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Best non-web critter ID sources?

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Some of my favorite books:

 

Lieske & Myers: "Coral Reef Fishes"

Excellent travel companion: small yet quite comprehensive (for fishes only). However, sometimes species illustrations are quite not the same as photographs, especially for identifying things for the first time.

 

Kuiter, Debelius et al.: "A comprehensive guide to ..." series by TMC Publishing

Plenty of photographs, very comprehensive coverage of select fish families.

 

Debelius et al.: "Reef/Field Guide" series by IKAN.

Plenty of photographs, nice balance of fishes and other critters (in reef guides), the included short stories are both very interesting and informative.

 

Veron: "Corals of the world"

Very comprehensive (and a bit expensive); however, it is _only_ about hard corals!

 

Allen & Steene: "Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide"

Plenty of photographs with nice balance of fishes and other critters. However, provides very limited info on different species.

 

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About bookstores:

 

The marine ID book selection in Amazon.co.uk is quite limited. Amazon.com in US seems much better, but for Europeans it might create additional costs with VAT and shipping.

 

TMC series, IKAN series, and some others are available in

<a href='http://www.tmc-publishing.com/index.asp' target='_blank'>http://www.tmc-publishing.com/index.asp</a>

 

Another European specialist store is <a href='http://www.aquapress.co.uk/' target='_blank'>http://www.aquapress.co.uk/</a>

 

Feel free to add your favorites to the list. Xmas is coming :rolleyes:

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I recently bought "Soft Corals and Sea Fans" by Fabricius and Alderslade direct from Australian Institute of Marine Science,

http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/facilities/bo...t-corals01.html.

 

Price with international shipping was quite reasonable (IMO), although the book is only soft-cover.

 

The coverage of families of soft corals and sea fans is very comprehensive, with each genus being covered by ~1 page of text and ~1 page of images. The images in general are of good quality and useful for recreational ID purposes as well.

 

Now, however, I have a question: which book(s) should I buy to get coverage of the rest of the corals _not_ covered in this one or Veron's trilogy of hard corals? Especially anemones would be of interest...

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Answering to myself about the anemones: "Anemonefishes and their host sea anemones" by Fautin & Allen (revised edition, 1997) has some 30+ pages dedicated to sea anemones, and plenty more of their interaction with anemonefishes.

 

Layout of the book is nice and clear. There is a lot of info for those that want to know more than ID details. Images are big enough; the visual quality, however, varies from mediocre to very good. Overall I am happy I bought this one.

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I just purchased "The Reef Set, Reef Coral Identification, Reef Fish Identification, and Reef Creature Identification" by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach.

 

These three books have everything in the Florida, Caribbean and Bahamas range.

 

I dove the Caribbean Coast of Colombia and identified more than 50 species in reviewing my photographs, without identifying coral or sponges and such.

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Sea Challengers is a great source for ID books:

 

www.seachallengers.com

 

My favorite is Neville Coleman's 1001 Nudibranchs.

Cheers,

Marli

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Don't forget about Paul Humann's reef set, I think it is the best for the Caribbean, and now the 3rd edition of the fish book covers Brazil too. Since we have to disclose any conflict of interests, I have to say that I wrote the Brazilian fish appendix and they have my photos. :D:( But it's still a great book.

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Some new books just in time for Christmas (this isn't a commecial plug, they're really good guides):

 

Nudibranch Behavior by Dave Behrens

Easter Pacific Nudibranchs by Dave Behrens and Alicia Hermosillo

 

These are available from www.seachallengers.com, or the former can also be found at www.fishid.com

 

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest by Andy Lamb and Bernard P. Hanby

www.harbourpublishing.com

 

All three are marvelous!

Cheers,

Marli

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all those fancy tropicals, where does my dosh go ??

 

for those staying in temperate waters:

 

Lythgoe and Lythgoe - Fishes of the sea.

covers fish in the atlantic and med

 

Picton and Morrow - Field guide to the nudibranches of the british isles

lots of pics, and some nudi basics

 

maybe addional: Thompson. Molluscs Betnic Opisthobranchs (more scientific)

 

 

Another biggie is Hayward and Ryland Handbok of the marine fauna of North west Europe

 

Furthermore there are some field guides photographed and written by Steven Weinberg. For a long while they were only available as the french "decouvrir" -series. I know they are now available in Dutch (he is dutch), but dont know if he they are in english.

 

and then i have some that are only available in dutch, one on the Fishes from the Netherlands and a general one on sea life.

 

Gerard

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In Kuala Lumpur recently, I picked up the Ferrari's "A Diver's Guide to Underwater Malaysia Macrolife" at Kinokuniya. The soft-cover book covers 600 Indo-Pacific species (Fish, Flatworms, nudis, Cephalopods, Crustaceans, Asteroidea, Ophiuroidea and Echinoidea). It is well organized, the layout is nice and the photos are very good to stunning. Each species has info. on Distribution, Habitat, Size, Life Habits and Underwater Photo Tips. I recommend it for anyone interested in Indo-Pacific "muck" diving. It's also currently available at seachallengers.com and Amazon.com.

 

Cheers.

Michael.

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"Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific" by Allen, Steene, Humann and DeLoach follows the same style as the Caribbean series by Humann and DeLoach. Only fish are covered, though.

 

I like to complement this with more area-specific guides (e.g. Fishes of the Maldives by Kuiter).

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How could you leave out the following? :)

 

Gosliner T.M., Behrens D.W. and Williams G.C. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. Sea Challengers, Monterey, California, 314pp.

 

One thing to note, however, when looking through these sorts of books for IDs: they don't list every possible species. While some species are quite unique and matching to a photograph is all that is required, a great many species shown in books are just one of many and it is unwise to attribute a species name to something just because it looks similar to the photograph in a book.

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For Indonesia the 3 volume set " Indonesian Reef Fishes" is the best ID series I have seen.

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Is Debelius the best crustacean ID book to pick up, or do people have other favorites?

 

Richard.

 

 

Hoi Richard

It is a nice book, I use it a lot!

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There is also a great new book on the market about Nudibranches from Debelius and Kuiter.

Nice to have and it is really a big volume book! What I like in this book are the many pictures and also the slightly differences between the nudi's.

It calls: Nudibranches of the world, distribute by Ikan.

ISBN: 978-3-939767-06-0

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There is also a great new book on the market about Nudibranches from Debelius and Kuiter.

Nice to have and it is really a big volume book! What I like in this book are the many pictures and also the slightly differences between the nudi's.

It calls: Nudibranches of the world, distribute by Ikan.

ISBN: 978-3-939767-06-0

I just received "Nudibranchs of the World" in the mail.Excellent book

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Although this book has a lot of good photos and references, there are a number of errors. For example, it lists one nudibranch from Brazil that is actually from British Columbia, Canada. Other photos are simply incorrect. As well, there are a number of taxonomic "issues". Some areas of the "World" are truly underepresented; you are better to look for a comprehensive volume on a specific area. Don't get me wrong, I use this reference as it is the most complete one that I could find. If it's Indo Pacific you're after, there's a new nudibranch "bible". Hot off the press: Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs and Sea-Slugs authored by Terry Gosliner, Dave Behrens, and Angel Valdes. My Christmas present to me, and worth every penny (and it's a lot of pennies, as shipping costs are high as it's heavy). Lots of new species, and well organized for I.D. purposes.

You can find it at www.seachallengers.com (no, this is not an ad!)

 

Cheers,

 

Marli

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I recently bought "Soft Corals and Sea Fans" by Fabricius and Alderslade direct from Australian Institute of Marine Science,

http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/facilities/bo...t-corals01.html.

 

Price with international shipping was quite reasonable (IMO), although the book is only soft-cover.

 

The coverage of families of soft corals and sea fans is very comprehensive, with each genus being covered by ~1 page of text and ~1 page of images. The images in general are of good quality and useful for recreational ID purposes as well.

 

Now, however, I have a question: which book(s) should I buy to get coverage of the rest of the corals _not_ covered in this one or Veron's trilogy of hard corals? Especially anemones would be of interest...

 

I would recommend Erhardt & Knop 2005 Corals Indo-Pacific Field Guide (IKAN) for species-level identification of soft corals, gorgonians and anemones as well as hard corals. Although there may be some taxonomic differences between it and Veron's tome on hard corals and the coverage is nowhere as complete, it covers more species of the other groups than any other book with good uw photos. Its also small enough to be taken on a trip.

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Just received my pre-release and signed copy of Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach. For us marine bio wannabes, it's another jewel for the library. Highly recommended.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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"Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific" by Allen, Steene, Humann and DeLoach follows the same style as the Caribbean series by Humann and DeLoach. Only fish are covered, though.

 

 

"Reef Creature Identification" by Humann & Deloach now available. A good companion for Reef Fish ID.

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"Reef Creature Identification" by Humann & Deloach now available. A good companion for Reef Fish ID.

 

I should have added "Tropical Pacific" to the above title.

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I am looking for ID guides to the Sea of Cortez. Most I have found (2) are really old and taxonomically out of date/accuracy. Anyone know of anything recent?? Slugs are covered. (Doh!)

 

Cheers,

Marli

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For the reef fish fanatics, there is a fantastic new book that just came out:

 

Reef Fishes of the East Indies by Gerry Allen and Mark Erdmann

 

The book covers 2,600 species with 3,600 color photos and 1,292 pages! Some amazing work if you ask me.

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