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Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Aaron Bauer Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Background and Scope 1. The Amphibian Fauna Salamanders, Newts, and Waterdogs Frogs and Toads 2. The Amphibian Life Cycle Developmental Categories Eggs Key to Eggs Embryos and Hatchlings Key to Embryos and Hatchlings Larvae 3. Order Caudata: Salamanders and Relatives Key to Larval and Larviform Salamanders Taxonomic Accounts Ambystomatidae (Mole and Giant Salamanders) Amphiumidae (Amphiumas) Cryptobranchidae (Hellbenders) Plethodontidae (Lungless Salamanders) Proteidae (Mudpuppy and Waterdogs) Rhyacotritonidae (Torrent Salamanders) Salamandridae (Newts) Sirenidae (Dwarf Sirens and Sirens) 4. Order Anura: Frogs and Toads Key to Tadpoles Taxonomic Accounts Bufonidae (Toads) Dendrobatidae (Dart-poison Frogs) Hylidae (Treefrogs and relatives) Leiopelmatidae (Tailed Frogs) Leptodactylidae (White-lipped Frogs) Microhylidae (Small-mouthed Toads and Sheep Frog) Pipidae (Tongueless Frogs) Ranidae (True Frogs) Rhinophrynidae (Burrowing Toad) Scaphiopodidae (Spadefoots) Glossary Literature Cited Index of Common Names Index of Scientific Names

About the Author

Ronald Altig is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Mississippi State University. Altig and Roy W. McDiarmid are coeditors of Tadpoles: The Biology of Anuran Larvae. Roy W. McDiarmid is a research zoologist and Curator of North American Amphibians and Reptiles at the National Museum of Natural History. He is the coauthor of books including Snake Species of the World and coeditor most recently of Reptile Biodiversity. McDiarmid and Ronald Altig are coeditors of Tadpoles: The Biology of Anuran Larvae. Aaron M. Bauer is Professor of Biology and Gerald M. Lemole Endowed Chair in Integrative Biology at Villanova University. He is the author of Geckos: The Animal Answer Guide.


"Altig and McDiarmid's Handbook of Larval Amphibians...synthesizes the scattered literature on the eggs and larval forms of frogs and salamanders in the United States and Canada. In addition to providing an informative key organized into geographic sectors, the authors present technical advice for how to properly prepare eggs for identification as well as descriptions and illustrations of the structures necessary for identification...With a bit of scanning and searching accounts of related species, readers with limited expertise in amphibian larvae should be able to correctly identify many of the larvae with the photographs and illustrations provided." -Matthew D. Venesky, University of Chicago Press (December 2016) "Handbook of Larval Amphibians of the United States and Canada by Ronald Altig and Roy W. McDiarmid is a must-have for any serious naturalist interested in the life history of North American amphibians. The authors apply lifetimes of expertise to fill a need that has been obvious for at least the last fifty years. Until this time the study of the biology, identification, and structure of larval amphibians in North America has been difficult largely because of the lack of detailed comparative works. By bringing all of this information into one well-written and well-organized volume, the authors have provided a huge service to future generations of biologists."-Darrel Frost, Curator of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History, New York "Whether or not a frog is just a tadpole's way of making another tadpole, the larvae of amphibians have been long underemphasized in science, education, and conservation. This wonderful, scholarly, and engaging volume will go a long way toward changing that, and belongs on the bookshelf of everyone with an interest in amphibians."-Harry W. Greene, Cornell University, author of Tracks and Shadows: Field Biology as Art "In this volume, Altig and McDiarmid have compiled a richly illustrated, comprehensive overview of the eggs, embryos, and larvae of the salamanders, frogs, and toads of the United States and Canada, complete with keys, ranges, identifying features, and natural history data. That this work is dedicated exclusively to larval amphibians not only reflects the sheer volume of material on the subject but also acknowledges the fact that larvae are biologically distinct from adult amphibians, not mere footnotes to the lives of the salamanders and frogs with which they share genetic identity."-from the Foreword by Aaron M. Bauer

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