Field Guides – General

We have a huge selection of marine field guides that will help you to identify what you see out on the reef. We have grouped the titles below into the following categories:

  • Great Barrier Reef,  Coral Sea & Australia
  • Indo-Pacific region (and beyond)


Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea & Australia


Coral Sea Reef Guide
Bob Halstead
320 pages, full colour, hard cover, order code: BK-CS128 ($75)

This book provides identification of more than 1,000 marine animals by an author who has made more than 7,000 dives in the Coral Sea region, systematically photographing its marine life in its natural surroundings. It includes descriptions of interesting behaviour and habitat, and special attention has been given to observable details for separating closely related species in the wild. It covers fishes, corals, crustaceans, molluscs, caphalopods, reptiles and mammals of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea (including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia).


Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia
Rudie H. Kuiter
434 pages, colour photographs, soft cover, order code: BK-CSI8 ($49)

A comprehensive and practical handbook that identifies over 1,000 fish species commonly seen by divers, snorkellers and fishermen in coastal Australian waters. The species entries are grouped by families in the internationally accepted scientific order. Families are arranged so that those with closely related features follow on from one another, making comparison easy. Length measurements for adults are given along with general text highlighting diagnostic features, interesting aspects of the species, and habitat. Every species account is accompanied by one or more colour photographs and a distribution map showing where the species is found.  


Indo-Pacific Sea Fishes of Northern Australia & The Great Barrier Reef
Neville Coleman
378 pages, full colour, soft cover, order code: BKNC12 ($42)

The most comprehensive photographic field guide of its kind for Northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. Over 1,400 pictures, 10,700 illustrations and featuring over 105 fish family identi-kit body shape profiles. Provides not only a visual reference for divers and fishermen but also a basic level of information which can be easily absorbed. The book includes information about major habitats, ecological niches and visual symbols to indicate whether the fish is dangerous, venomous, edible, male/female or suitable for aquariums.


Marine Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and South East Asia
Gerald Allen
296 pages, colour illustrations, soft cover, order code & price to be advised

A colourful and comprehensive guide to marine fishes of Northern Australia and the South East Asian region with emphasis on reef and shore fishes, but also including common pelagic species like trevallies, tunas, mackerels and billfishes. It contains 2,000 hand-painted illustrations featuring 1,635 individual species, accurately reproduced in detail and proportion and hihglighting distinguishing features to make identification easy. This is an invaluable reference for divers and anglers.


Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia
Keith Davey
144 pages, colour photographs, soft cover, order code: BKCSIGSLA ($22)

This handy pocket-sized book is an ideal travelling companion for anyone travelling around and exploring Australia’s coastline. Featuring 232 species of marine life commonly found in rock pools and on beaches along our coastline, from slugs and worms to crabs, sea stars, anemones and shells, this guide will help you identify the fascinating creature your discover as you explore our seashores. Each entry includes a photo, description and distribution map, with additional notes on classification, biology and habitats.


Wild Australia Guides
Steve Parish, Dr Tony Ayling & Lynne Adcock
96-112 pages, full colour, soft cover ($15 each)

  • Marine Life, order code: BK-SPML
  • Marine Fishes, order code: BK-SPMF
  • Sea Mammals & Where to Watch Them, order code: BK-SPGSM
  • Sharks & Rays, order code: BK-SPSAR

These paperback-sized field guides are easily tucked into a rucksack or large pocket, and make a handy reference for keen travellers and naturalists. All the major family groups are covered within each subject guide, with notes on identification, habitat, behaviour, diet, location maps and conservation status where relevant. These books are crammed with easily-readable information and superbly illustrated by Steve Parish’s wonderful photographs. Not intended as comprehensive identification guides, they focus instead on helping you identify marine life to family level and providing better than average information about the major families (Marine Fishes and Marine Life guides) and commonly encountered species (Marine Mammals and Sharks & Rays guides) and make excellent introductory reference guides.


World of Water Wildlife Guides
Neville Coleman
80 pages, full colour, soft cover

  • Great Barrier Reef, order code: BK-NCGBR ($29)
  • Papua New Guinea, order code: BK-NC14 ($28)

These comprehensive field guides to the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef and Papua New Guinea include examples of over 18 major wildlife groups – from algae to marine mammals. Simple layout, easy to read text with information on local history & culture, land flora and fauna, reef walking, snorkeling and scuba diving in each region. Basic identification features of all major groups of marine life with check boxes for you to mark the species you’ve seen. Format follows traditional scientific classification and tertiary education teaching systems. An excellent reference for PADI Project AWARE and naturalist diver specialty courses and a great first field guide to marine life in the region.


Indo-Pacific Region (and beyond)


“Getting to Know You” and Identification Guides
Michael Aw & Dr. Carden Wallace
130-160 pages, colour photographs, soft cover, ($22 each)

  • Acropora Staghorn Corals, order code: BK-ONO2
  • Tropical Reef Fishes, order code: BK-ON4
  • Tropical Reef Life, order code: BK-ON3

These pocket-sized reference books are an excellent introduction to life on the reef, taking you standard identification guides, with easily digestible information and often amusing insights into the major groups of marine life, reef fish, and staghorn corals respectively. The books explore the biology and ecology of species – where they live, what they eat, how they reproduce, etc – and explore the intricate network of life within the complex hierarchy of the coral reef kingdom. Common species are illustrated with Michael AWs high quality imagery and the Reef Life and Reef Fishes books contain tips on underwater photography. These guides make a handy reference for nature lovers, scuba divers, snorkellers, students and underwater photographers, and are colour coded for ease of use.


Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
Dr Gerald R. Allen & Roger Steene
378 pages, colour photographs, vinyl cover, order code: BKCS11 ($79)

This compact, yet comprehensive, volume is designed for divers, beachcombers, marine aquarists, and nature lovers. Containing 1,800 colour illustrations, it provides quick and easy identification of all the major family groups and commonly encountered species from seaweed to dolphins. This handsome reference was specifically prepared to cater for the traveller, being very compact, yet providing in-depth coverage, and is an indispensable travel companion for divers, snorkellers and underwater photographers travelling throughout the Indo-Pacific region (from the Red Sea to the Pacific).


Reef Fish Identification – Tropical Pacific
Gerald Allen, Roger Steene, Paul Humann & Ned Deloach
468 pages, colour photographs, soft cover, order code: BK-CSI38 ($75)

The most comprehensive field guide ever compiled for identifying tropical Pacific fishes, with more than 2,500 photographs of 2,000 species in their natural habitats. The book is organised into 20 identification groups, according to the body shape and size of fish families, making it easy to identify unfamiliar species. Each species photograph is accompanied by brief notes on range, size, behaviour, habitat and distinguishing characteristics. The region covered includes Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia and the rets of the tropical Pacific.  


The Snorkeller’s Guide to the Coral Reef
Paddy Ryan
184 pages, colour photographs, hard cover, order code: BK-CSISGCR ($25)

This book, with its easy-to-follow chapter “Learning to snorkel”, is ideal for those first discovering coral reefs, and is also an invaluable resource for the more experienced snorkeller. An informative and well-illustrated introduction to coral reefs from the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean, dealing with coral animals, reef structure, plants, worms, molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans, fishes and reptiles, the book contains more than 200 colour photographs and is structured more as an easily readable introduction to marine life than an identification guide. First aid and photography hints are also covered.


Underwater Naturalist
Neville Coleman
96 pages, line drawings and colour photographs, hard cover, order code: BK-NCNAT ($33)

The Underwater Naturalist features basic identification about every major group of sea creatures in the Asia/Indo-Pacific region from bacteria to marine mammals. The guide follows the standard scientific classification system used by scientists and educators, and contains over 1,000 images and illustrations, accompanied by easy-to-read and informative text about almost every aspect of marine natural history. Not intended as a comprehensive identification guide, the book compensates for this with interesting information about the biology and ecology of the major family groups, and makes an excellent reference for PADI’s Project Aware or naturalist diving courses.


In addition to these general field guides, you may wish to take a look at the list of species/family specific field guides.


Books are available for sale at Reef Teach at the prices listed above, but may also be ordered by phone, fax or email. Please contact us for a quote including postage and packing.

%d bloggers like this: