Reptile Ravings


 A Guide to Australian Frogs in Captivity - Book Review

Friday, October 26, 2012

Australian herpetoculture trails the USA and Europe in many aspects but particularly in amphibian husbandry and breeding where progress has been slow and intermittent. It was with great anticipation that I received a copy of this new publication and there is no doubt it is streets ahead of anything produced locally before. The book is divided into three main sections beginning with general aspects of husbandry, such as housing, feeding and breeding, followed by a section on health and diseases and finally the second half of the book covers specific species accounts. The photography throughout the book is of a high standard and I am especially pleased to see useful photographs of cage types, furnishings and equipment, which are often omitted in place of extra species pictures. Scott’s species photographs are a beautiful bonus in the book and the addition of habitat shots will assist keepers in assessing the captive requirements of the species concerned. I was disappointed that the photograph captions in the husbandry sections did not include scientific names. 


The husbandry section includes invaluable information on amphibian care that is often overlooked or glossed over—such as handling, enclosure design and layout and heating, all essential components for successful husbandry. The heating and feeding sections are especially useful and cover a broad range of options in some detail. Some of the information in other sections unfortunately is not so thorough and further clarification and data should have been provided to avoid confusion particularly with regards lighting, humidity and tadpole feeding. 

The health and diseases section is a fantastic addition to the book and provides welcome overview to this aspect of amphibian care that to my knowledge has not been readily available before. It is clearly written by a professional but in a way that general keepers and hobbyists can understand and interpret.

Finally, the species section is richly illustrated with great photographs and efficiently consolidates a great deal of information into brief subsections, particularly with regards breeding, egg production and growth. It is difficult not to be repetitive with this type of layout and I wondered if combining several closely related species together may have been a better option in some cases to remove the repetition and provide space for more detailed data for example on the use of different techniques to stimulate breeding in certain species. However, the amount of invaluable information squeezed into the publication will ensure that it will always be close at hand to any keen hobbyist having the pleasure to work with our fascinating and unique Australian frogs.

Reviewed by Robert Porter
October 2012


A Guide to Australian Frogs in Captivity, by Scott Eipper




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