Finding animals in the current western field guide Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 3rd edition. 2003, by Robert C. Stebbins, takes too long for me when I use the index in the back of the book, so I put together two one-page indexes that make finding a plate, range map, or description of an animal easier. One index is oranized by common names, the other by scientific names. You can use one or both. They are formatted to fit the field guide so you can cut them and glue them inside the book covers. These indexes were inspired by one-page indexes to some of the older bird field guides. The new bird guides often include them now.
Click here to download a PDF file which has been formatted to work with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Each entry will direct you to the section of a book where you can find a picture (plates), text, or range map covering a particular species, providing a faster more concise index than is available in the back of the book. Go to the plate, page, or map number listed on the index then turn forward until you find the specific animal you are seeking. If there are two lines of numbers, the bottom line covers Baja endemics (pages 419-432, plates 53-56, and maps 195-204.)
Using the indexes requires a little experience with the names of western reptiles and amphibians since they rely on a knowledge of either the Latin genus, or the common name for a genus or species, but this should be fairly intuitive: the Great Basin Whiptail is listed under Lizards - Whiptails, on one index, and Cnemidophorus on the other; the Desert Rosy Boa under Snakes - Rosy Boa and Charina; the Northern Leopard Frog is listed under Frogs - Leopard and Rana, etc.
The Latin and common names follow those used by the author. Sometimes animals are known by alternate names, which are not listed here. In some cases, where space allowed, I have split a genus into several common names, such as Plethodon, the Woodland Salamanders, which has been divided into species common names, and Sceloporus, the Spiny Lizards, which has been divided into Bunchgrass, Fence, Sagebrush, Spiny, and Striped Plateau lizards.
Unfortunately, in order to fit all of this information into roughly 7 by 4 inches, I needed to use very small text.
These indexes have been checked for accuracy, but if you find a mistake, have a suggestion to improve them, or just find them useful, please email me.