Pisces conservation continue their valuable work of keeping important scientific works available through the media of E-books with a reprint of this Linnean Society Synopsis (No. 42), originally published in 1990. Ostracods are an extremely important part of most aquatic ecosystems and are a part of the wonderful diversity of the Crustacea.
Their small size, and taxonomic difficulties, have reduced their popularity among naturalists, however they are a group that would greatly repay anybody who made the effort to get to know them. The Ostracoda are also important geologically as they are an extremely ancient lineage that fossilises well.
This volume deals only with freshwater species of the British Isles and is best appreciated in conjunction with Synopsis No. 43, Marine and Brackish-water Ostracods by Athersuch, Horne and Whittaker (1989). As well as a brief introduction to Ostracods in general, and freshwater species in particular this book includes keys down to species level for the British species, and numerous excellent plates. There is also a Glossary and a taxonomic index. Like all the Linnean Society Synopses this is a well produced work.
For the modern computer world a CD version of a book like this is an excellent option, particularly for the images, which a reproduced well here. At £19.00 it is cheap and good value for money, an undoubtedly useful resource for every limnologists, naturalists and or teachers in the UK who have students looking at the world around them.
Like Southwood and Leston's "Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles" Eason's "Centipedes of the British Isles" is one of those classic works that is practically unobtainable in the modern world. After reading it for the first time in 1988 I looked for it on many occasions over the next ten years in various Natural History book stores in England and Wales and never found a single copy for sale. It is a book I would still love to own a paper copy of, but while that seems unlikely to come about, now, thanks to Pisces Conservation, I can at least have it available for research in the form of their recently published CD version.
During the last years of the last century there were rumours that a new version of Eason's book was being released, but little seems to have actually happened. Eason's book was originally published in 1964. It is not surprising then that much new knowledge has been gained since then, however outside of the journals in a University library this is still unobtainable, and Eason's well written book is the best that is available. Having said that for those actually involved in survey work in the UK the Provisional Atlas of the Centipedes of the British Isles. by A.D. Barber and A.N. New published in 1999 will be a necessary addenda as we now know there are 41 and not 32 species in the UK as Eason believed, making his keys a little less useful than they once were.
Despite it's datedness this book is still an extremely good introduction to the Chilopoda as it contains much fascinating and useful information. It consists of an introduction to the group followed by four chapters on the orders Geophilomorpha, Scolopendromorpha, Lithobiomorpha and Scutigeromorpha, an appendix on collecting and preserving techniques, a glossary and a variety of well drawn plates.
For the modern computer world a CD version of a book like this is an excellent option, particularly for the images, which a reproduced well here. At £19.00 it is cheap and good value for money, an undoubtedly useful resource for every zoology student, naturalist and or teacher in the UK who has students looking at the world around them.
Southwood and Leston's classic text, 'Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles' is a wonderful set of volumes, which I have used (from library copies) to write some of the pages of this site. It is justifiably called a classic, it is comprehensive, well written and excellently illustrated. It also contains a very useful set of identification keys. It has long been a disappointment of mine that I do not own a copy as it has been out of print for some years and has become a collectors item, making it far to expensive for me. I was well pleased then when Pisces Conservation contacted me and offered me a review copy of their recent reissued electronic version. They have produced this working in co-operation with Prof. Sir Richard Southwood, one of the original authors so I did not expect to be disappointed and I wasn't .
While I will admit I would rather have paper than plastic, because you can't take a CD into the mountains with you to read, this PDF copy is excellent, and once you learn your way around the Acrobat software (which comes included) there is nothing further to do than enjoy it. For the modern computer world a CD version of a book like this is an excellent option, particularly for the images, which a reproduced well here. All the various families of Heteroptera that occur in the UK are discussed and illustrated. At £18.00 it is cheap and good value for money, an undoubtedly useful resource for every teacher in the UK who has students looking at the world around them.