New book covers 418 species of reptiles and amphibians

Some 418 species of amphibians and reptiles are featured in a new bilingual book that has been produced by a national publishing house Zona Tropical.

The publisher is known for such books about the flora and fauna of the country. This one is “Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica,” written by Federico Muñoz, a Costa Rican research biologist and science educator, and Richard Dennis Johnston, a biochemist who serves on the advisory board of the International Herpetological Symposium, said Zona Tropical.

The publisher said that the focus is on identification, with entries for all species in the country, including scientific, English common, and Spanish common names, as well as the older names for the many species that have been recently reclassified. Key ID marks are noted as well as adult sizes. Range maps identify the region(s) where species are known to be present. Color photographs and drawings are provided for over 80 percent of the species, representing those that are most likely to be encountered. Designed with ease of use in mind, this guide will be a great aid to the observer in the field, it said.

The book has been out since the middle of last month. Among the dangerous species in the book are the fer-de-lance and black-headed bushmaster, both snakes that expats would be better off not meeting. The identification of  poisonous snakes is a continuing topic on expat Internet discussion lists and frequently from foreigners seeking to relocate here.

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