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by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, 27-May-1996.
The first of this anual series, intended to be and update on the newest cichlid information available, includes in 98 pages information about the biology, taxonomy, evolution, aquarium keeping and more on cichlids around the globe.
Photographs are mostly underwater and top quality. The book is presented as a collection of articles by several authors, separated by groups.
Fascination with cichlids has taken many aquarists to the point where they go and observe these wonderful fishes in the natural habitat. The hunger for more knowledge about the cichlids' behavior and distribution, and especially for more new species has led to the introduction of an overwhelming, many previously unknown species and varieties. The speed with which new species are discovered or re-discovered is sometimes too great to give a newcomer a chance to establish itself in the hobby. We, the authors of the yearbook, want to give a chance to those species which are new or unknown and which deserve a wide distribution among hobbyists. Starting with this yearbook every year the newest, the most important, the most interesting and, a least, the most beautiful cichlids will be introduced to the hobbyist. All (re-)introductions will be accompanied by a color picture and the currently known information. Such information can only be supplied by aquarists (or scientists) who are specialists in their fields. Many authors have contributed to the first edition of the cichlid yearbook. They will be introduced by the editor.
The yearbook starts with the section "Tanganyikan Cichlids". René Krüter, who is importer of Tanganyikan cichlids (Krüter Tropicals, Holland), has made several expeditions to Lake Tanganyika. He reports on his observations of Benthochromis tricoti and some other species. The second section, "Malawian Cichlids" is highlighted by an article written by Dr. Ethelwynn Trewavas. She is the world's most renowned cichlid-ichthyologist and has worked for more than 60 years on Malawi cichlids. Photographer, diver and naturalist Mark Smith (Fountain Valley, California) reflects his vivid interest in cichlids in the various articles he has contributed to the yearbook. Peter Baasch (Freiburg, Germany) has bred several Malawi cichlids for the first time in captivity I reports on a beautiful predator from the lake. Victoria cichlids deserve a much better appreciation among aquarists than has been the case up to now. Laif DeMason, who imports the widest variety of cichlids from all over the world (Old World Exotic Fish, Miami, Florida), has made several expeditions to Lake Victoria and knows these fish from first hand. His contribution deals with beautiful and new discoveries. The cichlids of West Africa are totally different from the previous groups. Specialist Roland Numrich (Mimbon Aquarium, Koln, Germany) has made many expeditions to this part of the world and has caught, bred and raised many of the newer finds. His article describes two new species of Chromidotilapia. The section "Central American Cichlids" starts with an excellent article by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas (San Luis Potosí, México), who has more than 15 years experience of the natural habitats of Mexican cichlids. On one of his countless expeditions he re-discovered Paraneetroplus nebuliferum, which had been elusive since its original description in 1860. Willem Heijns (Stiphout, Netherlands) is editor of the periodical of the Dutch Cichlid Association has kept and bred almost every Central American cichlid. He has contributed several fine reports on the latest developments. The section "South American Cichlids" has been written by two esteemed specialists, Ron Bernard (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Frank Warzel (Mainz, Germany). Ron has written many articles dealing with South American cichlids and has collected cichlids in Perú. Frank is super-specialized on Crenicichla and knows more about the pike cichlids than anybody else. Gerard Tijsseling (Gouda, Netherlands) and John Szwechlowicz (Holton-Le-Clay, UK) provide us with valuable tips on how to better enjoy and breed cichlids.
The yearbook ends with a literature section where a few very important publications, related to cichlids, are discussed. Nobody else could do this better than the two authors Martin Geerts (Swalmen, Netherlands) and Lee Finley (Pascoag, Rhode Island). Martin is the ichthyological conscience of the Dutch Cichlid Association and that of the American Cichlid Association. This team of authors provides for an authoritative treatment of the latest developments in the cichlid-keeping hobby