The piscatorial dramatis personae
This chapter introduces in relatively brief terms the species found in Britain, the families to which they belong and some other relevant details of their habitat preferences and mode of life. It does so in much the same way that a playwright might list the dramatis personae in the front matter of their play, so that one can refer back to recall who's who when one meet them in the thick of the action. The fishes of the carp and minnow family are some of the most widespread and commonly encountered of British freshwater fishes. So large and diverse is the family Cyprinidae that there is evolving consensus it spans a cluster of families within an order of Cypriniforme fishes. This is not the place to go into the minutiae of fish taxonomy, particularly as consensus is still developing amongst scientists.