[Coral-List] The Smithsonian Guide to the Shore Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific

jposada at usb.ve jposada at usb.ve
Wed Feb 15 08:50:34 EST 2012

Tutorial about the Smithsonian guide to the shore fishes of the  
tropical eastern Pacific: Free on iTunes:

           The Smithsonian Guide to the Shore Fishes of the Tropical  
Eastern Pacific
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has released the first  
completely portable bilingual species identification guide for the  
shore fishes of the tropical Eastern Pacific as a free iPhone  
application. Unique fish-finding, list-making tools and range maps  
make the app a powerful tool for scientists, divers and tour guides  
and a model for future phone-based field guides.
The tropical Eastern Pacific, spanning the area from Baja California  
to Ecuador, and including the Galapagos, is one of three great global  
centers of marine biodiversity. Until the 1990s there was no guide to  
the fish in this region. The iPhone app evolved from Fishes of the  
Tropical Eastern Pacific, a written guide published in 1994 by Gerald  
R. Allen, consultant for Conservation International, and D. Ross  
Robertson, Smithsonian staff scientist.

The book presented detailed descriptions of nearly 700 species and led  
to the first Spanish-language guide in 1998. With funds from the  
Smithsonian Women’s Committee, Robertson created the Smithsonian’s  
first bilingual interactive field guide application, released as a  
compact disc in 2002 and on the Internet in 2008.

“Now, not only can you carry the means to identify almost 1,300  
species in your pocket, this application surpasses many of the  
currently available field guides in its ability to create and share  
lists that correspond to specific regions or field trips,” said  
Robertson. “We also made it portable: The information is all in your  
phone so you don’t need to be connected to a server to use   
it...important when you are out at sea.”

Users can browse alphabetic lists by species and family, use  
identification keys and perform a combination search on name,  
location, shape, pattern and color characteristics to identify unknown  
fishes. The notebook module serves two functions: users can keep track  
of the species that they have recently seen and keep annotated lists  
of fish from different sites that are then organized in folders; they  
can also export lists by email.

Each species page includes common and scientific names, images of the  
species, a detailed description, key features used to distinguish it  
from other species and a map of its range in the tropical Eastern  
Pacific. The information is also stored in the app’s database and can  
be used to search for a fish. A glossary of scientific terms makes the  
guide accessible to students and lay-people, and information about the  
extinction risk status (International Union for Conservation of Nature  
Red List) is available to resource managers and conservationists.

Find the guide by searching in the iTunes store for “fishes east  
pacific” or by following this link directly to the iTunes store.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, headquartered in Panama  
City, Panama, is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Institute  
furthers the understanding of tropical nature and its importance to  
human welfare, trains students to conduct research in the tropics and  
promotes conservation by increasing public awareness of the beauty and  
importance of tropical ecosystems.
Website: www.stri.si.edu.

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