by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, 26-Jul-1998.
Dähne Verlag editorial house has published this great pair of identification aids for the Malawi cichlid aficionado, by Andreas Spreinat. The book, intended as a catalog, comes with a brief and concrete introduction in German and English about the lake, the cichlids, the habitats, and the cichlids husbandry and breeding.
The main part of the book comes with 592 67x45 mm color pictures about most cichlid species and variants found in the lake, each picture is given an icon symbology with four icons representing aquarium size, nutrition, total length and habitat for the species represented. Many of the species are shown in their natural habitat. Nine more full page pictures show some specially beautiful photographs of species or habitats, rounding a total 601 color photographs.
The CD comes with all the information in the book in digital format, plus much more. Cichlids are grouped in mbuna and not-mbuna and there is a search facility which makes very easy to find any of them. In the CD format you can also find information for each genera, and instead of the icons found in the book, in the CD there is information about characteristics, distribution, habitat, feeding, behavior and reproduction, remarks and a list of known species. There is also additional text information for each of the species, like distribution, habitat, feeding, characteristic, total length, geographical variations, comments, aquarium and behavior and reproduction, plus icons found in the book. The habitat is in many cases represented by a picture, and when available, more than one picture of the species are present, including in many cases pictures of the females.
There are also two lake underwater videos, one for mbunas and one for not mbunas. And for the pictures, you can easily produce a slide show. Two MS-word for windows documents come with the CD; A manual and a list of references.