|Title||Freshwater Fishes of Mexico|
|Author & (Publisher)||Robert Rush Miller, W. L. Minckley & Steven Mark Norris (University Of Chicago Press, 2006)|
|Subject Matter||As titled.|
Article © Birger Kamprath, uploaded February 03, 2008.
If you have an interest in Mexican Freshwater fish or Central American fish in general this encyclopedic volume should be in your collection. The time and attention it has received shows in the quality and detail of the final product.
Before you get into the five hundred or so species of fish covered, the preceding chapters are an excellent read on their own. The introduction is a fairly detailed overview of what you will find throughout, filled with many facts that make further reading more understandable.
The chapter on the environments of Mexico covers all the geographical variety that can be found, from the high country to the coastal regions. This, combined with twenty-two pages of color photography will be very beneficial for anyone trying to put together a natural looking aquarium.
To a layman like myself the two historical chapters were very interesting. Chapter three explains Mexican geographical history and how it relates to the aquatic biodiversity of the country, while the fourth chapter covers the history of Mexican ichthyology and provides insight into the lives of many people whose names are encountered in the hobby. Chapter Five is a small chapter involving concerns and ideas for the conservation of Mexican waters.
The final chapter starts with an illustrated key for forty families, moving on to a word key for each as you proceed through the book. Individual species have information on range, habitat, feeding and basic spawning details. Additionally a black and white photo or a detailed line drawing is supplied along with a distribution map. Three catfish families are represented with details for eleven species of Ictaluridae, eight of Ariidae and five Pimelodidae.
The only fault I can find with this book is that if a person were to travel in Mexico its hefty-size would make packing it along difficult, but at the expense of leaving other supplies behind it would have to go anyway.
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