Book Reviews Right Arrow Catfish Books Right Arrow Wels Atlas Band 1 • Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded January 01, 2002

Wels Atlas Band 1

Title Wels Atlas Band 1
Author & (Publisher) Hans-Georg Evers and Ingo Seidel (Mergus, 2002)
Price £39.00
Subject Matter South American catfish of the loricariid subfamilies Hypoptopomatinae and Loricariinae and the families Cetopsidae, Nematogeneidae, and Trichomycteridae
Edition 1st, German

Need a reason to learn German? I'll give you 860. Hans-Georg Evers and Ingo Seidel have recently released Wels Atlas Band I (Catfish Atlas Vol. I), a wonderful book containing 860 pages of beautiful photos and authoritative information. This first book, in a series that we can only hope will eventually consist of many, many volumes, covers the loricariid subfamilies Hypoptopomatinae and Loricariinae, and the families Cetopsidae, Nematogeneidae, and Trichomycteridae. The layout follows the Baensch Atlas format of covering individual species with photos and information such as where the fish was imported or collected from, synonyms, spawning data, acceptable temperature range, estimated adult length, and suggested aquarium size.

Where this book differs from, and improves on, the Baensch format is the first 270 pages. This section is actually a book unto itself on the husbandry of loricariids and contains chapters on living space, feeding, aquarium care, diseases, captive spawning, and raising the fry. The living space or environment section is fantastic and contains photos and information from fourteen collecting trips to various rivers in Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela. Those interested in breeding loricariids will find the sections on captive spawning and raising loricariid fry very helpful.

The subsections on Hypoptopomatinae and Loricariinae are very well done and cover many fish that are very rarely seen in the hobby. There is much more to the Hypoptopomatinae than Otocinclus and much more to Loricariinae than Rineloricaria and Farlowella. Many interesting genera from these two subfamilies are covered for the first time outside of the scientific literature and the number of species being spawned from these subfamilies in Germany, as evidenced by the outstanding photography of eggs and fry, is just amazing.

Collectors of the bizarre will greatly appreciate this book's coverage of the families Cetopsidae, Nematogeneidae, and Trichomycteridae. Unfortunately, most hobbyist catfish books skip over these families making it very difficult to obtain the kind of information that a hobbyist needs. This book rectifies that problem and is essential to anyone interested in maintaining and studying these families.

Even if you do not speak a word of German, I highly recommend this book. The 1,000 plus photos alone make it a pleasure to browse through and no better identification guide to these fishes has ever been published. A full bibliography is also included and will prove very useful to anyone trying to locate additional literature on a specific fish or group of fishes. My only complaint…when does the English edition come out!?

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