29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Covers more species in total than "Red Sea Reef Guide", 9 Sep 2008
From the books about coral reef life in the Red sea I have seen and used this one, Coral Reef Guide Red Sea by Lieske & Meyers (2004), has the best coverage of species and groups I have wanted to identify. The closest alternative, or complement, I know about now is "Red sea reef guide" by Helmus Debelius (2 ed 2000 - 5 ed 2007). The latter has almost 900 scientific names in the index, compared with around 1800 for this one (but some of these are genera, families, classes and other group names). The weights and sizes of these books are almost the same (384 pages vs 321 in Debelius). Almost all species in Debelius book seem to be included in this book. Apart from Debelius book the closest competitor to me seem to be "Reef fishes and corals of the red sea" by Harrison and Misiewicz (2000), which has some good text and pictures but covers about 250 species only.
To provide some examples, Lieske and Meyers book has 30 pages about Cnidarians (corals and more) vs Debelius 5 pages. Fishes, reptiles and mammals are covered in 212 pages for around 600 species, vs Debelius 223 pages for slightly fewer species. If you are interested also in sponges, algae and seagrasses the choice is simple - 16 pages in Lieske and Meyers and none in Debelius. For Molluscs the figures are 40 vs 48. Counting pages can be misleading of course: for cone shells (a mollusc group) I prefer this book over Debelius, not only because it shows 13 species vs 3 in Debelius, but also for more informative descriptions. There are other species or groups where Debelius provides more details.
So, if you are interested in everything visible at the coral reefs of the Red sea, you surely want both this book and others. But if I had to choose one, it would be this one. For the next edition I would be happy to see even more species included.