928 pages, colour illustrations
This book brings together the latest scientific knowledge on more than 860 species inhabiting Australia's temperate southern waters, from the Recherche Archipelago at the western end of the Great Australian Bight to Wilson's Promontory in the east, many found nowhere else. Those included range in size from tiny gobies and clingfishes less than 3 centimetres long, to the Whale Shark, the largest fish in the ocean reaching a length of 12 metres. Thirty expert ichthyologists from within Australia and overseas have written accounts of all species known to occur within the area.
Each species treatment is accompanied by one or more images (most in high-quality colour), a distribution map and a description that includes information on recognisable body features, size attained, colouration, habitat and other common names, as well as anecdotal information of interest to the reader. Where relevant, counts for fin elements, scales, teeth, photophores and other body parts are given. Illustrated keys are included at all levels of classification from subphylum to genus and species.
Introductory chapters outline the scope and geographical coverage of the book, describe the variety of aquatic habitats in southern waters, discuss conservation and other issues associated with human impacts on fishes, interpret fish classifications and provide detailed instructions on how to use the book.
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