Fishes: A Guide to Their Diversity. Philip A. Hastings, H. J. Walker, Jr., and Grantly R. Galland. 2014. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-28353-4. xxi + 311 pp. $34.95 (soft cover).

In this impressive volume, Phil Hastings and his coauthors vividly catalogue the world's fish diversity and provide thorough morphological descriptions of each order and selected families. In so doing, they have created an indispensable textbook for any fish identification course, and indeed, one that I have already adopted in my Systematics of Fishes class at Oregon State University. This important reference should find a home on the shelf of any student, professor or researcher interested in ichthyological diversity.

The hundreds of high quality specimen photographs saturating the work represent its greatest strength. The images are clear, well illuminated, and highly illustrative of the diagnostic characters needed to identify major fish groups. Each clearly depicts body shape, fin placement, mouth...

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