Originally published in French, this is a fully up-to-date and comprehensive photographic field guide to the snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Lavishly illustrated with 387 colour photographs, it includes coverage of all 122 snake species found in these regions.
The guide's detailed introduction discusses snake anatomy, biology, habitats and taxonomy. It also explores the health of snakes in captivity and conservation measures, and provides a succinct explanation of the chemical composition, physical effects and cultural uses of snake venom. Species accounts are arranged taxonomically and provide identification features, a description of the species' habitat and behavior and information about whether a snake is venomous. Abundant distribution maps describe each species' geographic variation and usual habitats. Clear photos aid identification and are supplemented with illustrations highlighting key anatomical features. A table of all species, country by country, is included at the back of Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
The first dedicated field guide on snakes to appear in many years, Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will be indispensable for anyone interested in learning more about these unique reptiles.
Overview of Snakes 7
Snakes’ Venom 25
Where Do Snakes Live? 31
Snakes’ Enemies 33
Conservation Measures 34
Snakes in Captivity 35
The Species 37
Snake Classification 38
The Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East 43
Families Typhlopidae (blind snakes) and Leptotyphlopidae
(slender blind snakes) 44
Family Boidae (boas) 56
Families Colubridae and Lamprophiidae (colubrid snakes) 66
Family Colubridae 67
Sub-family Colubrinae (terrestrial and arboreal colubrids) 69
Sub-family Natricinae (semi-aquatic colubrids) 207
Family Lamprophiidae 224
Sub-family Lamprophiinae (house colubrids) 225
(Montpellier snakes and allies) 227
Family Elapidae (cobras and sea snakes) 252
Family Viperidae (vipers) 264
Sub-family Viperinae (true vipers) 265
Sub-family Crotalinae (pit vipers) 362
List of Snakes of the Western Palaearctic 366
Recommended References 372
Index of English Names 375
Index of Scientific Names 377
List of Photographers 379
Philippe Geniez is a researcher at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes within the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive in Montpellier, France.
"With accurate species accounts, solid organization, extremely high-quality illustrations and easy-to-use distribution maps, this ambitious book contains just the right amount of information and is an outstanding identification guide."
– Howard Inns, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust
"Up-to-date and well-presented, Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is an excellent field guide. The text is well written and the photographs enhance this book's appeal."
– Chris Mattison, author of The New Encyclopedia of Snakes