Monday, May 7, 2007

"A Guide to Gobies of Singapore" by Larson, H. K. & K. K. P. Lim (2005)

A Guide to Gobies of Singapore. By Larson, H. K. & K. K.P. Lim, 2005. Singapore Science Centre, 164 pages. ISBN: 981-05-3407-8.

This is a small pocketsized volume richly filled with colour plates, covering the freshwater, brackish water and marine gobies of Singapore. This is the 40th book in the series of guides to Singapore sponsored by BP.

This book covers the 3 families from the sub-order Gobioidei found in Singapore – Eleotridae, Gobiidae and Microdesmidae. The family Gobiidae is the largest in the sub-order and most gobies are typified by having two dorsal fins and fused pelvic fins. The authors had provided a comprehensive taxonomic key to the 60 genera located from Singapore. This book is a cumulative effort of 10 years between the two authors, one based in Darwin, Australia, and the other in Singapore.

The habitats of the gobies in general and a fold-out map of Singapore are provided, giving readers an idea of the diversity of habitats gobies are found in. Another fold-out of the general morphology of gobies is included to give readers an idea of the variable body forms of gobies.

A total of 106 species is covered with one species per page, most with life coloration or preserved specimens depicted, along with numerous line drawings. Each species is listed with both vernacular and scientific names; followed by a brief diagnosis, description and distribution.

This is a most compact and comprehensive volume to peruse for the layperson, hobbyist and gobiologist.

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 54(1): 200 on 28 Feb 2006.

No comments: