AUSTRALIAN REPTILES AND
FROGS - THE BOOK.
This definitive book was highly sought after when it came out in 1989 and the 7,500 copies printed sold out by the mid 1990's. At the time it sold for about $50 (Australian). It is now available on CD-rom, whereby you can read the entire original page proofs as Acrobat Files and/or MS Word or even html. This exceptionally high quality CD-Rom also contains a vast number of other definitive and otherwise hard to get Australian wildlife publications including the book, Endangered Animals of Australia, also by Raymond Hoser, over 100 major wildlife papers and articles by a number of authors and more.To find out more about this amazing CD-rom:
The book has 240 pages, over 600 colour photos as well as hundreds of
line drawings, maps, etc.. If you have an interest in Australian herps
then you cannot afford not to have this book. Some of the reptiles shown
in this book are not in any other books, including hybrid Carpet X Water
Python and hybrid Carpet X Scrub Python. You have to see the photos to
believe it!!!If you want to see a list of the species covered in detail in the CD-rom version of this book or to download any section of text from the book, including the comprehensive chapters on reptile biology, finding specimens, keeping in captivity, breeding, legal requirements in Australia and more:BELOW are copies of two previously published reviews of this
book. All other reviews were similar in form.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN LITTERATURA SERPENTIUM 10
(5) OCTOBER 1990, PP. 212-213
Hoser, R.T., 1989. Australian Reptiles and Frogs. 238
pages, 613 pictures. Published by Pierson & Co., P.O. Box 87, Mosman,
NSW, Australia. ISBN 0 947068 08 2. Hardback with dust jacket. (Available
in 1996 through Kotabi Publishing - see above).
There is no shortage of books on Australian herptiles so it was with
interest that I waited for this book. It is a large format book, with 613
colour pictures covering more than 200 species, "those which are most
commonly encountered...... and species of special interest for a variety
of reasons". This restriction in its cover of some Australian reptiles
and amphibians immediately had to be tested - was the inclusion/exclusion
of a species fair or subjective on the part of the author. As a reviewer
not resident in Australia I only have my notes of a six month jaunt around
NSW as a travelling herpetologist to judge the contents - everything I
saw and caught is in this book except for a few obscure species of tiny
skink. So, the book has an immediate advantage over others - what in many
situations is excess info and species descriptions has been shed.
The book is presented in three parts:
a. Introduction, which includes the usual short essays on the origin
and classification of reptiles and amphibians (of Australia).
b. Australian frogs and reptiles described. Contrary to most books of
this kind no keys are included. The author has minimised descriptive information
relying on quality photographs to complement the text which includes distribution,
size, food, habitats and breeding. A distribution map is included in the
text for each species.
c. Captivity and conservation. This part begins with sound advice on
keeping and feeding herptiles; captive breeding; ailments and diseases
and their treatment; photography, and conservation. The final section of
this part is -- fabulous. Twenty five pages packed with photographs of
habitats, and for each, the author lists the species found in that habitat.
It is true a picture speaks a thousand words. These pictures give a real
insight to the habitat requirements of captive specimens. Other and future
authors please note, habitat photos are surely a must.
This is a very good book, anyone visiting Australia should buy this
one -- forget the rest. The authors enthusiasm and knowledge is evident
throughout the book. Finally, many thanks to the publisher for making available
a book of such all round quality.
Ken R.G. Welch.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN HERPTILE 10 (2) JUNE 1990,
Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond T.Hoser 1989.
Published by Pierson & Co, Sydney. Australia, distributed by Gary
Allen. 238 pp. 613 colour plates. ISBN 0-947068-08-2. Price in the UK;
around £35.00 Hardback (with D/W)
I learned about this book from the author himself, during our fairly
regular correspondence relating to articles that Raymond submits for publication
in the Herptile. Raymond's articles have always interested me, for they
are almost as diverse as the herpetofauna of Australia itself, as this
publication illustrates so well. The book is now available here in small
supply, but it should be more readily available by the Summer.
It is a large work, and probably best read at the table as it is also
quite weighty, but considering that very few pages contain no colour plates,
and there are over 600 of these, this is hardly surprising. Over 200 species
of frogs, crocodiles, turtles, lizard and snakes are dealt with, and as
far as I can ascertain they are all illustrated with at least one colour
plate, many with several plates to highlight the variation between regional
forms or subspecies.
The photography in itself is enough to encourage anyone to buy this
book, and the author has been considerate enough to include a small section
in Part 3, offering advice on photographing herps, dealing with the equipment
necessary and how to obtain the best results.
The contents kick off with the obligatory Acknowledgements, Foreword
(by Joe Bredl of Bredl's Reptile Park & Zoo, Queensland, Australia)
and Preface, followed by Part 1; an Introduction which deals with the origins
of reptiles and amphibians, their classification and details of locomotion,
feeding, mating, breeding, main diagnostic features, defence and predation,
and the various Families to which Australian reptiles and amphibians belong.
Part 2 constitutes the bulk of the book, entitled "Australian Frogs
and Reptiles Described". A small introduction to this section explains
how the author has dealt with the species (in systematic order) and should
be read to get the most out of the information provided. In this section
an outline map of Australia accompanies each species, the ranges of which
are denoted in solid black shading. Rather then depending heavily on written
descriptions the author lets his photography perform an admirable, if not
preferable, service. Recently revised nomenclature is also included.
Part 3 of the book is entitled "Captivity and Conservation".
Raymond is a noted conservationist in his homeland and this section of
the book highlights his aims, in terms of the safe collection of specimens
and their care and breeding in captivity. There are some excellent photographs
in the captive breeding section showing various species mating, but more
unusual are those of mating Death Adders, (Acanthophis antarcticus/pyrrhus),
where the females are feeding during copulation! (Remember to pull my nightie
down when you've finished, there's a love). In addition there is a small
section on various ailments, diseases, parasites and their treatment, and
a half page on preserving specimens. "A Word of Warning" tackles
legislation so that State Laws are not unwittingly (or otherwise) broken
when obtaining wild specimens, although the author makes it quite clear
of the harassment he and a few others have been subjected to by corrupt
officials because they kept herptiles legally after registering for permits.
This is followed by the photography section, and then by a more detailed
account of conservation detailing habitat protection, the elimination of
pest species (such as the notable Cane Toad problem), captive breeding
and research, protective legislation, corruption and smuggling.
The last part of the book details "Reptile Habitats" (including
amphibia), and again it is heavily illustrated with colour plates and outline
maps, as well as,containing general information and a guide to the species
most likely to be encountered in each area. After this is an excellent
"References" section, where I'm pleased to say that "The
Herptile" is mentioned on numerous occasions, and an Index.
It is not a book to flick through, or to try and reed all at once, but
it is highly readable, lavishly illustrated, informative, and a most worthy
addition to any herpetologists' library.
Kevin. J. Hingley.
Raymond Hoser has
been an active herpetologist for about 30 years and published over 100
papers in journals worldwide. He has written nine books including the definitive
works "Australian Reptiles and Frogs", "Endangered
Animals of Australia" and the controversial best seller "Smuggled
- The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife".
Non-urgent email inquiries via the Snakebusters bookings page at:http://www.snakebusters.com.au/sbsboo1.htmUrgent inquiries phone:Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:(03) 9812 3322 or 0412 777 211