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New Shrooms and Herps Guidebooks

Jul 09, 2010

If you have done much exploration of Missouri’s outdoors, you have surely come across unfamiliar fungi, reptiles or amphibians. Two new guidebooks are now available to help you identify and appreciate the species in these groups.

"Show-Me Herps," by John Miller, is a colorful guide to 50 of Missouri’s amphibians and reptiles. “Herps” is an abbreviated word from the Greek "herpeto," meaning “animals that creep.” "Show-Me Herps" includes descriptions and colorful illustrations of 18 amphibians and 32 reptiles. Besides the description, habitat and food preferences of each species, the guide lists “cool facts” about each creature that are sure to capture the imagination of young and old alike. Did you know that the alligator snapping turtle is North America’s largest freshwater turtle species, with a record weight of 316 pounds? Do you know why the western slender glass lizard is not a snake, even though it has no legs? It’s in there!

"Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms" provides color photos and detailed descriptions of 102 common Missouri mushrooms, including nine poisonous species. The section on “cookery” includes 24 favorite recipes featuring edible mushrooms. While not a comprehensive guide to all fungi in Missouri, readers of this book will receive an excellent introduction to mushroom hunting and identification. They will also likely come to share author Maxine Stone’s fascination with these organisms.

Both publications are available through the Department’s regional offices and nature centers, online at the MDC Nature Shop and at many bookstores statewide.

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