Most helpful critical review
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A good start...
on April 17, 1999
Those of us who love looking at critters under a microscope definitely needed a book like this, a field guide to freshwater microfauna. This book provides stunningly beautiful photographs, useful hints on how and where to find the organisms and how to prepare them for observation, and so-so pen-and-ink sketches of the organisms. My main complaint is that the book doesn't go far enough and doesn't tell us enough. This is mainly noticeable in the tables where "Other Information" is provided along with each organism pictured. The information given is usually only the size of the organism, which is moderately useful (my microscope has no measuring device attached and I imagine most amateurs have the same problem), and occasionally another comment. Much more information should go here. For example, under Dero, the common freshwater Oligochaete, there is no mention of its ciliated anal gills, one of its most distinctive characteristics. A few comments about how to distinguish organism A from similar organisms B, C, and D would be very useful. In the planarian section, the drawings and information provided are too sketchy to be helpful. I have found about five freshwater turbellarians in the water here on Guam that I would love to identify, and I found I couldn't use this chart at all. So, this book is a good start, a good beginning, and in the next edition I would like to see a lot more organisms and a lot more information about the organisms!