Opisthobranchs of Japan Islands
Rie Nakano

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

Price: Approx $US38

The long and productive career of Dr Kikutaro Baba, has made an understanding of the opisthobranch fauna of Japan an important goal for all researchers wishing to understand the fauna of the Indo-west Pacific. Many of the species and genera described from Japan are found elsewhere in the Indo-west Pacific, so we need to understand them, before we can decide what is new. Unfortunately the advent of inexpensive colour printing came after Dr Baba's career, so many of his species are known only from black & white drawings and water colour paintings. The world wide web has been a valuable source of information in recent years, but Rie Nakano's book far surpasses anything that was available before. It illustrates 666 species from the main islands of Japan from the northern tip of Hokkaido, to Amami-Oshima Is in the south.

It follows the same successful layout as Atsushi Ono's books, usually with 3 species on each page, but often only 2 species, if multiple photos are needed to show variability. Looking through the book I can see many species not previously illustrated in colour. There is of course no anatomical information in this book, but the great value of books such as this is that they give us, for the first time, a huge amount of comparative information which we can use to better understand the documented Japanese fauna, and to compare it with similar species from elsewhere.

The text is in Japanese, but as with Atsushi Ono's books, the many photographs (perhaps 1500?) make this book an essential item for all opisthobranch libraries.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2005 (September 21) Opisthobranchs of Japan Islands. Rie Nakano. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/brnakano2004