564 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 6, No.3
Book Reviews of the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 6/3, 2007
Guide and Reference to the Amphibians
of Eastern and Central North
America (North of Mexico). R.D.
Bartlett and Patricia P. Bartlett. 2006.
University Press of Florida, Gainsville,
FL. 283 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN
0813029503. Identification guide to the
astonishing number of amphibian species
found from the eastern seaboard west to
the Dakotas and south to Texas. Especially
useful, given the current worldwide
amphibian decline. Authors note
that species in the guide book area are
doing well generally—better than most—
but are still exhibiting some reductions.
Includes excellent color photos throughout
and species-by-species descriptions
with maps. Also includes helpful general
descriptions of family characteristics.
Like all Bartlett guides, text is punctuated
by anecdotes and personal stories from
authors’ time in the field observing various
species. Could only be improved by
descriptions and photos of egg deposits to
aid in identification of breeding presence
of a species, without having to find an
adult specimen. Highly Recommended.
Guide and Reference to the Snakes of
Eastern and Central North America
(North of Mexico). R.D. Bartlett and
Patricia P. Bartlett. 2005. University
Press of Florida, Gainsville, FL. 342 pp.
$29.95, softcover. ISBN 081302935X. A
wonderful and readable guide to the various
families of snakes in Eastern North
America. Covers 209 species, including
native and introduced and naturalized
species. Coverage area extends west to
western Texas, North Dakota, and
Manitoba. Uses traditional “conservative”
taxonomy and acknowledges subspecies.
Includes key to families. Lengthy
discussion of each family and subfamily
as well as specific species. Personal stories
relating to the authors’ encounters
with each family enliven the text. Includes
a color photo of each species; color
variants discussed, but generally not represented
by photo. Includes glossary and
recommended reading. A useful reference,
highly recommended for general
outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Guide and Reference to the Crocodilians,
Turtles, and Lizards of Eastern
and Central North America (North of
Mexico). R.D. Bartlett and Patricia P.
Bartlett. 2006. University Press of
Florida, Gainsville, FL. 316 pp. $29.95,
softcover. ISBN 0813029465. Completes
the Bartlett guide book trilogy to
herptofauna. Includes excellent features
found in all Bartlett guides: full color
photos, range maps, clear and thorough
species discussions, helpful descriptions
of orders and families, and authors’ anecdotes
of field time. Includes 208 species.
Limited to adults. Nesting information included
in some family descriptions.
Guide is of limited utility in the northern
part of its coverage area, especially the
northeast, due to small number of species
(mostly turtles) found there. Highly recommended
for those in southern part of
coverage area. S.O’M.
The Mosquito Wars: A History of Mosquito
Control in Florida. Gordon
Patterson. 2004. University Press of
Florida, Gainesville, FL. 263 pp. $55,
hardcover. ISBN 0813027209. At one
time, mosquitos were so plentiful in
Florida that they literally drove humans
insane, killed livestock, and made three to
four months of the year a torment. This
book, written for the Florida History and
Culture Series, tells the story of the successful
effort to control mosquito population
levels in Florida. Written in a clear
and engaging style, this book details the
many strategies employed in this war, including
the widespread use of DDT and
other pesticides. Mosquitos were indeed
2007 Book Reviews 565
controlled, but at a great cost to the ecology
and environment of Florida, leading
to a public backlash against control measures.
The recent occurrence in Florida of
West Nile Virus and some cases of malaria
(both are transmitted by mosquitos)
may cause the debate to shift again. This
is a fascinating story, of interest to all
Floridians and to anyone concerned about
the use of insecticides. S.E.
Parasites and Diseases of Wild Mammals
in Florida. Donald J. Forrester.
1992. University Press of Florida,
Gainesville, FL. 459 pp. $59.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0813010721. This text discusses
the distribution, prevalence, and
significance of the parasites and diseases
afflicting a broad range of Florida’s mammalian
wildlife, including rodents, bats,
raccoons, armadillos, bears, panthers,
deer, and marine mammals. Though published
over 15 years ago, it remains a relevant
and useful text that has become a
standard reference for wildlife biologists,
epidemiologists, and veterinarians. Although
it is not a diagnostic manual, the
information it contains is helpful in confirming
a diagnosis. Contains many
charts and figures, as well as black-andwhite
photographs of disease-causing
agents and their manifestations, including
some histopathological slides. This text
belongs on the shelf of any Florida wildlife
biologist, but it is also useful well
outside of this region, since many of the
described diseases, parasites, and their
mammalian hosts are not limited to
The Cuban Treefrog in Florida: Life
History of a Successful Colonizing Species.
Walter E. Meshaka, Jr. 2001. University
Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
191 pp. $69.95, hardcover. ISBN
081302109X. Meshaka describes his
search to understand how the Cuban
treefrog has so successfully colonized the
southern Everglades. By comparing ten
traits important for colonization across
three geographic areas—its native habitat,
habitats to which it has been introduced,
and habitats at the northern range
of its introduced distribution—the author
seeks to provide an explanation for its
colonizing success. Chapters examining
the natural history of the treefrog, and a
brief introduction to the Everglades are
followed by detailed accounts of reproductive
biology, development and
growth, seasonal and night activity, habitat
affinity, diet, predation, and body size.
A synthesis of how well the treefrog correlates
with characteristics of colonizing
species and chapters outlining future
colonizing opportunities and its future in
the Everglades conclude the study. A list
of references and species index are provided.
The Liguus Tree Snails of South
Florida. Henry T. Close. 2000. University
Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 161
pp. $49.95, hardcover. ISBN
0813018145. This guide to the shells of
the Everglade tree snails is aimed at everyone
from beginning enthusiast to professional
malacologist. While the largest
section of this book covers shell identification
of the 59 named color forms, there
is also information on the ecology, biology
and evolution of the snails. Distribution
and dispersal are also addressed in
individual chapters. About 300 of the brilliantly
colored shells are depicted in color
plates. Appendices include classification
of color forms, a list of sinistral specimens
(those spiraling counterclockwise)
with location, collector, and date, and a
partial history of references beginning
chronologically in 1742. A bibliography
and index are also included. C.R.
The Exotic Amphibians and Reptiles of
Florida. Walter E. Meshaka, Jr., Brian P.
Butterfield, and J. Brian Hauge. 2004.
Krieger Publishing company, Malabar,
FL. 155 pp. $44.50, hardcover. ISBN
1575240424. Florida is home to more exotic
amphibians and reptiles than any
566 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 6, No.3
other state in the US and has more exotic
than native lizards. An updated list of species
and an account of each is provided.
Organized by family, each account includes
naming authority, common
name(s), a detailed description, body
measurements, a color photograph, and
discussion of similar species. A history of
the species’ introduction and distribution
is discussed. A range map is included.
Details regarding habitat and habits, reproduction,
diet, and predators are also
covered. This well-illustrated and comprehensive
book will be appreciated by
naturalists and land managers. A cross
reference between scientific and common
names is provided as is as an extensive
list of references. C.R.
Land Use Change and Mountain
Biodiversity. Eva M. Spehn, Maximo
Liberman, and Christian Körner (Eds.).
2006. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 362
pp. $109.95, hardcover. ISBN
084933523X. A collection of papers presented
at two Global Mountain
Biodiversity Assessment workshops in
Tanzania (2002) and Bolivia (2003) that
focused on biodiversity and sustainable
use of tropical and subtropical highlands.
An introduction is followed by a collection
of papers that address the effects of
fire and grazing on mountain biodiversity.
One section examines the effects of grazing
specifically on mountain forests. A
section of four chapters address the socioeconomic
aspects of land and mountain
biodiversity, followed by a chapter that
synthesizes human impacts of fire and
grazing and a chapter that presents a research
agenda for land use effects on
biodiversity. Separate subject, plant species,
and animal species indices are provided.
Wild Orchids of South Carolina: A
Popular Natural History. James
Alexander Fowler. 2005. University of
South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 242
pp. $39.95, hardcover. ISBN
1570035660. Fowler provides detailed
accounts of the 55 species of orchids
documented in the state. Several highquality
color pictures are provided for
each species, often showing close ups of
the flowers and the whole plant in its
habitat. Common and scientific names are
given for each with an interpretation of
the scientific name. A description identifies
distinguishing characters. Flowering
period, habitat, range, and pollinators are
also listed. A range map shows the counties
in which each orchid has been found.
A glossary and index conclude the book.
Written for those with an interest in natural
history, this book will be valued by
orchid and wildflower enthusiasts of the
The Reluctant Mr. Darwin. David
Quammen. 2006. W.W. Norton, New
York, NY. 304 pp. $22.95, cloth. ISBN
0393059812. A short biography of
Charles Darwin focusing on the period of
time after his return from sea in which he
developed the theory of natural selection
and published The Origin of Species.
Chiefly the account of intellectual development
of a specific idea, rather than a
comprehensive biography. Provides a
look at the social and intellectual context
of Darwin and his connection to the scientific
community at the time. Strong focus
on Darwin’s relationship to and semi-rivalry
with Alfred Wallace (who developed
a similar theory of evolution before
Darwin published his own). Very readable.
Useful in light of current evolution
debates. Recommended for anyone interested
in the history of science. S.O’M.
The Plausibility of Life: Resolving
Darwin’s Dilemma. Marc W. Kirschner
and John C. Gerhart. 2005. Yale University
Press, New Haven, CT. 314 pp. $18,
softcover. ISBN 0300119771. While Darwin
was able to make a strong case for
natural selection, he was less effective at
explaining variation. The authors have set
out to provide this explanation with the
2007 Book Reviews 567
theory of facilitated variation, which covers
how useful variations are produced
and how they affect evolutionary change.
Devoid of jargon specific to any particular
group of scientists and assisted by a
glossary, this book will be enjoyed by all.
Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes
of the South. Jack Temple Kirby.
2006. The University of North Carolina
Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 361 pp. $29.95,
hardcover. ISBN 0807830577. Kirby
presents a rambling narrative on how
people, past and present, relate to one another
and the landscapes of the south.
This is an environmental history as
shaped by humans. The ethics of the human
relationship to nature is touched on
in each chapter. The book begins with a
discussion of the native human cultures
that populated the south at the time of
contact with the first Europeans and describes
the interactions of these cultures.
European culture dominates the remainder
of the book, which examines the relationship
of people to the land with regard
to agriculture (the plantation) and wildlife
(how a hunting tradition was harnessed by
the military). The need for shelter as it
developed into construction of towns and
cities is discussed with a final chapter on
the postmodern landscapes that we have
constructed. Notes are provided for each
chapter, along with a brief index. C.R.
Pharsalia: An Environmental Biography
of a Southern Plantation, 1780-
1880. Lynn A. Nelson. 2007. University
of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 295 pp.
$39.95, hardcover. ISBN 0820326275.
Nelson tells the story of a Piedmont Virginia
plantation owned by a single family
for a century from a wealth of notes left
behind. The story documents the struggle
for agrarian independence and the negative
impacts of farming on the fragile
soils of the Piedmont. The result of a
single family’s attempt to work with the
environment, the marketplace, and their
own yearning for independence was similar
to others’ in the region and unexpectedly
resulted in agriculture as a form of
slave-dependent capitalism. Well written
and informative, this history of circumstances
leading up to the southern conservation
movement will be enjoyed by anyone
with an interest in agricultural issues,
both past and present, and how our treatment
of the land has far reaching consequences
we might not anticipate. C.R.
Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas.
Kevin G. Stewart and Mary-Russell
Roberson. 2007. University of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 298 pp.
$19.95, softcover. ISBN 0807857861. A
terrific guide to the geology of North and
South Carolina, aimed at the curious nonscientist.
Uses most-up-to-date research
on regional geology. First several chapters
provide an introduction to geology
and an overview of plate tectonics with a
history of the rocks that make up the region.
The rest of the text is devoted to
“Field Trips,” detailed descriptions of
sites in all three geological provinces
(Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal
Plain) that highlight geological features
of interest. A wide range of locations
from mountains to beaches are included.
Field-trip descriptions emphasize the geology,
but include limited directions and
access information. Includes helpful glossary
and recommended reading. S.O’M.
The Everglades: An Environmental
History. David McCalley. 1999. University
Press of Florida, Gainsville, FL. 215
pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 0813018277.
A fascinating and readable account of the
environmental history of the Everglades
wetland complex in south Florida. Discusses
the natural history and climate of
the glacial era. Detailed account of the
landscape before modern drainage and
reclamation efforts, with dramatic beforeand-
after photos. Includes native peoples.
Politics of the early 20th-century drainage
efforts are well documented. Ends with
568 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 6, No.3
short epilogue on restoration efforts. An
astonishing story. Includes notes and bibliography.
Recommended for anyone interested
in the Everglades, and as a case
history of landscape degradation. S.O’M.
Natural Histories: Stories from the
Tennessee Valley. Stephen Lyn Bales.
2007. University of Tennessee Press,
Knoxville, TN. 280 pp. $24.95, softcover.
ISBN 1572335610. Lovely nature writing,
bracketed by the Tennessee River and
the valley it drains. Each chapter focuses
on a different common species of the valley
and includes natural history information,
personal observations, human cultural
history, and the big picture connection.
Emphasizes the interconnectedness
of things. Gentle and lyrical. Recommended
for anyone who appreciates good
nature writing or is interested in the plants
and animals of the Southeast. S.O'M
Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in
Natural History. Stephen Jay Gould.
1992. W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.,
New York, NY. 285 pp. $15.95,
softcover. ISBN 0393308189. An engaging
collection of essays addressing all aspects
of evolution. Originally published in
1977, this collection seems as timely as
ever. Covering topics as diverse as human
evolution and continental drift, Gould
captures the interest of the naturally curious.
Fishes of the Middle Savannah River
Basin: With Emphasis on the Savannah
River Site. Barton C. Marcy Jr., Dean E.
Fletcher, F. Douglas Martin, Michael H.
Paller, and Marcel J.M. Reichert. Photographs
by David E. Scott. 2005. The University
of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 460
pp. $64.95, hardcover. ISBN
082032535X. The Middle Savannah River
Basin flows through South Carolina and
Georgia and is home to a great diversity of
fishes, with at least 118 native species.
This book covers 101 of those species,
including all 86 species specifically
known to occur at the Savannah River
Site, a nuclear power station. Early chapters
describe Savannah River tributaries
and habitats, followed by an introduction
to fish identification with a taxonomic key
to family. The majority of the book consists
of family and species accounts, with
family keys to species. Each species account
is accompanied by a detailed distribution
map and color photographs of the
live fish in its natural habitat. The photographs
are of excellent quality, and the
species accounts are concise but informative,
providing descriptions of the fish’s
appearance, meristic features, biology,
distribution, habitat, and size. Extensively
referenced to the literature. S.E.
The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of
Mexico. Bernd Würsig, Thomas A.
Jefferson, and David J. Schmidly. 2000.
Texas A&M University Press, College
Station, TX. 232 pp. $34.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0890969094. This text provides a
species checklist, identification keys, and
descriptions of all the marine mammals
believed to occupy the Gulf of Mexico.
Accompanied by more than thirty color
paintings by Larry Foster and thirty-two
color photographs. Also has a set of drawings
of marine mammal skulls that comprise
a skull key, allowing identification
of decomposed strandings. Additional
material provides an introduction to the
marine mammals of the world, a description
of the Gulf of Mexico and how it has
been impacted by humans, a history of
cetacean research in the Gulf, and worldwide
status and conservation. This book
is of more than regional appeal, as many
of these animals are migratory and can be
found elsewhere. A listing of all of the
worlds’ marine mammals, an extensive
bibliography, and the beautiful illustrations
further add to the broad appeal of
this book. S.E.
Down to the Waterline: Boundaries,
Nature, and the Law in Florida. Sara
Warner. 2005. The University of Georgia
Press, Athens, GA. 266 pp. $44.95, hard2007
Book Reviews 569
cover. ISBN 0820327034. In most states,
the Ordinary High Water Line functions
as the boundary between public waters
and private uplands. Using the state of
Florida as a case study, this book examines
the legal implications of a natural
boundary that is always subject to change.
Human activity, such as the
channelization of rivers, and natural
events, such as droughts and floods, often
shift the contours of established boundaries.
Warner uses some of the subsequent
legal battles to underline how natural ecosystems
are often better when left alone,
and that nature can derail the best manmade
plans. This is a useful book for public-
policy professionals, advocates for
public access to fresh-water ecosystems,
and to anyone who owns property along a
Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of
a Social Mind. Dorothy L. Cheney and
Robert M. Seyfarth. 2007. University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 348 pp.
$27.50, hardcover. ISBN 0226102432.
Based on 15 years of field research, this
book explores the ability of baboons to
understand their own existence and
knowledge, and seeks to determine the inner
mental life of this primate. Reviews
the existing literature and theories of social
organization and animal cognition.
Goes beyond simple in situ observation;
authors conducted many field experiments
to test their ideas. Extensive references.
Non-technical but dense, recommended
for those with a specific interest
in animal cognition. S.O'M.
Seashore Animals of the Southeast: A
Guide to Common Shallow-water Invertebrates
of the Southeastern Atlantic
Coast. Edward E. Ruppert and Richard
S. Fox. 1988. University of South
Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 429 pp.
$29.95, softcover. ISBN 0872495353.
This is a very good field guide, designed
for use by the public but informative and
scientific enough for any student of marine
biology. An illustrated key in the first
chapter that groups seashore animals by
their overall appearance allows for a
quick identification to at least the level of
order or family. Further identification is
enabled by means of over 100 drawings
and 175 photographs (100 of them in
color). Clear and informative written descriptions
of more than 300 common seashore
animals give details on identification,
biology, and ecology. Chapters at the
end of the guide provide more information
on the major groups of marine animals,
marine ecology, and how currents, waves,
and tides influence marine life-forms.
This is a must-have book for beachcombers
and marine biologists, amateurs and
professionals alike. S.E.
100 Butterflies and Moths: Portraits
from the Tropical Forests of Costa
Rica. Jeffery C. Miller, Daniel H. Janzen,
and Winifred Hallwachs. 2007. Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, MA. 356
pp. $39.95, hardcover. ISBN
067402334X. A lovely collection of photographs
and descriptions of tropical butterflies
and moths. Photos of adults are
full page and full color and organized one
through one hundred. A numbered species-
by-species account follows, and each
includes a photo of the species as caterpillar.
Special attention is paid to Area de
Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), a conservation
wildland in northwestern Costa
Rica; all of the species photographed were
collected in ACG. Recommended for
Lepidoptera lovers and those interested in
Costa Rican natural history. S.O'M.
Science in Latin America: A History.
Juan Jose Saldana (Ed.). 2006. University
of Texas Press, Austin, TX. 256 pp. $45,
hardcover. ISBN 0292712715. This book
of nine essays by leading Latin American
scholars explores the history of science
development in Latin American. Premised
on the belief that it is necessary for nations
who are “peripheral” to scientific
advances and lack international stature in
570 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 6, No.3
science must understand what factors
have impeded or fostered the development
of science in their countries as well as
what actual and potential for science development
exists. Often relying on scant
data, i.e., church records, these scholars
trace the history of scientific developments
and key scientists in the sixteenth
through twentieth centuries. Among the
contextual factors seen as modifying scientific
advancement are religious repression
of the Spanish Inquisition, repressive
colonization policies and practices, importation
of basic science and scientists
from Europe, wars of emancipation, political
developments in emergent nation
states, and local industrial economics.
Conversance in Latin American geogra-
The following Figure should have appeared on page 326 of the paper entitled
"Factors Influencing Paddlefish Spawning in the Tombigbee Watershed" by Daniel
M. O’Keefe, Johanna C. O’Keefe, and Donald C. Jackson in the last issue of the
Southeastern Naturalist (Volume 6, Number 2). The online version of the article in
the BioOne.org database has been corrected.
Figure 2. Gage height and water temperature in the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway,
AL, below Howell Heflin Dam during spring 2005, with number of successful egg
samplers (numerator) and number of functioning egg samplers (denominator) shown
above the abscissa. Collection of one or more paddlefish eggs on an egg sampler was
considered a success.
phy and history enhances comprehension
of developmental nuances. An unintended
outcome of this review is the vivid portrayal
of tenacity required of Latin American
scientists in their struggle to create
science for local and international use. Although
aimed primarily at scholars of the
history of science, this book will interest
concerned citizens, policymakers, and
politicians who wish to promote scientific
development in Latin America and similarly
challenged countries. N.L.
Book Reviewers: S.E. = Stephen Eddy,
N.L. = Nancy Lovejoy, S.O’M. = Sarah
O'Malley, C.R. = Cathy Rees.