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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225On-line version ISSN 1982-0224

Neotrop. ichthyol. vol.4 no.3 Porto Alegre July/Sept. 2006

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252006000300012 

BOOK REVIEW

 

 

Luiz R. Malabarba

Departamento de Zoologia, IB, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, and Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio grande do Sul, Brazil. e-mail: malabarb@ufrgs.br

 

 

Peixes de Riachos da Mata Atlântica nas Unidades de Conservação do Vale do Rio Ribeira de Iguape no Estado de São Paulo. By Osvaldo Takeshi Oyakawa, Alberto Akama, Kelly Cristina Mautari and José Cezar Nolasco. Editora Neotropica, São Paulo, 2006. 201 pp. Illustrated. ISBN 85-99049-02-X.

The Atlantic forest is one of the most important ecosystems of the world, and has been considered a biodiversity hot spot due to the large number of endemic plant species and due to the loss of more than 70% of its original habitat. It covered a large portion of Brazil, from Rio Grande do Sul to Bahia states, but today less than 5% of the original extension still exists. Arguments for the conservation of the forest are usually associated with plants and terrestrial vertebrates, but the survival of several fish species that feed on allochthonous invertebrates or plant matter, or that demand the physico-chemical conditions of the water propitiated by the surrounding woods depends on forest conservation.

The book of Osvaldo Takeshi Oyakawa, Alberto Akama, Kelly Cristina Mautari, and José Cezar Nolasco brings to light a vertebrate diversity that is almost unknown for the public in general, and it presents this diversity in a beautiful and attractive field-guide style, with color photos of 73 species, mostly taken of alive specimens.

Although the abbreviated title in the front cover (Peixes de Riachos na Mata Atlântica) gives an impression that the books covers a large extension of the fish fauna of this ecosystem, the full title presented in the inner cover (Peixes de Riachos na Mata Atlântica nas Unidades de Conservação do Vale do Rio Ribeira de Iguape no Estado de São Paulo) clarifies the reader it deals with a portion of the Atlantic Forest, comprising the creeks of 10 Biological Reserves or Ecological Stations located in the rio Ribeira de Iguape Valley, São Paulo, Brazil, that are briefly described in chapter 1.

Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 bring, in a popular language, a general characterization of the habitats found in the studied creeks, general information on fish adaptations to creek environments and how to collect and identify fishes.

Chapter 6 corresponds to the most part of the book, presentig keys to some families and genera, and short and general characterizations of orders and families. Each species is briefly characterized in the external morphology and color pattern, in order to allow an easy recognition of each species among syntopic taxa. Information on the geographical distribution, length and altitudinal range of the captured specimens and brief remarks on information available on the fish biology are also given for each species.

Few remarks are appropriate. On page 148, different color patterns described for Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus are attributed to differences between young and adult specimens. In southern populations, however, we found the pattern described for young corresponds to the color pattern of both young and adult females, and the pattern described for adults corresponds to adult males only. For the reader, it may be of interest also that Cichlasoma facetum has been recently transferred to the recently described genus Australoheros Rican & Kullander, 2006.

There is a general concept in the scientific comunity that Brazil lacks Field Guides and Catalog Books of its fauna. The book Peixes de Riachos da Mata Atlântica nas Unidades de Conservação do Vale do Rio Ribeira de Iguape no Estado de São Paulo is an important and attractive contribution to fill this gap and to contribute to divulge freshwater fish diversity.

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