The series provides full descriptions of all fishes populating European waters, including introduced species and hybrids, and it covers all aspects of their taxonomy, morphoplogy ecology and relations to man.
Volumes 4 and 5 of the series are devoted to Cyprinidae, the largest family of freshwater fishes not only in Europe, but also in the entire world. Seven subfamilies can presently be recognized as valid, but taxonomic positions of many genera remain uncertain. Five of the seven subfamilies are native to Europe and Transcaucasia. Volume 5 deals with the members of four of these subfamilies: Acheiloganthinae, Gobioninae, Tincinae and Cyprininae. Part II of volume 5 is devoted to the large genus Barbus.
The sections on each species are preceded by general accounts of the families and genera. As far as possible, keys to identify families, genera and species are provided. For easy comparison of the information on different species, the sections are always arranged in the same order. The following information will be provided for every species of fish that occurs in Europe:
- Systematics and Taxonomy: Synonyms, holotype, description, variability, sexual dimorphism, karyotype, biochemical data
- Geographical Distribution: Description and map of distribution, introductions
- Ecology: Habitat, migrations, feeding habits, age and growth, maturity early ontogeny, behaviour, important parasites and diseases
- Economic importance Sport fishing, commercial fishing, fish culture, protection
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