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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide for reef fish of the Caribbean
I visit family in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) yearly, and I have looked at a number of books in order to learn the names of the numerous fish I see when I'm snorkeling or diving. This one makes identification easy, with beautiful pictures and the all-important "Distinctive Features" sections, which give you tips on how to distinguish one fish from the next...
Published on June 8, 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars underwater
there a lot of handwritten notes, whoever owned it before put down the day & place of all the fish sightings.
if I had known the actual condition of the book I would have sought out a different copy.
I wanted it for a present.
Published 12 months ago by patricia m silver


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide for reef fish of the Caribbean, June 8, 1999
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
I visit family in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) yearly, and I have looked at a number of books in order to learn the names of the numerous fish I see when I'm snorkeling or diving. This one makes identification easy, with beautiful pictures and the all-important "Distinctive Features" sections, which give you tips on how to distinguish one fish from the next. Make no mistake: this book is the easiest to use and the most comprehensive one I've seen. I'm online to buy the other two books (Reef Coral and Reef Creatures).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Fish Identification Guide Available!, September 29, 2001
By 
Johannes (Stockholm, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
When I first received this book as a christmas gift from my mother,I was shocked. It was spiral bound,but twice the size of a norma fish identification guide. At 424 pages & 670 photos,it is rather spectacular. Although I have only seen it in pictures,the west atlantic is my favourite underwater landscape,and therefore,it was a great honour to own this book.
The book begins with an introduction to fishes in the caribbean and the ecology of the reefs. A massive ID book is needed to identify fishes on the world`s second largest reef area.
Different from most other fish ID books,it is a rather special one that is dividing the fish into groups based on look rather than relationship. I`ll go through these groups one by one in this review.
ID group 1 is Disks/Oval,featuring some of my favourite fish,making a perfect beginning of the book.
Butterflyfish,angelfish,and surgeonfish can be found here.
Every description includes a short description of colors and gender differences,if any,distribution,family,size,depht and reaction to divers,and natural habitat.
The photographs are accompanied by b/w drawings of the silhouettes.
The second one is a rather large chapter,covering the silvery,stream-lined ocean hunters like barracudas,porgies,mojarras,dolphins,mullets,and the large predator cobia. Not very colorfull,but still majestic.
The 3rd chapter includes Sloping Head/Tapered body,with snappers and grunts as the main families.The grunts can be rather varied.
The 4th one includes Small Ovals,where the damselfish and chromis can be found. There are no anemonefish in the caribbean,but these are closely related to those. Also included here are the hamlets,which are all subspecies of one species.
These are very colorfull and cute little critters. The next chapter is Heavy Body/Large Lips,including the largest bony fishes here - groupers,of which the jewfish can weigh 900 pounds!
These are clumsy,but still charmy fishes. Except 30 species of those,the little fairy basslet,the most beautifull fish of the caribbean,is included here too,yellow and purple.
Swim with Pectoral Fins,which is ID group 6,includes the varied family of parrotfishes and wrasses,which are very colourfull. The Hogfish can also be found here,the character of the caribbean. ID group 7 introduces Reddish/Big Eyes,with the big-eyed squirrelfishes and the small,but beautifull cardinalfish.
ID group 8 treats the Small,Elongated Bottom-Dwellers,whose beauty is often underestimated,especially the cute gobies. The sailfin blenny is one of my favourites. Here,we can also find the yellowhead jawfish,which is a famous fish here too. Odd-Shaped Bottom Dwellers includes the toadfish and the funny-looking flounders & batfishes,who walks on their fins!I am very fascinated by the looks of the strange frogfishes. Odd-Shaped Swimmers (chapter 10) includes the pufferfish,which can fill themselves with air,and the funny-looking trumpetfish. Also found here are the boxfishes,who are covered with armor,except for their fins,eyes and mouth. They can have very beautifull colors. The triggerfish can be found too. They are colorfull,although agressive inhabitants of the coral reefs. So are their close relatives,the filefishes.
And finally,the cutest fish in the Caribbean,can also be found here. It is the little yellow porcupinefish,less than an inch in size. The famous jack-knife is also found in this chapter. It looks like a cross between a scalare and a chromis!
It is believed to be the juvenile form of the web burrfish.
The 11th chapter is the Eel Deal of the book. Here comes the snake eels,beautifull but mysterious bottom dwellers. And last,but not least,the venomous moray eels also lurks in this chapter. The 8-foot green moray is the most famous,while the most scary one is the viper moray with huge teeth!I love moray eels,so this is a paradise for me!
The final chapter "Sharks & Rays" deals with the ultimate UW predators. But not all sharks a fierce. In fact,the whale shark is one of the friendliest fishes in the world,reaching a size of 60 feet and harmless to everything but plancton!The nurse shark is also a character of the Caribbean. Other ones included here are the manta ray,lemon shark,mako shark (the fastest fish in the world)and the dangerous tiger & bull sharks.
This is a chapter I would have liked to expand a bit,but as many sharks are not reef dwellers,I understand why they did not included the great white and/or the Megamouth.
Over all,now I have gone through all chapters fastly,but you have to see this book to really enjoy it. When I go to the Caribbean or Florida,I will bring this book and see how many fish I can identify.
So go get it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The FINEST identification book out there!, December 5, 2001
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
This is a fantastic book, and along with the other two books by this author you should be able to ID any marine creature you encounter!
The book lists virtually all types of fish, including angels, tangs, butterfly, damsels, clowns, and more!
Each entry has an excellent picture, the name, family, size, depth, and other information.
The pictures alone are worth the cost of the book!
This is definitely the book you want to have with you when you dive or snorkel. Buy it today, you won't be disappointed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When you want to know what you've been watching (or what was watching you)!, December 26, 2007
By 
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
This is a reef fish identification book. This sounds obvious, but that really is the focus here. It's not a book to teach you about fish behavior, biogeography, community ecology, or population trends. Author, diver, captain, photographer, and attorney (!) Paul Humann took most of the 670 photographs in this book, a real accomplishment for any diver, since the result of a blurred or indistinct photograph of a fish is to... go get another.

The organization of this ID book is by fish shape. He's got 12 "identification groups":

- disks and ovals (colorful)
- silvery
- sloping head and tapered body
- small ovals
- heavy body and large lips
- swim with pectoral fins, and with obvious scales
- reddish and big eyes
- small, elongated bottom-dwellers
- old-shaped bottom dwellers
- odd-shaped swimmers
- eels
- sharks and rays

Any fish watcher would see the "logic" of this organization, although it could make some ichthyologists squirm with these sets of artificial groupings.

The book is spiral-bound so that the pages, when opened, stay open. And the clay content in the paper makes it more resistant to water dripping from your wetsuit or your hair. Just make sure you wipe it off, pronto.

Now the photos... They are very high quality, and Humann is to be commended for taking, or selecting from other photographers, pictures that really pull out the details of the various fish . For example, the Sergeant Major has the delicate yellow along the base of its dorsal fin, and those frogfish must be viewed in both a camouflaged condition and in a setting where they are contrasted with the background.

Any amateur photographer will soon discover the difficulty in getting a full, close-up and lateral view of a fish. They tend to swim away from you as you get close, giving you a great view of the tail sweeping away. These photos are the result of a truly amazing amount of patience.

In an appendix, he throws in some sea turtles and dolphins or good measure, as well as a checklist for keeping track of the reader's sightings.

My ocean diving has all been in the Pacific, and it was interesting seeing species related to my own "friends." If I get the opportunity to dive in Florida, the Caribbean, or the Bahamas, this will be the book I throw in my dive bag... in a zip-lock bag, of course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have reference if you dive/snorkel or take u/w photos, October 28, 1998
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
This is the first book I purchased after getting certified (I now have the whole series...Fish ID, Coral ID, Creature ID!). Enables you not only to identify the fish you see, but to find the ones that camoflauge themselves! Also very informative regarding fish behavior and filled with excellent photos. Highly recommend!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any diver visiting the Bahamas, May 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
As a SCUBA INSTRUCTOR this book is the best I've seen for fish identification. It gives many pointers on how to distinguish between fish. If your looking for a book to take on a trip make no mistake this is your best choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE fish identification BIBLE...., July 8, 2000
By 
J. Sands (Brick, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
Everything you could possibly want to know about any Caribbean fish is in this book. Photos are excellent. Descriptions are thorough and detailed. Makes identification a simple process. If you don't have it, GET IT.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one fish id book, let this be the one., August 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
If it swims, it's probably in this book; coral and reef creature books also available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect fish identification book for divers in the Carribean, October 10, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
The book is very good when you are interested in the fishes you see during diving in the Carribean. Use the 'How to use this book'chapter first to fully utilize the possiblities of the book, otherwise the beautiful yellow fish remains the beautiful yellow fish. It is a pitty you can not take it with you underwater.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, September 3, 2001
By 
M. Dodd (Libertyville, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Plastic Comb)
Absolutely must have this book if you're planning to dive. The pictures are great of course, but the descriptions are even better - how the fish will react, how to approach, etc.
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Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas
Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas by Paul Humann (Plastic Comb - Dec. 1994)
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