Dec 7, 2013

Colored Atlas of Miniature Catfish

by Warren E. Burgess

Not being a strictly instructional book, although it does have a bit of that information, this one is more narrative in style which made it more enjoyable to read although going through the plates got a bit tedious. It's all about small catfish that are kept in aquariums, not only the popular corydoras but also brochis and aspidora species, and many that were at the time newly discovered, so not much is known about them. (I paticularly like the longer body shape of the aspidoras, but none are suitable for my tank size). After a few brief sections about catfish and their care in general, the bulk of the book consists of plates that describe one hundred and thirty two different species. I read every single plate with its accompanying info. This might sound tedious, but a few things kept it interesting. Most of the fish are illustrated with photographs, but quite a few have artwork drawn by John Quinn, which are lovely to look at. If the individual species needs water conditions to live or spawn which differ from normal, this is explained. Often in the format of one spawning event observed by a particular individual being described, so a lot of it is anecdotal in nature. The author sprinkles the book with humor, and once refers to the corydoras burgessi as being discovered by "yours truly". Modest, are we! I wonder if the author was friends with some of those other men who were the first to discover or breed some of the other lesser-known species?

Rating: 3/5    215 pages, 1992

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