Australian Reptiles and Frogs
The definitive book
This definitive book by the Snakeman Raymond Hoser 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:
School teachers and others can now obtain for free for private use, full pdf page proofs (120 mb each file) of two definitive Australian wildlife texts by clicking the relevant text below.
Click on the linked text to download the full text of the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs.
Click on the linked text to download the full text of the book Endangered Animals of Australia.
Schools that have Snakebusters®, Melbourne Reptile Shows®, for incursions or families that have Reptile Parties® are advised to make use of the accurate information in these books after the visit to get the full benefit of experiencing Australia's only hands on reptile shows®.
The book Australian Reptiles and Frogs 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
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, PP. 71-72
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.
For further details about this book on CD-Rom.
Click here for a list of species covered in the CD-Rom.
Raymond Hoser has been an active herpetologist for over 40 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." Hoser has also discovered and named hundreds of species and genera of reptiles from all parts of the world where reptiles are found, including North and South America, the Carribean, Europe, Africa, The Middle East, Asia, including India, Japan, China, Indonesia and nearby islands, Oceana, New Guinea, Australia and Madagascar.
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