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From the introduction:
"Smith and Taylor (1945, 1948, 1950) published the first checklists of the herpetofauna of Mexico. In 1966 the checklists were reprinted as a single volume with an updating addendum (Smith and Taylor, 1966). Smith and Smith (1976) provided a source analysis and index to all name combinations and spellings ever used for Mexican amphibians and reptiles and they later (1977, 1979) reviewed all the known Mexican amphisbaenians, crocodilians and turtles with keys, synonymies, descriptions, and distributions. Their reviews were very helpful. None of the above-mentioned literature, however, provided a list of common names for the Mexican herpetofauna.
During a recent discussion with Joseph T. Collins, we realized that a checklist of English and Spanish common names for the herpetofauna of Mexico was badly needed. At the time I thought it would be a modest project because of my extensive personal library on Mexican herpetology. While compiling the scienfific names, a number of problems inherent to any major faunal list arose. Authorities do not all agree to specific and subspecific nomenclature. One would synonymize a name, another revive it; species rank for one is subspecies rank for another; even generic allocation for some species varied among authors. The latest published literature has been followed.
[...] In providing common names to the Mexican herpetofauna the problem is whether to apply a name satisfactory to English-speaking herpetologists, or use native appellations. I recommend that the names that natives apply, where distinctive, should be the common names. This does not eliminate the problem of different common names used for the same taxon in different regions or countries. But inasmuch as this list is an attempt at standardization, the names should be useful for professionals and interested laypeople. Often laypeople in the USA or in Latin America do not recognize species and/or races, and thus we are relatively free to select names acceptable primarily to professional herpetologists. However, I recognize that certain taxa are well known to natives, especially where the animals play a role in diet, religion, or folklore. I hope this list will stimulate future workers to add common names in their works or to modify them where deemed appropriate."