Fishes of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the Maldive Islands and Mombasa
by Warren Burgess and Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod
It\’s odd to say I read this book, as it was more a motion of looking at the pictures. The first half of it was rather disappointing: the many pictures of wrasse species for example, are dark and dull with very little of their vivid colors showing. Later pages also show many fish with grayed or washed out color (probably because they were taken after the dead fish were lifted from the water); a lot of the specimens also are in poor condition with signs of decay and deteriorating fins. (Maybe if I wasn\’t a fishkeeper, I wouldn\’t notice these things). However there also also plenty with clear definition of scales and pattern, and I am really intrigued with the curiously cute images of some butterfly fish and surgeon fish at a very young age- just past the larval stage it says. Also really cool are the photos showing filefish mimics compared to the puffers they imitate- it is very hard for me to tell the difference! The text itself wasn\’t nearly as interesting as the pictures. I do not recall a single instance of it describing anything about behavior- it\’s all physical description and things like how many fin rays or what kind of tooth structure defines one species from the next. Oh well. I\’m keeping this one in my collection because it\’s part of the set, and I do find plenty of the photos interesting to look at – enough so that I often wish to draw the fishes, when I look through one of these books.
Rating: 2/5 277 pages, 1973