Biologia Centrali Americana: Reptilia and Batrachia.
Item ID 68655
London, Taylor & Francis, 1885-1902. Large 4to (30.3 x 24.8 cm). xx, 326 pp., 76 plates (eight in full colour). Publisher's blue cloth. Gilt title on the spine. Top edge gilt. A great classic work and a basic contribution to the herpetology of Central America with its exceedingly fine illustrations of many new and little-known species. It is one of the most important herpetological contributions of the German-British herpetologist Albert Carl Ludwig Gotthilf Günther (1830-1914). "Günther's work on lower vertebrates was regularly cited by Charles Darwin in his book Descent of Man (1871)" (Adler). This edition was printed in less than 300 copies and has therefore become very scarce. The engravings, by R. Mintern, P. Smit and J. Green, are superb. The SSAR reprint, with the plates reduced by 10%, is no match. Plates 1-18 show turtles; 19-32 depict lizards; 33-59 snakes; 60-74 frogs and toads, and 75-76 other amphibians. Plates 26, 36, 38, 42, 50, 51, 62, and 71 are beautifully coloured. The number of coloured plates is known to vary. Some copies have 11 or 12 coloured plates, others none at all. Unmarked. Binding slightly weak, light shelf wear to boards, a few plates a trifle foxed, and one with vague, marginal damp staining, obviously from before binding; otherwise clean, apart from an occasional light spot, as usual. A very good copy. Adler I, p. 46; Crane Library, AC50; Nissen ZBI, 1745, 4589; Vanzolini I, p. 147.