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Welse aus aller Welt

Title Welse aus aller Welt
Author & (Publisher) Mayland, Hans J. (APV, Minden, 1987)
Price £4.99
Subject Matter All aquarium catfishes
Edition 1st, German

Article © Marc Stabel, uploaded January 01, 2002.

Beginning in the eighties, the interest in catfishes has grown and the same goes for the amount of publications on this subject. A true blessing for us amateurs, as we've had very little to hang on to before then. In general books, the coverage of catfishes was merely superficial and, due to a strong Pound, the specific books from the U.K. were just unaffordable. So, when I found this book in a store at Witten-Stockum on one of my many travels to Germany, I was very happy to buy it.

It's smaller than pocket size, yet it contains a lot of information. It has 47 colour pictures, 56 black and white pictures and 36 drawings on 152 pages. After a short introduction, with among others, the chapter charmingly entitled "What we like about catfishes and don't", the main part of the book is filled with the descriptions of 22 families. The order seems at random, but there is a separation between the African and Asian catfishes on the one hand and the American species on the other. The Loricariidae get most pages (118-140), followed by the Callichthyidae. The book ends with an expanded register of both German and Latin names.

Although most pictures look familiar today, I found them very refreshing back in 1987. The same goes for the contents; the amount of unknown species was large. It has always been of great use, even after the arrival of so many catfish books in the early nineties. It can, even now, hardly be called outdated and I still like to glance through it now and again. It's no longer in print, so anyone interested will have to search the appropriate channels.

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