What motivates a person to devote his or her life to the study of amphibians and reptiles? Certainly it is not the money. Jobs in herpetology are few and far between, and the salaries pale in comparison to other occupations requiring years of postgraduate education. For most herpetologists the lure is a deep fascination with the animals themselves, the beauty and mystery they radiate, their unknown lives, and the wild places they inhabit. But might there also be at least a slight attraction to danger? Venomous snakes, large constrictors, dragon lizards, human-eating crocodiles, and highly toxic amphibians all play a major role for the herpetologists portrayed in film and television productions.
In Night Lizards, Robert Bezy describes his life and adventures studying night lizards, the reptiles that most intrigued him. His searches for these elusive habitat specialists have taken him from the Southwestern deserts to the Panamanian rainforests where an all-female species lives. He discusses the mysteries that motivated him to set out into the field, what he discovered, and what remains unknown. This is the first complete summary of the night lizard family, complete with photographs of the lizards and their habitats, colour maps, and what is known and not known about each of the 35 living species. The distribution maps plot the localities of museum specimens, many of which were examined. A key to the living species is presented to help with the difficult task of identifying these subtly different lizards. The literature cited provides a useful resource for additional research.