Firemouths, jack dempesys, goodeids, and swordtails. When thinking of fish from Mexico, these are the species people generally think of first. But wait, there’s more! There’s a plethora of species located right in our own backyard. Did you know Mexico even has is own native darters? Freshwater Fishes of Mexico is the culmination of Robert Rush Millers life work. Lets find out what makes this book so extraordinary.
What kind of information are you getting with this book? Your getting a wealth of knowledge for each individual species listed. There are 47 families of fish represented. And with every species of fish listed within those families the author goes over its range, habitat, biology (including size), and additional remarks the author feels pertinent. There are also maps illustrating the fishes specific distribution. Furthermore each fishes depiction is done with either a preserved specimen photograph or illustration (both of which are in black and white). There also is a section in the book containing 12 glossy pages containing color photographs of some of the more common fishes along with some habitat photos. This information accounts for the majority of the book but also included in the beginning is a few chapters that go over environments of Mexico, historical ichthyology, conservation, and general identifying information on the preceding species accounts.
Who is this book for? Well that could potentially be this books only real downfall. As an avid fish keeping enthusiast my ultimate interest in fish, as I believe is the same for most people in this hobby, is keeping and observing them in the home aquarium. This book focuses mainly on ichthyology. That is fresh water fishes of Mexico studied on a scientific basis. It will not tell you what size tank to keep a convict cichlid in. Or how to successfully breed Zoogoneticus tequila in captivity. That’s not what this book is about. But don’t let that discourage you. What this book will do for us aquarium obsessed folks is inform us on what types of habitats these fish come from giving us the needed information for the initial setup required for these fish. Additionally the book makes a great reference tool for identifying potentially questionably described, or even completely undescribed, fish we may come across.
‘Author Robert Rush Miller spent many years gathering this monumental amount of data which with help from W.L. Minckley and Steven Mark Norris is laid out in way that’s quite easy to read and understand. The pictures are clear and precise. As well as is each account of the species listed. As is the nature of working with animals’ scientific names, some of the species listed have since been reclassified or moved into other genera but that will be the same for any literature not recently published.
In conclusion I feel this book is a valuable addition to any fish enthusiasts library. And as mentioned before it makes a great reference tool. But it also makes for a good read. Flipping through the pages it’s great to stumble upon fish you might not know much about or even that they existed at all. There’s a wealth of knowledge here to explore.
Title: Freshwater fishes of Mexico
Author: Robert Rush Miller with the collaboration of W.L. Minkley and Steven Mark Norris
Length: 490 pages
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press