Known as Driftwood catfish, the family Auchenipteridae are quintessential catfish. They are, as a family, odd to look at, possessed of various intriguing behavioral quirks and come in all sizes and colourations. Sparse availability of these catfish further adds to their "collectability" and general intrigue surrounding this family. All these features are deftly described in this, to my mind, the most currently valuable of Sand's series of books. This information on Auchenipteridae and the other family,Pimelodidae, covered by volume 3 is equally well represented particularly by some exceptional photographs tempered with splatterings of the author's tangible frustration discussing the taxonomic confusion surrounding Pimelodids.
All in all great catfish reading, my only gripe is the distinct lack of information on housing (I purposely use the term "housing" rather than "keeping") the big cats like the South American Red Tail and Shovelnose catfishes. Sands set up a club solely for information sharing on the S.A. Red Tail yet none of this information is published here. In fairness perhaps this was after the book went into print. In summary, if I were to have one volume from this series it would be this one.
Back to Book Review index.