With more than 6 000 photographs of marine fishes this book sets a new benchmark for their identification. It provides the greatest possible coverage and is aimed primarily to assist people interested in marine fishes and their scientific names or classification. Presented here are the fishes one is likely to see when diving or snorkelling in the sea, as well as those that are traded in the aquarium industry. Most species occur on shallow reefs in tropical seas, with the greatest species-diversity in the Southeast Asian Regions. This World Atlas includes both tropical and temperate fishes that are found around inshore coral and rocky reefs, as well as pelagics that visit these waters. Depending on the size and popularity of the groups or families, introductions to these provide general information on distribution and habitat, number of species, interesting facts on behaviour and aquarium suitability. Large families have an introduction each, whilst small families with few species are combined as a group. Sharks and rays that comprise numerous orders or families with just one, two or a few species are treated as single large groups. In the case of very large families like wrasses, damsels or gobies, separate introductions may be dedicated to each distinctive group or subfamily. Number of illustrations per page varies between groups due to the different shapes and sizes of their representatives. The greatest possible number of photographs is used on a page, but in sizes that clearly identify the fish. Variable species may be illustrated with more than one picture. In all, included are some 4.200 species. Scientific order – elasmobranches (sharks and rays) and bony fishes (eels to sunfishes)- is maintained as much as possible, but some small families are combined on pages to suit the layout and make optimal use of the space available. This is an invaluable reference book for the great variety of marine fishes found in the world’s seas. As such it addresses all fish enthusiasts – divers, snorkelers, fish watchers, fisherman, reef surveyors, aquarist, ichthyologist and biogeographers.
Rudie H. Kuiter et Helmut Debelius