This book is an in-depth look at the natural history of every single snake and lizard species/subspecies found in Iowa. Each of the thirty-three species accounts includes a sampling of the common names the species has been known by in the past, the first specimens collected in the state, and a brief history of the early Iowa literature related to the species, along with a complete description and a discussion of similar species, distribution in the state, habitat, behavior, threats, foods and feeding, and reproduction.

While readers will be able to identify Iowa’s snakes and lizards through its species accounts, identification keys, and beautiful photographs and illustrations, this book is intended to be more than a field guide. What makes it truly unique is the comparison of historic data collected by Iowa herpetologists in the 1930s and 1940s with data collected by the author, along with James L. Christiansen and others, since 1960. Custom maps show the reader how species’ distributions have changed over time.

“This book will be cherished by anyone interested in the natural world. No other state or regional book provides the breadth of knowledge and history that this book offers. Professionals have been waiting a long time for this kind of work to be published on Iowa’s snakes and lizards, and we will use it on an almost daily basis.”—Paul Frese, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
“The herpetological community has long awaited a publication of this scale. Comprehensive species accounts that include all with descriptions, distributions, diet, reproductive biology, and all other essential elements of a species’ natural history make this book the authoritative volume on Iowa’s snakes and lizards. I am eager to add it to my professional reference library.”—Daniel Fogell, author, A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Nebraska
"This book has truly set the bar high for natural history accounts, and VanDeWalle is to be congratulated for producing such a useful guide for Iowa’s snakes and lizards.”—Herpetological Review

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Publication Details

Publication Date
Trim size
6 × 9
35 color maps, 46 b&w figures, 129 color photos