ISBN 978-1-932892-05-5 published by Cichlid Press.
Large edition (8" x 11") containing 424 pages and over 1750 photos.
Suggested retail price $69.00.
first thing that caught my eye when I opened this book was that
it was dedicated to Stuart M. Grant, who recently passed away
in Malawi. Stuart was the most important man in the Malawi cichlid
export business. Not only was he important for the hobby, he was
important to the country of Malawi. Most of the Malawi fish swimming
in our tanks are either directly from him or are descendants of
fish that have been exported by him. May he rest in peace next
to the lake.
The other thing that is immediately obvious
is the sheer number of photos in this book. Malawi cichlids
in their natural habitat is formatted in a way so that every
two pages of text is followed by two pages of color photos. The
grouping of photos is either by geographical location or by genus.
This makes it easy to find similar fish or find fish that live
in the same habitat.
The author's intention of the book is to provide
information on the natural behavior of Malawi cichlids. There
are 843 species mentioned in the book, most of which are living
at depths that are accessible to recreational divers. The book
does not run deep into scientific meanings, which in turn makes
it a great book for both beginners and pro's in the hobby.
New to the The 4th edition of Malawi
cichlids in their natural habitat is information on
the cichlids that live in the deeper parts of the lake. In the
chapter titled "The Unknown Depths", the author details these
species. Since the fish from the depths are not reachable with
traditional diving gear, information is limited and sometimes
only consists of pictures of prepared species. The data on many
of these species are gathered from The Cichlid Diversity of
Lake Malawi/Niassa by Joe Snoeks and Offshore Cichlids
of Lake Malawi by George Turner.
Chapter one differs from other chapters is that
it describes the Lake in general. It describes the different habitats
and shows pictures showing the different habitats. You'll learn
something about the deeper sediment rich rocky habitats, the shallow
sandy habitats near the shorelines, the intermediate zone, where
the rocky areas change into a sloping sand bed and others.
The following chapter describes the different
swarms of cichlids - how different species are related to each
other either by feeding habits or breeding habits. There is also
interesting explanation on the Orange and Orange Blotched forms.
I enjoyed the short chapter on the taxonomy
of cichlids. Since the 3rd edition, there have been changes in
the determination of the genus Metriaclima and the genus Tropheops.
These are included in the 4th edition.
Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat's
main course, are the chapters which describe species by habitat.
Feeding and breeding behavior are discussed and the influence
of the habitat on those behaviors as well.
The cichlid hobby is ever changing, with new
species being discovered and reclassified every year. Malawi cichlids
in their natural habitat, Volume 4, is the most complete, informative
and visually stunning book on Malawi cichlids available to date.
It will be a valuable source of reference and information for
all cichlid enthusiasts, whether a beginner, or a seasoned veteran.