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Thread: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

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    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

    Title: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa
    Authors: Louis du Preez and Vincent Carruthers
    Publisher: Struik Nature, Cape Town, South Africa
    Date: 2009
    488 pages, softcover with plastic protective cover
    $26.00 from amazon.com
    Audio CD included

    If you are interested in the frogs and toads of southern Africa, you will fall in love with this book. It is written in field guide style but has much more. There are sections covering identification and taxonomy, morphology and physiology, and reproduction and vocalization. There are extensive field keys for both adults and tadpoles that help you to easily identify each species.

    Thumbing through the species description section, you are greeted with a wealth of information that will blow your mind. Each entry contains the common name, scientific name, the meaning of the scientific name, range map and photos of both adult frogs and their tadpoles, as well as a complete narrative. The key ID points "box" is especially helpful because it identifies the key differences among the various species within the genus.

    The book covers the frogs and toads native to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique. There are also spectrograms (sonograms) and an audio CD (MP3 format) with the calls of all 146 species.

    The authors of the book are top notch in their field. Vincent Carruthers is a respected South African environmentalist and authored or co-authored several books on this subject - including Frogs and Frogging in Southern Africa and South African Frogs (with Neville Passmore). Louis du Preez is a professor of zoology at North-West University and heads the African Amphibian Conservation research group.

    I found this book extremely helpful in knowing more about the frogs and toads of southern Africa. It is very easy to read and doesn't require that you have degree in biology to appreciate what it has to offer. I have purchased several books on African amphibians, many costing more then twice the price of this book, yet none of them are as thorough and comprehensive as A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa. If you had to choose one book on African frogs, this would be the one!
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
    ---
    Adrian Forsyth

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  3. #2
    Phineas
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    Default Re: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

    Does this book have a species section on the African Red Toad, Schismaderma Carens?

    Other than very basic material, I'm having some difficulty getting info on their traits, diet, whether they brumate for periods of time, preferred humidity, etc.

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    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    Does this book have a species section on the African Red Toad, Schismaderma Carens?

    Other than very basic material, I'm having some difficulty getting info on their traits, diet, whether they brumate for periods of time, preferred humidity, etc.
    Hi Phineas:

    Yes, the book has a general description of the habits and habitat of the African red toad. These toads live in savanna and woodland areas and easily adapts to human habitation. They require deep pools for breeding and hibernate a far distance from water. Even though they have an absence of parotoid glands, they are able to secrete a toxic substance from the skin if handled too roughly. They are active at both day and night and breed during the southern spring/summer (September through March) and can be active through May, when they seek out places to hibernate. The book is designed as a field guide, but will offer insight into the species for those of us who are serious about keeping frogs.
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
    ---
    Adrian Forsyth

  5. #4
    Phineas
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    Default Re: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

    Thank you, Terry, for the quick and informative reply. I've had a large female Red Toad for a couple of years now and, regrettably, she did not come with an owner's manual. She has been kept in a moderately humid environment with a year-round temp of 76-80 degrees F and I have never seen her in the daytime, and only rarely at night and then only to soak about once every other week. A frustrating "pet" indeed, and I've always wondered whether they are all so reclusive.

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    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

    I understand about the fact that frogs don't come with an instruction manual I keep a journal of all the bits of information I collect about frogs - you never know when they will come in handy. Although, I been keeping clawed frogs for years, my next frog adventure will be with African reed frogs. They are exciting and colorful little frogs that are really easy to keep and breed.

    An interesting note about African red toads - they are known to lay 20,000 eggs, no wonder they need a deep pool! Also, males will float on the water while one of their legs are attached to a reed while calling. The vocal sac appears to keep their head above water. Good luck with your toad!
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
    ---
    Adrian Forsyth

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    Default Re: BOOK REVIEW: A Complete Guide to the Frogs of Southern Africa

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