Sea Slugs of southern South America
ConchBooks, Mainzer Str.25
D-55546 Hackenheim, Germany.
24 x 17 cm, 165pp., 14 col plates.
Approx price: $US 100; 75 euros
I should first make it clear that this is not just one of the colour photo books of a particular geographic region which are published regularly. This is a serious scientific publication in which all the species known from the region are described, with sections on the major features of their external shape and colour, anatomy and natural history. Full synonymies are given for each species and there is a useful discussion on previous published work on the species.
This is book is based on specimens collected by Michael Schrödl in Chile and Argentina, and on previously published work on the nudibranch fauna of the vast region stretching down the west coast of South America (Peru, Chile) and the Atlantic coast of southern Argentina. Of over 108 species which have been reported from the region, the author recognises 65. Colour photographs of live specimens of many species are included as well as copies of the colour plates from many earlier historical works. There are also photos of the preserved type material of many earlier species. There is also a useful chapter on the biogeography of the region, and chapters on aspects of opisthobranch evolution and biology. I would like to have seen photos of radulae and perhaps some anatomical illustrations, but I guess I am difficult to please.
The nudibranch fauna of Peru, Chile and southern Argentina has largely been unknown to most opisthobranch workers except through a few rare early expedition reports. Michael Schrödl's book fills a huge gap in the available literature on this fauna and it will be of invaluable assistance to all serious students.
If you compare the price of this book with that of many of the colour picture books on the market, it is high, and the photos are not as numerous. But that is like comparing apples and oranges. Information on the fauna of this huge part of South America is unavailable, except in badly illustrated accounts in obscure, usually very old and unavailable, expedition reports. If you have a serious interest in nudibranchs this is an essential addition to your library.
Bill RudmanAuthorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2004 (December 6) Sea Slugs of southern South America. Michael Schrödl. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/brschroedl