From the introduction:
"Sir Francis Day was a pioneer on Fish Fauna of India, and the author of the famous treatises, the Fishes of India (1875-1888) followed by two volumes ot the Fauna of British India (1889). No specific appraisal is needed on these volumes, for every ichthyologist, whether an academic or an applied worker, invariably refer to these works for the basic identification of these fishes. These volumes have been written with utmost care by the author and provided with excellent illustrations. ln spite of the extensive systematic research that was carried out in post Day-ean times, the value of Day's volumes still remains equally important. The very fact that the Government of India published the photo offset copies of Day's Fauna of British India (1963) speaks itself of the immense value and popularity enjoyed by his works. Unfortunately, in the field of taxonomy due to the refinement of taxonomic techniques, often nomenclatural changes are unavoidable and Day's publications are no exception. and therefore most, it not all, his scientific names have become obsolete and are not in vogue in the taxonomist world. Even though Misra (1969, 1976) tried to revise the Fish Fauna of lndia, the names incorporated in his volumes (1969, 1976) also became invalid or emended by subsequent workers. Many of the latest publications on fish taxonomy are, however, inaccessible to a generalist, though not to the specialist, and even to the latter building up of an excellent library on all fish groups is not practicable if not impossible save for reknowned institutions like the Zoological Survey of India. Therefore, there is every scope of burdening the ichthyological literature, often by improper names by the generalists, applied scientists and occasionally by the specialists themselves causing confusion. Recently, Jayaram (1982) brought out his Handbook of the Fresh water Fishes of India. which covers all the common freshwater fishes, and also a good number of estuarine fishes, giving keys and distributional data. Yet, this accounts only a part of the valuable fish fauna of India. ln spite of all these later utilitarian taxonomic or bio-ecological works, consultation of Day's Fishes or India and the Fauna of British India volumes is still inevitable, last without at least a passing reference to them any work becomes incomplete.
Revision of Day's Fauna of British India is a utopian task and it is not possible to do so unless and until the Fund of literature and collections of fishes now distributed in many of the museums, universities, and other research institutions in lndia and abroad, are available. Therefore, the best course would be to substitute the latest nomenclature to those fishes referred to in Day‘s works, which will serve as a guide to all consulting Day's works.
With the above aim, a list of the current scientific names of Day's fish fauna was compiled keeping the latest research publications in mind. We do well realise, that some of the species referred to by Sir Day are in fact, composite species, and are now split up into many complexes or species-groups, and provided with several other names.
We have tried to give all these individual names against such composite species groups at the appropriate places, and the generalist should invariably be careful in relegating the suitable name to his fish depending on other morphological characters and consulting later research publications in all such cases. It is hoped, that this list will provide a basic tool and guide for all ichthyologists while using Day's treatises."
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