Tuesday, May 8, 2007

“Fishes of Bitung, Northen Tip of Sulawesi, Indonesia,” edited by Seishi Kimura and Keiichi Matsuura (2003)

Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, iv + 244 pages.

Fishes of Bitung.
This is a richly illustrated medium sized volume covering 78 families and 584 species. It provides a good coverage of the shallow coastal water marine fish, obtained by field collection and market purchases in 2000. This is the second bilingual book in English and Bahasa Indonesian edited by the second author (the first being “Field Guide to Lombok Island” – Matsuura et al., 2000).

This guide does not cover all the fishes known from Bitung. The emphasis of this guide is on the less colourful non coral reef fishes. This is to promote a better understanding of the true diversity of tropical fishes. The intention of the authors is for this guide to be used for study, research and education by not only ichthyologists and fisheries scientists but also by university students and local government administrators.

Each family of fish has a short introduction, followed by a section on similar families occurring in the area (ala FAO species identification guide for fishery purpose style). Each species is listed alphabetically and followed by the common English and Indonesian names. A diagnosis of the species providing fin ray counts and lateral scale count is provided, with a short write-up. This is accompanied with a well taken picture of a freshly preserved specimen.

Although this guide illustrates mainly freshly preserved fish, it would also provide a good guide for recreational divers to the region, especially at Lembeh Straits, which is a world class muck diving site.

All in all, this publication is a good guide for every local and foreign fisheries biologist, ichthyologist and diver to have on their book shelf.

Matsuura, K., O. K. Sumadhiharga & K. Tsukamoto (eds.) 2000. Field guide to Lombok Island. Identification guide to marine organisms in seagrass beds of Lombok Island, Indonesia. Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, viii + 449.

Tan Heok Hui
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
Kent Ridge 119260, Republic of Singapore

First Published in The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Vol. 53(2): 289 on 31 Dec 2005.

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