Book Reviews Right Arrow Catfish Books Right Arrow DATZ Special L-Numbers • Article © Shane Linder, uploaded January 01, 2002

DATZ Special L-Numbers

Title DATZ Special L-Numbers
Author & (Publisher) Rainer Stawikowski, André Werner & Ingo Seidel (DATZ, 2004)
Price £19.00
Subject Matter All L-numbers: habitat, care & diet.
Edition 1st, English & German

The long awaited DATZ L Number book is finally here! The book consists of 130 pages that cover L 1 through L 385. Each fish is pictured the vast majority of the photographs are absolutely beautiful. Below each photograph, in German and English, are listed the L Number, possible genus, provenience information, estimated adult size, a few general notes on identification, and reference information for the issue of DATZ magazine that the fish originally appeared in. L Numbers that are duplicates are removed with notes as to why.

Thankfully, this book is more than just a collection of nice photographs. The book opens with several articles written by experts Rainer Stawikowski, Andre Werner, and Ingo Seidel that include: 15 years of L Numbers, Observations on the ecology of loricariid catfishes, and Fifteen years on: Care and reproduction of L Numbers. These articles provide a thorough introduction to loricariid habitats, aquarium husbandry, diet and feeding, and captive reproduction and are very well illustrated. The articles appear in both German and English and the English translations are well done and read effortlessly. Before moving on to the L Numbers section, the book covers 24 described species from various genera that are available to hobbyists from time to time.

My only "complaint" is that the book was published in a soft cover magazine format. I would imagine that this was done to keep the retail price down. However, I would have paid a bit more money for a book bound in a more durable manner. This is not a book that will not gather dust on the bookshelf. It is a reference guide that the pleco hobbyist will use daily and my copy is already showing signs of wear and tear.

A note on taxonomic terms used in the book: The book was published in 2004. However, I could find no publication information in the book. Hobbyists will immediately note that several taxonomic changes have taken place since the book was published. Some of these major changes may have been published after the book went to the printers. Others, such as the sinking of Panaqolus, were published before the DATZ book. Perhaps to no one's surprise this book continues using the so-called "DATZ Thirteen," thirteen genera that were proposed in the DATZ special (2000) issue "DATZ-Sonderheft Harnischwelse 2" by Isbrücker, Seidel, Michels, Schraml, and Werner.

This book is head and shoulders above any other L Number publication and should be in the library of any catfish hobbyist with an interest in plecos.

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