Below you will find some great snake books on various species of snakes and other reptiles, most available through a local University library or research library:
Books on Cobras and General Serpents
1) “Cobras in his Garden” By Harry Kursh
One of the best books on cobras and snakes, from the eyes of the famous Snake Expert, William “Bill” Haast. Published back in 1965, it is sadly out of print and hard to find, but Amazon sometimes has copies, or you can try other auction and book finder sites. Here’s a review by one reader: “William “Bill” Haast takes you farther into sceintific areas, without boring or losing the reader, than any book I have ever read. He will dispell all of the rumours and myths, that most people beleive about snakes. He also takes you on a trip through his own personal triumphs & tragedies and learning experiences, that made him an expert in his field. This is a fascinating book for young or old, and I highly recommed it…”
Comprehensive, up-to-date, and richly illustrated with some 200 color photographs, The New Encyclopedia of Snakes is definitely the best single-volume reference on snakes.
3) Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O’Shea
In this comprehensive volume, author Mark O’Shea has combined expertly written, in-depth descriptions of the world’s common and exotic venomous snakes, highlighted by previously unpublished gripping accounts of his adventures with snakes, including personal observations and several serious snakebite episodes. This is also one of our favorite snake books.
4) Good Snakekeeping: A Comprehensive Guide to All Things Serpentine By Phillip Purser
This comprehensive guide contains entries on more than 35 snake species, from those commonly available to subspecies and related species, desirable rarer species, and even species to avoid altogether. Written by an expert snake keeper, the chapters detail the natural range, habitat, pet suitability, and specific care requirements of different snakes. The book also discusses creating habitats for pet snakes, including cage types, substrates, heating, lighting, humidity, and terrarium fixtures, and provides instructions for setting up the enclosure for desert, forest, rainforest, and semi-aquatic species. Another favorite on our short snake books list.
5) Serpentine by Mark Laita
Photographer Mark Laita unveils a pantheon of spectacular snakes in this electrifying collection. Inciting both allure and alarm, shining pastel pythons and vibrant green vipers slither across the pages. An illuminating essay by William T. Vollmann accompanies the images, delving into the associations with snakes that haunt our collective imagination.
From the iridescent blue Malaysian coral snake to the candy-cane-striped albino Honduran milk snake, the aptly named beautiful pit viper, and the gleaming black mamba, the world’s most dangerous and gorgeous snakes are pictured in Serpentine, showing off their fascinating colors and textures—as well as the sensual forms their movement creates. Through Laita’s lens, there is nothing they can do, no position they can take, that fails to be anything but mesmerizing.
6) Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature By Harry W. Greene, Photographers: Michæl Fogden and Patricia Fogden
This is a book about some of nature’s most alluring and forbidding creatures, written by a man with an abiding passion for snakes, as well as for science, the fate of the planet, and the wonder of life. Harry Greene presents every facet of the natural history of snakes—their diversity, evolution, and conservation—and at the same time makes a personal statement of why these animals are so compelling.
This book provides an up-to-date summary of the biology of snakes on a global basis. Eight chapters are devoted to general biology topics, including anatomy, feeding, venoms, predation and defense, social behavior, reproduction, evolution, and conservation; eight chapters survey the major snake groups, including blindsnakes, boas, colubrids, stiletto snakes, cobras, sea snakes, and vipers. Details of particular interest, such as coral snake mimicry and the evolution of the0 rattle, are highlighted as special topics. Chapter introductory essays are filled with anecdotes that will tempt nonspecialists to read on, while the book’s wealth of comprehensive information will gratify herpeto-culturalists and professional biologists.
7) Cobras (Snakes) by Melissa Higgins
Melissa Higgins has written over 30 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. She especially like writing about animals, even scary ones. She has written three books about snakes. Ms. Higgins lives in the Arizona desert with her husband and two cats.
Reptiles and Herpetology
1) DK Eyewitness Books: Reptile by Colin McCarthy
With more than twenty million copies sold in forty languages in ninety countries worldwide, DK Eyewitness been the most trusted young adult nonfiction book series for more than thirty years. Visually engaging, informative, and lively, the one-hundred-plus titles in the Eyewitness series focus on subjects that complement students’ personal interests and areas of study to make learning simple and fun…
2) Herpetology, Third Edition: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles By Laurie J. Vitt and Janalee P. Caldwell
This third edition, now fully revised and updated by two of Dr. Zug’s colleagues, provides herpetology students and amateur reptile and amphibian keepers with the latest taxonomy and species developments from around the world. Herpetology is a rapidly evolving field, which has contributed to new discoveries in many conceptual areas of biology. The authors build on this progress by updating all chapters with new literature, graphics, and discussions-many of which have changed our thinking.
3) Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota By John J. Moriarty and Carol D. Hall
Snakes on the patio, salamanders in the basement, frogs crossing the road, and turtles nesting on the shore in the land of 10,000 lakes: from the enchanted child to the curious adult, from the amateur naturalist to the dedicated conservationist, living with wildlife in Minnesota means finding amphibians and reptiles in prairies and forests and your own backyard…
Venom and Toxicology
1) Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, Eighth Edition by Curtis Klaassen
The most trusted all-in-one overview of the biomedical and environmental aspects of toxicology–NOW more complete, up-to-date, and in full color. The Basic Science of Poisons not only delivers a comprehensive review of the essential components of toxicology, it offers the most up-to-date, revealing, and in-depth look at the systemic responses of toxic substance available anywhere.
2) Casarett & Doull’s Essentials of Toxicology, Second Edition by Curtis Klaassen and John B. Watkins III
The most concise and authoritative introduction to the principles of toxicology and how poisons affect the human body – now in full color.
A Doody’s Core Title ESSENTIAL PURCHASE for 2011! This book is an easy-to-absorb distillation of the field’s gold-standard text Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. Presented in full color for the first time, the book combines an accessible and engaging approach with coverage of essential introductory concepts to provide you with a solid grounding in basic and medical toxicology.
3) Dreisbach’s Handbook of Poisoning: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment By Bev-Lorraine True and Robert H. Dreisbach
Now in its thirteenth edition, Dreisbach’s Handbook of Poisoning is long established as the definitive handbook of poisoning for all physicians, nurses, crisis and hotline workers, paramedics, and students. Rapid response is critical during the initial management of poison cases. This ready-reference guide provides antidotes, antivenins, and more for a vast number of substances. It covers medical toxicology – including prevention and management of exposures, poisonings, adverse effects, abuse and withdrawal from pharmaceuticals—and household, environmental, and natural hazards.
And some more good stuff on our website:
For more fast facts about Cobras click here.