Reference Books for Black Water Subjects
Reference Books for Black Water Subjects By Linda Ianniello
Updated May 25, 2020
Here is the list of books I use for identifying the subjects I find off the coast of southeast Florida (Atlantic Ocean). I have found that not just one of them is sufficient; I end out hunting in all of them just to get close then usually head for the web. And none of them are good for larval fish; there is a huge book on larval fish for our area, but it costs approximately $300.
Some of these are old and out of print, but I was able to find used copies in good condition. I provided the links to the books in Amazon, just for reference purposes.
- Plankton: Wonders of the Drifting World by Christian Sardet.
Excellent images. It also has some good write-ups, but is limited in subjects of the size and type we see. But it is a good starting point.
- Ocean Drifters by Richard R. Kirby
Similar to the Plankton book, hard copy with lots of pretty images and some good text. I use it a fair amount as a starting point.
- Zooplankton of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts by Johnson & Allen
This book has drawings instead of photos, but it has good information about the subjects.
- Pacific Coast Pelagic Invertebrates, A Guide to the Common Gelatinous Animals by David Wrobel and Claudia Mills
Good for jellyfish types, and even though it is Pacific coast we see a lot of the same stuff in our area. It is paperback, and not very thick, but I like it for what it covers.
- Marine Plankton, A Practical Guide, by G.E. Newell and R.C. Newell
This one has drawings, with a lot of information, but I find I am not using it much. A lot of it is creatures too small for us to find and photograph.
Coastal Marine Zooplankton by C.D. Todd, M.S. Laverack & G.A. Boxshall
This is a book for students, also has drawings. It is not many pages, so not a lot of subjects, but has some good information. It is published in the UK so I assume the subjects are from that area, but the principles are the same. I find that I don’t use it much; it is too limited.
- Pelagic Snails – The Biology of Holoplanktonic Gastropod Mollusks by Carol M. Lalli and Ronald W. Gilmer
Again drawings and not a lot of images, but good information about mollusks. I use it a fair amount as this is one of my main interests. It is just the right amount of scientific info.
- Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Invertebrate Larvae by Tyler J. Carrier, Adam M. Reitzel and Andreas Heyland
This is brand new, I had high hopes, but it is VERY technical. Too technical for me; it is not good for IDs, might be of help if you wanted to learn the really in-depth science. I would not recommend it for our purposes.
- The Wonder World of Juvenile Fish by Jiro Sakaue – in Japanese from Amazon Japan
A good starter book for fish IDs. It is written in Japanese but the Latin IDs are useful.
- Field Guide to Marine Plankton by Wakabayashi Kaori, Yuji Tanaka and Abe Hideki, in Japanese from Amazon Japan
A great variety of subjects and the Latin IDs are useful. I just wish the images were a little larger…
- A Photographic Guide to the Jellyfishes of Japan by Ryo Minemizu
I found it very easy to order from Amazon Japan, I just had to set up an international account. Once the order was placed the books arrived in Southeast Florida in 3 days!
- World Atlas of Jellyfish edited by Gerhard Jarms and Andre’ C. Morandini
An excellent reference for world-wide jellyfish. Over 800 pages of information and awesome images.
- Atlas of Crustacean Larvae edited by Joel W. Martin, Jorgen Elesen and Jens T. Hoeg
Drawings and photos of crustacean larvae for those who want to drill deeply into this area.
- Atlas of Marine Invertebrate Larvae edited by Craig M. Young
I managed to find a used book, and had high hopes, but found it hard to use. It is all illustrations, no photos, and most are “younger” larvae than what we would see and photograph. But there is a lot of great information.
- BLACKWATER Creatures, A Guide To Southeast Florida Blackwater Diving by Linda Ianniello and Susan Mears
I have to mention our book – it is a compilation of the subjects that can be found on black water dives in southeast Florida, with information about each of them. Many of the subjects are similar to those found world-wide.