide [...] Stebbins's excellent color drawings stand out [...] A valuable resource for anyone who wishes to experience the rich diversity of California's reptiles and amphibians [...] Highly Recommended."
– D. M. McKinstry, Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, Choice
"Since his first book on western amphibians in 1951, Stebbins has been recognized as the authoritative voice on this subject. This new book, written with McGinnis, continues that high standard of accuracy and usefulness. It is filled with entertaining anecdotes and user-friendly information. I recommend this to anyone getting their first introduction to the rich and diverse world of Californian herpetofauna."
– David Wake, Curator, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
"Dr. Robert Stebbins is the elder herpetological master of the American West, and this book has long been one of the finest state field guides to amphibians and reptiles. Now partnering to create a new, expanded edition with accomplished biologist Dr. Samuel McGinnis, a classic publication has become even better. Both the professional herpetologist and the weekend amateur naturalist will find this top-notch guide to be invaluable when exploring California's diverse landscapes."
– Alan St. John, author of Reptiles of the Northwest