Two adjunct curators of Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History recently published the long-awaited fifth edition of Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians.
The new fifth edition of Joseph T. Collins and Travis W. Taggart's compilation lists 590 kinds of amphibians, turtles, reptiles and crocodiles in the United States and Canada -- an increase of 136 species since the first edition was released in 1978.
The fifth edition also includes an updated section on alien species -- those that are not native, have escaped or been released in North America, and have become established in the United States or Canada. One of the most significant alien species is the large Indian Python, which is now a resident of south Florida. This serpent reaches a length in excess of 15 feet and can have a serious impact on native wildlife.
The standard common names listed in this work have been adopted by the Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America and The Center for North American Herpetology's Web site, located at www.cnah.org.
Single copies of this new edition are available from the CNAH, free of charge, by sending a self-addressed 7-inch-by-10-inch manila envelope affixed with first class postage for four ounces to CNAH, 1502 Medinah Circle, Lawrence, KS 66047.