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From the pages of 'The British Tarantula Society Journal'

The Tarantula Keepers Guide

by Stanley & Marguerite Schultz.
ISBN
0-7641-0076-9 Published by Barrons


Many years ago - more, in fact, than I care to remember - I was putting the finishing touches to the old Tarantula ID Guide. It was to be published by an infant Fitzgerald, and was intended to be the first tarantula book to aspire to offer more than the lamentable twaddle by Browning, published by the pet shop publisher TFH.

Printers plates had been prepared, contracts signed and then one evening my old travelling companion Vince Hull-Williams, plonked a new book beside my Guinness and for one dreadful moment my heart missed a beat and my stomach went into free fall. My god, I thought, I've been pipped at the post! I sat and read it, my pint untouched, and after an hour breathed a sigh of relief Schultz's approach was completely different from my own, and the end result was a very different book. Looking back, the two books in many ways complemented each other - at a time when the hobby was in it's infancy and knowledge was sparse. At the time I concluded it was a first class read and even today I can find much to admire about that first edition.

Well, now it's back, and this is no reprint with a touch of slap and tickle. The new book is a full blown re-write, packed with good, solid research and hard earned knowledge gained over two decades of tarantula keeping. An excellent read, well worthy of any enthusiasts' book shelf and for those of you who are thinking, "Do we need yet another How To Keep ... ?", I can assure you that this one is special. It is ,vhat can only be described as a touch of Schultz. This can be defined as well researched text, a pleasant and easy going style of writing, plus of course that it is liberally laced with thoughtful, homespun views on environmental philosophy. A gem of a book which, I suspect, will in time become a classic for those who want more than just pretty pictures,

The book itself is divided into logical sections and subsections, such as The Physical Tarantula (Anatomy & Physiology), The Name Of The Tarantula (Taxonomy & Classification, Identification), Natural History (Distribution, Lifestyle, Behaviour), The Useful Tarantula (Food, Mythology & Religion, Arts & Entertainment, Witless Pranks), The Pet Tarantula (Ethical Considerations, Maintenance, Problems), Catching Your Own (Techniques, Hazards, Personal Safety), The Wellbred Tarantula (Breeding Stock, Care & Maintenance), Ravaging The Planet (Exploitation, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), The Enthusiast Conspiracy (The Necessity, Wired Netted and Webbed), Publish! Publish! Publish! (The Photographic Tarantula, The Written Word), Epilogue and two Appendices: Tarantula Species as Pets and a Bibliography. I think you will agree that there isn't much that the Schultz's have left out. It really is the most complete book written on tarantulas to date, and I cannot recommend it enough.

And for those of you who do like pretty pictures, the book contains over 100 high quality photographs (superb colour photographs as well as several unique scanning electron microscope photographs of the fangs, urticating hairs and palate plates), as well as numerous professional illustrations. The novice will learn so much about the hobby and more from this book by simply picking it up and reading it from cover to cover (it will take them considerably more than an hour!), and the experienced keeper will gain almost as much I am sure. I found it a particularly easy book

to refer to at any point throughout it's pages, and its comprehensive index made this task even simpler. I strongly recommend that you all purchase this publication now!

Copyright 'The British Tarantula Society', 1996,1997


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