If you’re reading this right now, chances are you love reef tanks, saltwater fish, exotic corals, and simply can’t get enough detail and information about them. If you thirst particularly for coral information, boy have we got some great news for you because a new book – yes a physical, hardcopy – has just been released that will greatly expand your knowledge of corals, and the broader Cnidarian group to which they belong.
Reef Builders contributor Joe Rowlett has been working on this compendium of coral classification and taxonomy for over two years, sourcing over four thousand photographs of soft corals, stony corals, anemones, sea pens, & hydroids. Not only are many of these broad groups lavishly illustrated, but we particularly fawn over Mr. Rowlett’s detailed reclassification of all these reef critters based on the latest genetic analysis and the resulting taxonomic understanding.
We particularly love how much effort was put into showing off how varied a single species of Tubipora can be, and blowing our minds with the updated species designation of the large polyp ‘Turbinaria’ as the second species of Duncanopsammia, D. peltata. One aspect of the Indo pacific Corals field guide is that it predominantly includes photos of all these stinging-celled animals in the wild, so no goofy, oversaturated and poorly edited photographs of aquarium corals, just to keep things all on a similar baseline.
even with our own extensive experience with corals both in the aquarium and in the wild, we’ve already learned a lot from Joe Rowlett’s 800-page coral guide, especially when it comes to lesser known genera of zoanthids, anemones, and there’s even lots of extra time spent on the myriad of oddball, cryptic encrusting octocorals. If you’re looking for a guide to ephemeral, made-up coral trade names then move along, because the Indo Pacific Corals book is fact-based on the latest scientific understanding of coral species and related organism. This physical book will go a long way to clearing up what many of our aquarium critters actually are and it’s a must-have for any serious marine aquarium or ocean divers’ library. [Amazon]