Amphibians of Malawi

By Margaret M. Stewart

Hardcover : 9780873950275, 163 pages, June 1967

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Table of contents





The History of Amphibian Studies in Malawi

What an Amphibian Is


Amphibians as Objects of Study


Collecting amphibians
Killing and preserving amphibians
Keeping amphibians in captivity
Recording voices
Identifying features


Petinent Literature

Presentation of Material


Systematic Index of Species

Key for Identification of Species

Species Accounts

Literature Cited

Glossary of Terms


Map of Malawi


A handbook for the herpetologist—professional, student, or amateur—anxious to acquaint himself with African Amphibia. The geographic location and climatic variety of Malawi make it possible for this small country to support a large number of frogs and toads, many of them representative of much of sub-Sahara Africa. This book contributes greatly to the relatively sparse literature on African Amphibia.

Professor Stewart bases her book on extensive field notes made during a year's stay in Malawi, supplemented by museum and literature research. A talented draftsman as well as a trained biologist, she has provided over sixty detailed drawings to accompany her species descriptions. In addition, twenty full-color photographs illustrate some of the more striking varieties. The species descriptions note not only distinguishing features for identification, but provide full information on life history and habits. The book contains a key for identification of the species covered, generic characteristics, a glossary, a bibliography, a systematic index of species as well as a general index.

The student and amateur herpetologist will be particularly interested in Dr. Stewart's introduction which discusses the background of amphibian studies in Malawi and the "whys and hows" of amphibian studies in general. This includes "what an amphibian is," notes on classification, and how to collect, record, and identify frogs. Throughout the book, she points the student to area where more knowledge is needed and unsolved problems remain.

Margaret M. Stewart is professor of biology at the State University of New York, Albany, New York. She holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Cornell University. Her major field is vertebrate zoology with a specialty in herpetology. Dr. Stewart has taught at the University of North Carolina, Catawba College, and, for the past ten years, at the State University of New York at Albany. In addition to teaching, she has conducted research on amphibians, primarily salamanders. While in Africa, her studies centered around frogs and toads which are so abundant in the tropics. During the year 1963–1964, she accompanied her husband, Professor Paul C. Lemon, to Malawi where he studied the ecology of the Nyika Plateau. During that time, she made field studies and collections of amphibians, primarily in the Northern Region of Malawi. She presents her observations in the form of an illustrated handbook of amphibians, many of which are common throughout Central Africa.