Amphibians and reptiles - Pelagic Publishing

Amphibians and reptiles

  • Aims to encourage readers to develop their own ecological studies
  • Summarises the current state of knowledge of reptile and amphibian biology
  • Identification keys and distribution maps
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    • We can usually expect two things from a new book by Trevor Beebee – the benefit of a lifetime’s experience and, of course, clear, well-written text. I think both are delivered here.
      —John W. Wilkinson, Herpetological Bulletin
    • amphibians
    • conservation
    • ecology
    • field manual
    • herpetofauna
    • herpetology
    • identification
    • reptiles
    • survey


    Amphibians and reptiles is a comprehensive guide to the native and non-native species of amphibian and reptile found in the British Isles. Professor Trevor Beebee covers the biology, ecology, conservation and identification of the British herpetofauna, and provides keys for the identification of adult and immature newts and newt eggs, larvae and metamorphs; frog and toad adults and metamorphs, spawn and larvae; adult and hatchling limbed lizards; and adult snakes. Distribution maps are included for all species, and the book is illustrated throughout with colour photographs and figures.

    The goal of this book is to encourage readers to develop their own ecological studies, to this end, the author summarises the current state of knowledge of reptile and amphibian biology, including behaviour, breeding, habitat selection, migration and development, and offers ideas for research projects that could be undertaken to further what is known. A chapter is devoted to the practicalities of professional work with amphibians and reptiles, including licensing requirements. Research techniques, including survey methods such as night searches for newts and bottle trapping, are discussed in detail, and consideration is given to methods of data analysis.

    Author royalties from this book have been donated to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.



    Sixth-form, undergraduate, postgraduate, field centre, ecological consultant, wildlife trust, conservation volunteer

    Table of Contents

    1 Introduction
    2 Basic biology
    3 Ecology and Conservation
    4 Surveying and monitoring
    5 Working with amphibians
    6 Working with reptiles
    7 How schools can help
    8 Identifying species found in Britain
    Key I Adult and immature newts
    Key II Newt eggs, larvae and metamorphs
    Key III Frogs and toads (adults and metamorphs)
    Key IV Frog and toad spawn
    Key V Frog and toad larvae
    Key V Adult and hatchling limbed lizards
    Key VI Adult snakes
    Distribution maps
    9 Working with amphibians and reptiles: some basic essentials
    10 Useful addresses and links


    • This Naturalists’ Handbook is very easy to read, encouraging those people interested in this aspect of natural history to be able to identify species and make a contribution to citizen science should they want to. —Helen Ashton, Reference Reviews
    • We can usually expect two things from a new book by Trevor Beebee – the benefit of a lifetime’s experience and, of course, clear, well-written text. I think both are delivered here. A non-UK colleague of mine told me he found this book “inspiring”… —John W. Wilkinson, Herpetological Bulletin
    • It's always nice when a book is published that enthuses you because it is so inspiring. [...] A number of things struck me as positive. First is that the author convincingly shows how research on captive animals contributes to our knowledge. [...] Second, a lot of attention is paid to the role of schools in the protection of amphibians and reptiles [...] Third, and most inspiring to me, is that the author gives many ideas for future research. [Translation from Dutch review] —Sergé Bogaerts, RAVON

    About the Author

    Trevor Beebee’s interest in amphibians was triggered, at age 11, by a chance visit to a pond near his home on the outskirts of Manchester. Two years later he moved to Surrey and encountered reptiles on the surrounding heath; so the scene was set of a lifetime of fascination with all the British species. Trevor subsequently obtained a degree in Biological Sciences at The University of East Anglia, followed by a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Sussex, before taking up a lectureship at Sussex and in 2003 becoming professor of molecular ecology there. Over the years he pursued a combined interest in research and conservation, mostly concerning amphibians (especially natterjack toads) but also with some work on reptiles. In the latter period Trevor became especially concerned about genetic aspects of conservation and the risks of population isolation and inbreeding depression.

    He has published over 150 scientific papers, more than 30 articles and several books on amphibians and reptiles including The Natterjack Toad, Frogs and Toads, Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians and, with Richard Griffiths, the most recent New Naturalist volume (Amphibians and Reptiles) on these intriguing animals. He has a longstanding connection (since 1960) with the British Herpetological Society and served at various times as editor of its scientific journal, its chairman and its president. Trevor has been a trustee of the charity Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (previously called the Herpetological Conservation Trust) since its inception in 1989 and was awarded the Peter Scott Memorial Award by the British Naturalists' Association in 2009 for contributions to amphibian conservation. He retired to live in Somerset in 2012.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 170 pages
    • Colour figures
    • Tables
    • BISAC NAT028000, SCI070000, SCI020000