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This is the authoritative reference for reef fish throughout the Florida, Caribbean and Bahamas area. The most complete book on reef fish that I have seen, it is easy to use and beautifully illustrated. Each fish has it's own full color picture along with a line drawing that points out the defining characteristics of that particular species. With a plastic cover and the pages treated to resist water it can be taken to the beach or onto the boat without much concern about the water damaging the book.
Each entry has complete information on the fish from size, depth, range and habitat to the level of concern that a diver should have for their safety around the fish. Whether you snorkel, scuba dive or engage in other activities around a reef, this is the best book to have to identify the fish. This book can also be purchased as part of a three part set that also includes the Reef Coral Identification and Reef Creature Identification texts, each of which is equally as excellent as the Reef Fish Identification book.
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on February 18, 2002
If you are interested in identifying Caribbean reef fish, this is the best guide available. I am a professional marine biologist and have extensive diving experience on reefs in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I can honestly say that after 300+ underwater hours in these locations, I have never come across a bony fish that was not included in the guide. This fact was humorously brought home to me when I was in graduate school. My graduate advisor (a very experienced marine biologist with 20+ years of tropical diving experience) once thought that he had discovered a new species of fish. He was very excited and told all of us students to watch his fish and make sure "nothing happened" it. Needless to say, he was somewhat embarrassed when a 2 min investigation into the guide revealed that the fish was simply a wrasse blenny.
The guide is well organized, informative, and easy to understand. Although some scientific terms are included, the text is generally designed for non-specialists. That said, however, the information is so well presented and comprehensive that every specialist I know makes extensive use of this guide. Additionally, the illustrations are remarkable. Each species is represented by one or several beautiful color photographs as well as a simplified line drawing with the important identification features indicated. Overall, I can recommend this guide to anyone interested in Caribbean Fishes and/or Marine Biology. The guide would make a particularly nice gift for someone with a marine interest. Also see the companion volume "Reef Fish Behavior: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas;" an equally excellent book, that adds the ecological dimension to reef fish identification.
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After we came back from our honeymoon, I wanted to buy my husband a book to help identify the various fish we encountered on our trip, and this book turned out to be perfect. First of all, the fish are broken down into various classifications, and each category is clearly labelled. There are wonderfully clear, glossy pictures of each individual fish combined with a detailed description which includes information such as size, colors, appearance of immature, habitat, and reaction to divers. An ideal book for serious research or just for fun.
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on January 20, 2005
Last fall I spent a week diving in Bonaire, and on my return saw the hard-copy version of "Reef Fish Identification (Florida Caribbean Bahamas) at my dive shop. I was very impressed with the large numbers of crisp and beautiful pictures, the authoritative description, but most importantly, the depiction for each animal of differences in appearance during each phase of life. I recently purchased the CD version (based largely on the reviews) and began using it today. I was disappointed to discover that it is clearly targeted at Windows 3.x machines: old-style forms and layouts, 8.3 naming conventions in directories (i.e., "Program Files" becomes "PROGRA~"). Most disappointing, however, was the grainy quality of every single fish image on the CD, despite my running it on a high-end graphics workstation. The only positive reason I can offer for purchasing the CD version is the Fish Finder, which offers the ability to search for creatures based on selecting from about eight characteristics.
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on March 1, 2006
This book has highly detailed photos,not illustrations, that help to identify any species you might come into contact. The format is very easy to navigate and you can even log the fish that you've I.D.'d in the back. I think all field guides should be built like this one!
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on March 16, 2015
This is an amazingly useful book for divers, snorkelers, and naturalists. It is not a scientific treatise, but rather an excellent field guide to the rich fish fauna of Florida and the Caribbean. The quality of most of the photographs is excellent, and I'm amazed that the authors were able to collect photographs of so many species in the wild: no aquarium shots. The books also does a good job of pointing out a few significant characteristics of each specie to help in its identification. Significant accounts of the biology of various species are lacking, but this volume is just what it says it is, a field guide. Highly recommended.
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on June 25, 2016
This is a GREAT book. I keep it as a ready reference here in Belize. The color balance of the photos has improved dramatically since the 3rd edition. (No more crazy toned parrotfish). It has expanded quite a bit- and now I have more to learn. I thought I knew my neon goby= now I find there is a separate "Caribbean neon goby" that I need to see if I can differentiate.
This is a must have for anyone who is interested in identifying and understanding the fish one can expect to encounter while snorkling or diving in and around the Caribbean​.
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on September 15, 2011
Used this book on my Bahamas dive trip last week and it is excellent. I especially like how there are juvenile and intermediate phase pictures as well as adult when appropriate. Organizational scheme is pretty good too. Great book!
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on April 18, 2013
The book uses similar classifications as books I have for the Pacific. I can use some basic shape and sometimes color information to find the category for the fish I saw and then identify the actual species. What is really great is that the author went the extra mile and shows pictures and descriptions of many of the fish in their juvenile and intermediate ages. Some fish really change a lot prior to adulthood and it is great to still be able to identify the fish. Used it for my scuba trip to the Cayman Islands.
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on November 24, 2013
Absolutely wonderful fish id book. This terrific book shows pictures of the fish at different stages of maturity, and does a wonderful job of breaking the fish down, so you know where to find them in the book. It is much better than trying to find fish on the typical id cards. We love the book so much that we bought two more copies for scuba diving relatives.
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