Opisthobranchs of Ryukyu Islands
Atsushi Ono

Paperback. 210 x 148mm. 304 pp
Published by Rutles Inc., Tokyo, Japan

Price: approx $US38

The Ryukyu Islands are a long chain of islands stretching in an arc, some 1000 kilometers from southern Japan almost to Taiwan, separating the East China Sea from the Philippine Sea. The Ryukyus include groups of islands well known to opisthobranch workers such as the Amami Islands, the Okinawa Islands, the Sakishima Islands and of course the Kerama Ids made famous by the author's earlier book, Opisthobranchs of Kerama Islands. We can think of this long string of islands as a net, catching planktonic larvae, including of course opisthobranch veligers, as the currents pass by. The bounty illustrated by Atsushi Ono in this book - over 600 different species - shows us just how diverse the fauna of the region must be.

This book follows the successful layout of his earlier work, with over 1500 photographs. There are usually 3 species to a page, but often, where colour variations need to be illustrated, there are only 2 species, with 2-3 photos for each species. The text is almost all in Japanese, but as they say "a picture will replace a 1000 words". I have not checked all identifications, but the author has kept up with the most recent literature, and the names he has used seem to be as accurate and up to date as any of us can be. As reflects the location of the Ryukyu Islands, the animals in this book are a mix of the tropical Indo-West Pacific and the southern Japanese fauna. I would strongly recommend this book, not only to opisthobranch fanatics, but also to anyone interested in the amazing diversity of life found in tropical waters.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2005 (September 21) Opisthobranchs of Ryukyu Islands. Atsushi Ono. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/brono2004

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