Books  Natural History  History of Science 

Discovery of Australia's Fishes: A History of Australian Ichthyology to 1930

By: Brian Saunders(Author)

491 pages, colour plates, illustrations


Hardback | May 2012 | #198851 | ISBN-13: 9780643106703
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £95.95 $125/€109 approx

About this book

This book traces the discovery of Australia’s fishes from the earliest days of taxonomy to the first part of the 20th century. It provides a unique insight into the diverse pathways by which Australia’s fish were discovered and outlines the history of early maritime explorations in Australia that collected natural history specimens. The book covers the life and work of each of the most important discoverers, and assesses their accomplishments and the limitations of their work. Discovery of Australia’s Fishes is distinctive in that a biographic approach is integrated with chronological descriptions of the discovery of the Australian fish fauna. Many of northern Australia’s fishes are found in parts of the Indian and western Pacific oceans. The book covers the work of collectors who travelled outside Australia, together with that of the British and European zoologists who received and described their collections. The account ceases at 1930, the year the first modern checklist of Australian fishes was published.


Abbreviations of sources

Part One (to 1800)
Early ichthyology to the time of Ray and Willughby
Artedi, Linnaeus and the Systema Naturae
Linnaeus’ students, their voyages of discovery, and their French contemporaries
Seba, Dutch naturalists and the stadholder’s cabinet
Bloch and Schneider, Pallas, Lacépède, Broussonet
The British Museum before 1800 (Shaw)
Voyages to Australia before 1800
Collections in Australia before 1800

Part Two (1800 to 1870)
Flinders (Bauer, Brown) and Baudin (Péron and Lesueur)
French voyages (1817 to 1840)
Darwin (Jenyns)
Cuvier and Valenciennes, and their contributors
Gray at the British Museum, and the Bennetts
Ichthyology and empire
Continental ichthyology
Fish collection and ichthyology in Australia (1800 to 1870)

Part Three (1870 to 1930)
Overseas contributions
Contemporaries of Ogilby, Waite and McCulloch
A glance forward from 1930

Appendix: Classification of fish species

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!


Brian Saunders is a retired Adelaide eye surgeon with a lifelong interest in marine biology and a long-standing interest in the history of ichthyology. In 2009 he published Shores and Shallows of Coffin Bay.

Bestsellers in this subject

Darwin's Ghosts

NHBS Price: £10.99 $14/€12 approx

The Wonderful Mr Willughby

NHBS Special Offer Price: £19.99 £24.99 (Save £5.00) $26/€23 approx (ends 31/12/2018)

Martin Lister and His Remarkable Daughters

NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

Theodor Cantor: Zoology of Chusan (China)

NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

The Annotated Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace

NHBS Price: £30.50 $40/€35 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194