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Fishes of the Philippines: A Guide to Identification of Families

Field / Identification GuideIdentification Key
Major Philippine fish reference, distributed by NHBS

By: Genevieve Broad

510 pages, 450 col photos, line illus

Anvil Publishing Inc

Hardback | Dec 2003 | #147559 | ISBN: 9712713229
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £46.50 $61/€53 approx

About this book

Identification guide to the families and species of Philippine marine fishes. Identifying fish to family level is made easy using observable external features such as body shape, size, and positions of fins. Comprehensive information detailing physical appearance, habitat, ecology, and local names is provided for more than 90 fish families.

Three major sections make up this guide:

CHAPTER 1: How to Identify Fish
Describes those characteristics that can be used to distinguish one family from another. This includes general body shape, the type of dorsal fin, the type of tail, the mouth position and other identifying features of the head. The text describes how these characteristics help the fish to live successfully in its own particular habitat.

CHAPTER 2: Visual Key to Families
The second chapter contains a visual key designed to aid identification of an individual fish to family level. A series of pictures and explanations lead the reader to the target family of the fish to be identified. The key works by grouping families with common features and then identifying the unique set of characteristics for a particular family. Line illustrations clearly indicate common features and the ways in which families differ.

CHAPTER 3: Illustrations of Fish Species by Family
Containing approximately 450 colour illustrations of species from about 90 families, this chapter is divided into families using the same body shape and size categories as those in chapter 2. Each family section begins with a page describing the specific characteristics of that family, such as the size range, number of dorsal fins, tail shape and local names, illustrated by a simple line drawing. Each illustration is accompanied by the common and scientific names of the species and text that describes distinctive features, the type of habitat where the fish might be found and the maximum size it might attain. Where known, local names that differ from the family names are also given. In many cases, variations of male and female and juvenile colour patterns are illustrated.

An excellent resource for both laypersons and teachers, students and local communities monitoring fisheries.

"It excels is in the systematic identification of a fish, leading you through a series of stages to narrow it down from its overall shape, fin pattern, features, coloration, behaviour and habitat" -- John Liddiard.


Genevieve Broad is a volunteer professional with the UK's Voluntary Service Overseas - Philippines Program and has over 2 years of experience working in fishing communities of Southern Luzon.

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Genevieve Broad is a volunteer professional with the UK's Voluntary Service Overseas - Philippines Program and has over 2 years of experience working in fishing communities Southern Luzon.

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