on August 5, 2002
I took Humann's book on Galapagos reef fish identification on a recent cruise of the islands after reading through it twice. We had the opportunity for lots of snorkeling, and the snorkelers on the trip borrowed my Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos constantly during the entire trip.
The organization of the book (mainly by shape), the superb photographs, the very clear diagrams indicating diagnostic characteristics, and the descriptions make this a very easy book for the layman to use. The coverage appears to be essentially complete; there were very few fish we were unable to identify. Tropical fish often show a great deal of variation, a point that Humann discusses and illustrates as needed. The book also includes information on the ranges and depths at which the fish are likely to be found, which is very helpful.
If you are a snorkeler or scuba diver and are planning a visit to the Galapagos, by all means take a copy of this book. Better yet, take two copies--one to use yourself, and one to loan out, because it will certainly be in demand.
Definitely a "must have" for those who plan to explore the waters of these fascinating islands.
on August 1, 2005
I just returned from a week in the Galapagos islands, snorkeling almost every day. Several members of our guided group had various wildlife books, but our guide had this one and for fish it was all we needed and almost all we used. The pictures -- usually three to a page with accompanying text opposite -- are excellent for identification purposes, often showing variants. The notes include distinctive identifying characteristics. I recommend this book unreservedly for anyone planning to snorkel or SCUBA dive in the islands. I bought my copy after returning home because it so nicely encapsulates some of my best memories of the trip, but I wish I'd had it along so that I could have annotated it as the trip progressed.
on December 8, 2003
I have been waiting for the new edition for about 6 months. Meanwhile I have purchased other Fish Identification books on the Galapagos, and it's true that the format of the Humann/DeLoach books is much more organized - putting all of the information in one place.
I had read in another review here that the new Reef Fish Identification Galapagos book that would come out in late 2003 would also contain Cocos and Malpelo islands. However, after a first scan through this edition, it appears to only cover Galapagos. I was a little disappointed in this - but still give it 5 stars because after all, it is exactly the high quality one would expect from this series. Having Cocos and Malpelo would have been a bonus.
on November 13, 2002
Paul Humann's now out-of-print book is part of an easy-to-use, photo-illustrated series of fish and invertebrate identification books. Information is given to differentiate species, habitat and location, as well as sizes- and often, photos of different color / life phases are shown. Great for snorkellers and divers. Its replacement is not due until late 2003, and then it will cover Cocos and Malpelo Islands as well as the Galápagos Islands. When it arrives, I will undoubtedly give it my highest recommendation, with all the others in the series- well done, Paul and Ned!
For those who want a more in-depth tome, I recommend Jack Grove's "The Fishes of the Galapagos Islands" (Hard, 936 pages, 1.94" x 10.35" x 7.27" , Stanford University Press, 1997; ISBN 0804722897, cost US$130.00) - THE definitive Galápagos fish identification book for those desirous of more comprehensive information, but by its size and price, no lighweight field guide for novices.
on May 29, 2000
I bought this book in the Galapagos, not knowing it existed, and it was a great investment. Humann's marine ID books are some of the best I've seen. They are easy to read, and use, there is enough biological data for the more-than-enthusiast diver or snorkeler, and I really enjoyed the species check list in the back of the book. I plann on buying his trio set before my next trip to Florida. If you get the once in a lifetime oppurtunity to visit the Galapagos, buy this book, and have a great trip in one of the worlds most amazing and spiritual places. Cheers.