THE TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE,
Second Edition (1998)
ADDENDA and ERRATA
LAST UPDATED ON 2013-June-26!
Welcome to the addendum/erratum sheet for The Tarantula Keeper's Guide, Second Edition, hereinafter called TKG2.
Time marches on and so does the tarantula keeping hobby. The editing of TKG2 effectively ended in July of 1997 and as the state of the art of tarantula husbandry advances, it will eventually go out of date. That the hobby is such a dynamic one is indeed encouraging for it bespeaks a bright future. That the book will eventually become only an historical curiosity is a bit disheartening, however. In an effort to forestall that day somewhat, we offer the following page by page listing of addenda and errata.
We strongly urge that you print off a copy of this webpage and keep it with your copy of TKG2 as a constant reference. We would also have you pencil marginal notations into TKG2 wherever appropriate, referring to this Addenda and Errata sheet. Lastly, because we occasionally update this webpage as new material becomes available, we urge you to check back here often to ensure that you have the most recent edition. The last date of revision is listed above for your convenience.
Should you wish to report an error or offer an update on data presented in TKG2 or on this webpage, please feel free to contact the authors here. If at all possible, please include specific page references to aid in finding and listing the corrections.
In advance, we would like to thank all those who took the time and interest to critically read TKG2 and report additional information and point out errors.
Addenda and errata are arranged here by the page or pages on which they occur or on the most relevant page.
Here are listed several items that have changed and are of such a global nature that we thought it best to include them in a special section rather than itemizing them numerous times throughout the text.
Space limitations prevented the inclusion of an extensive index in TKG2 and an abbreviated one was published instead. However, the original, much larger, and more compete index appears as a separate page on this site. We strongly urge readers to print a copy of that index for inclusion as supplementary material. Select here to jump to that Comprehensive Index . (Please note that this is NOT the index page for this webpage.)
See also the notes under Pg 281.
- The following name changes have occurred since the final manuscript was submitted to the printer. They are itemized here. As we learn of others we will add them to this list.
- Phrixotrichus spatulata (F. O. P.-Cambridge 1897) is now called Grammostola rosea (Walckenaer). See also the notes under Pg 263 and Pg 271.
Page by Page Itemizations
- Pg. vii: "The original edition of The Tarantula Keeper's guide had a sole author."
- Typographical error, "guide" should be capitalized.
- Pg. 2: "To make matters even more complicated, there is another animal, distantly related to spiders, and appearing at least as fearsome, that arachnologists have placed in a genus named Tarantula, but is neither a spider nor possesses a venom."
- The term "Tarantula," used as a formal scientific name for an animal has now been discontinued. In its place is used the name "Phrynus." See the entry under page 65, below.
- Pg. 7: "So astoundingly different when first encountered, these creatures seem so familiar once we overcome our initial astonishment and apprehnsion."
- Typographical error. "Apprehnsion" should be spelled "apprehension."
- Pg. 15: "Older books and scientific papers sometimes refer to..."
- The following table may help to clarify the synonymy for the different parts of the chelicerae as used by various authorities.
CROSS-CORRELATIONS BETWEEN TERMS
|As used in TKG2||As used by other authors over history|
||Falx, mandible, or jaw
- Pg. 15: "Although they resemble legs, the pedipalps..."
- The following table compares the segments of the pedipalps with those of the legs.
CROSS-CORRELATIONS BETWEEN TERMS
|SEGMENTS OF THE PEDIPALPS||SEGMENTS OF THE LEGS|
|Coxa (with maxilla or endite)
- Pg. 16: "Likewise, maxilla (maxillae, maxillas) is sometimes used to indicate the pedipalpal coxa."
- Current usage defines the maxillae to be physical extensions of the coxae (i.e., "maxillary processes") that protrude from the inward edges of the coxae towards the centerline of the tarantula. These maxillae are used by the tarantula as an aid to "chewing" its food. See also the entry under page 39, below.
- "Endite" is an alternate term used for a maxilla.
- Pg. 22 (lower illustration): "... approximately 0.6 millimeter (0.0.24 inches) long."
- The inch measurement is gibberish. It should read "0.024 inches."
Pg. 23: "Professional arachnologists divide this process into four phases, calling them either intermolt, proecdysis, ecdysis, and postecdysis or metecdysis; or intermolt, premolt, molt, and postmolt, respectively. Both nomenclatural schemes are used in the current literature (e.g., Barnes 1980, Foelix 2011), Meglitsch 1972)."
The following table may be useful to illustrate the order of occurrence and the relationship between the two naming systems.
- Pg. 23: "The entire process normally requires a year in adult tarantulas."
- In very young tarantulas that are well fed and kept warm, this process may occur as frequently as once a month.
- Pg. 24: "Many tarantulas, especially newly caught imports, may spin a bowl shaped web, the molting mat, and climb into it preparatory to actually molting."
- In the cavity of a burrow, the enfolding walls probably mandate that this structure be bowl shaped. In this situation the term "molting cradle" may be more appropriate. Why does a tarantula make such a structure in the first place?
- Many tarantulas will also charge the molting mat or cradle with their urticating bristles, presumably as a defense against parasites and predators. On one occasion, the authors observed an instance where so many urticating bristles were released by a young Theraphosa blondi that the animal all but disappeared in the pile of "fluff". But, the fluff was capable of putting a careless marauder through absolute hell! See also additional comments made under page 29, below.
- Insert another sentence here: "See page 29 for more information about molting cradles."
- Pg. 25: "... but remains very pliable, only becoming tougher."
- Add to this sentence the phrase "and more leathery."
- Pg. 25: "For the next several days the exoskeleton hardens as the chitin and sclerotin experience a sort of tanning process whereby the individual molecules become cross-linked."
- The hardening of an arachnid's exoskeleton is the result of this tanning process. The more chemical cross-links that are produced, the stiffer that portion of the exoskeleton. Contrast this with the technique used by crustacea where large concentrations of calcium compounds are used to reinforce the exoskeleton. Although trace amounts occur, little or no calcium is directly used in arachnid exoskeletons.
- Pg. 27: "Presumably, this is the result of confusion about the gender of the original Latin word."
- Insert this sentence following the quote above. "Read the section ‘A Little History in a Classical Vein.' on page 63."
- Pg. 27: "The authors try to stuff the still moist, pliable opisthosomal skin with a small ball of cotton."
- A particularly natural appearing mount can be produced if the cotton is dyed extremely dark brown or black with a common clothes dye before use. Presumably, a black, felt tipped marker could also be used to stain the cotton.
- Pg. 29: "Over the next two instars most, if not all, spiderlings become mobile, finish consuming all of the stored yolk on which to subsist, and begin their lives as predacious carnivores."
- Typographical error. Rewrite to read "... stored yolk on which they subsist, ..."
- Pg. 29: "Frequently, a long term captive tarantula will not spin a molting cradle."
- Insert the following sentence after the quote above. "(See page 24 and following for more information about molting cradles.)"
- See also additional comments made under page 24, above.
- Pg. 33: "Not only can an injured limb be lost, but during successive molts, the lost limb gradually regenerates! Apparently, this fact had been suspected but never demonstrated before 1926 when reported by Baerg."
- After publishing this, several instances have to come light where regeneration had been reported earlier in other spiders with at least one reference to tarantulas (MacCook, 1883).
- Pg. 34: "Apodemes (also called entapophyses) and apophyses (singular: apophysis) are infoldings of the exoskeleton. The structure is called an apodeme if it is hollow, an apophysis if it is not."
- The definition given here was paraphrased from Chapman (1971), page 431. Since publication, better definitions have been found.
- Both Borror & Delong (1971) and Aitkins (1978) define an apodeme as "An invagination of the body wall that forms a rigid process that serves for muscle attachment and for strengthening the body wall." An apophysis is defined as "A tubercular or elongate process of the body wall, either external or internal."
- Breene (1998) defines an apodeme as "Body wall invagination (indentation) serving as a point for muscle attachment." That is to say that it "sticks into" the body of the animal. He further defines an apophysis as: "An evagination, more stout than a spine, usually on the legs or pedipalps." That is to say that it "sticks out."
- Hence, the small pit in the center of a tarantula's carapace is an apodeme because it is a depression or "sticks in." On the other hand, the tibial spurs on a male tarantula are apophyses because they are parts of the exoskeleton that "stick out" of the animal. (Here, "stick" is used synonymously with "protrude.")
- While these definitions differ somewhat, they illustrate two basic principles: that apodemes are hollow "pits" or "holes" that "stick in" while apophyses are not hollow and may "stick out, and that not even the experts can agree completely on the body part names of these bizarre animals!
- Pg. 36: "There are many enigmatic, microscopic structures situated among all those bristles whose function we can only guess."
- As an example of this, during the making of the scanning electron micrographs, we found on the front legs (Leg I) a number of bristles that were a complete surprise. They were club shaped, resembling a "turkey drumstick." They were attached in typical cup-like bases by their narrow ends, but they moved in the complete vacuum of the microscope! Apparently, they were so loosely hinged that the electrical charge imparted to them by the scanning process caused them to swing away from similarly charged structures. Upon swinging away, they lost their charge and would swing back. The resulting movement reminded one of the action of a pendulum. Because of their movement, they could not be photographed clearly and weren't included in TKG2.
- What would be the function of these strange bristles? Morphologically, they resembled the halteres of flies that are used as balance and inertia sensing structures. If this is their function, why would they be useful to an animal that moves much more slowly than a fly, and only in a burrow or on a two dimensional surface rather than in three dimensional space?
- Pg. 39: "In their place, they possess stout, powerful, chelicerae and fangs, and robust coxae on their pedipalps, often bearing spinous or tooth-like processes."
- The inward facing surfaces of the pedipalpal coxae frequently protrude somewhat. These are called "maxillae" (singular: maxilla), and are used to crush the tarantula's prey. In effect, they function like jaws.
- See also the entry under page 16, above.
- Pg. 39: "Above the mouth, between the bases of the chelicerae, is another tiny plate called the labrum, or upper lip."
- The labrum is also called a "rostrum" in some texts. See also the following entry.
- Pg. 39: "From the mouth, a narrow tube, the pharynx, extends inward and upward a short distance..."
- The following table may be useful to illustrate the sequence of the various parts in the digestive system and the relationship between the two naming systems.
CROSS-CORRELATIONS BETWEEN TERMS
AS USED IN TKG2
AS USED BY OTHER AUTHORS
|Pumping stomach||Sucking stomach|
|True stomach||Proximal midgut|
|Gastric diverticula||Gastric caeca|
|Malpighian tubules||Malpighian tubules|
|Stercoral pocket||Cloacal chamber or
- Pg. 40: "Tarantulas rely on their stout, powerful, chelicerae and fangs, and robust pedipalpal coxae to masticate (chew) their prey."
- This sentence could be rewritten to read: "Tarantulas rely on their stout, powerful, chelicerae and fangs, and robust pedipalpal coxae (maxillae) to masticate (chew) their prey."
- Pg. 40 (lower illustration): "The largest teeth are two microns (0.0008 inches) long."
- Typographical error. Another zero should have been added after the decimal: "0.00008 inches."
- Pg. 41: "To be precise, they are analogues (having similar appearances and functions but having different origins), not homologues (having similar origins functions, and appearances).
- Insert "(See the sidebar on page 15, "Homology.")"
- Pg. 44: "In the adult male, the terminal segment (pretarsus and claw) has metamorphosed from the relatively simple shape of the immature male's into a complex, intricately adapted organ used to introduce sperm into the female"
- We offer the following table to clarify the nomenclature. Note that not all authorities agree on the correspondence propounded here.
CROSS-CORRELATIONS BETWEEN TERMS
PEDIPALP OF MATURE FEMALES
AND IMMATURES OF EITHER SEX
PEDIPALP OF MATURE MALE
|Coxa (with maxilla or endite)||Coxa (with maxilla or endite)|
|Tibia||Tibia with alveolus|
Select here to jump to a related reference for Pg. 195.
- Pg. 45: "Further, if they became too large and massive they simply couldn't move."
- The authors have a friend who keeps Theraphosa blondi. He has one female that weighs approximately one hundred fifty five grams (five and a half ounces). The tarantula is so massive that she can not lift her opisthosoma off the substrate.
- Pg. 45: "And they probably would not be able to get much larger than the Theraphosa blondi with the twenty five centimeter leg span found at Montagne la Gabrielle, French Guiana in 1925."
- In 1993, Charlie Siederman of Bronx Reptiles in New York is reported to have imported a male Pseudotheraphosa apophysis with a leg span of 33.5 centimeters (13.2 inches ). While he probably appreciated its size he may not have appreciated its true significance. At the time, arachnologists and enthusiasts alike considered this species to be merely a curious variety of T. blondi and attached no special significance to it. As a result, the specimen was apparently not turned over to anyone of authority in science for identification or size verification and it was not reported officially.
- At this point in time the animal is surely dead and its location is unknown. As a result, neither its size nor its exact identity can be confirmed, although there is good reason to believe, based on the reputations of those making the reports, that it is accurate. Should the specimen have been retained in someone's private collection and should it eventually come to public light, it could well prove to be the official "largest spider" on the planet. If anyone reading this knows of its fate, every effort should be made to report it to the offices of the American Tarantula Society so that they may confirm its species and size officially.
- There are other, anecdotal stories of Theraphosa blondi, Lasiodora parahybana, and Pseudotheraphosa apophysis males reaching this size as well, but the sources are not trustworthy and these authors have not been able to confirm them. Still, it is amusing to dream of such behemoths. With the new age of selective breeding of captive tarantulas upon us, these sizes may one day be commonplace.
- We offer our thanks to Todd Gearheart of Glades Herps and Craig Zammiello for the information presented here. And especially, we would like to thank Todd for correcting an earlier erroneous report given in these Addenda and Errata.
- Pg. 46: "4. Milk is often used to lightly cover each parcel of soil that the tarantula expels as it enlarges its burrow.
- Typographical error. Replace "milk" with "silk."
- Pg. 46: "In some kinds of tarantulas, however, silktrip lines are spun, radiating from the burrow's entrance, to alert the tarantula of an approaching meal or predator."
- Typographical error. Replace "silktrip lines" with "silk triplines."
- Pg. 54: "His system was not intended to reflect any actual relationship between the various kinds of organisms. All kinds had only one real relationship. They were created by God."
- This is not precisely true, but was abbreviated in TKG2 for lack of space. In fact, the prevalent belief among intelligentsia of the time was that God made many organisms by merely copying already existing plans and incorporating variations to make them distinct kinds. Thus, supposedly, all birds were in this way related. The basic bird motif was used by God but with specific differences for the sake of variety. So, there was a logic to the way in which differing animals could be grouped based on how closely or distantly they appeared to be related.
- Pg. 58: "One Phylum in the animal kingdom is composed of all animals having an exoskeleton impregnated with chitin and sclerotin, and with more or less rigid, jointed appendages (Table 1)."
- Typographical error. Tables are numbered with Roman numerals. Thus this should read "... jointed appendages (Table I)."
- Pg. 58: "There appears to be a clear division of this group into three subgroups."
- Insert the word "(Table II)" after "subgroups."
- Pg. 60: "Here is an example where an additional level in the hierarchy was considered necessary, and the Suborder Opisthothelae was divided into two subordinate divisions called Infraorders."
- Rewrite to read "Here is another example ..."
- Pg. 62: "Over the centuries, professional arachnologists have also called this family of spiders Mygalidae after the original genus, Mygale (see below), and Aviculariidae."
- Insert after "Aviculariidae" the following phrase. "... after the tree dwelling tarantulas from South America and the Caribbean Islands called Avicularia."
- Pg. 62: "In all scientific publications as well as many enthusiast books, the year in which the species was first described by the original authority is also given, at least at first mention."
- "In all scientific publications ..." is probably a bit too strong. "Most" would be more truthful.
- Pg. 63: "The description does not have to be peer reviewed, either."
- Insert "(See the side bar on page 62, "Peer Review.")"
- Pg. 65: "Professional arachnologists, at least in North America, accept the name "tarantula" (lower case t) to mean only members of the Family Theraphosidae, and "Tarantula" (upper case T) to mean only one genus of arachnids that aren't even spiders (see Table III)."
- In fact, the table referred to here should be Table IV.
- In addition, the name "Tarantula" has recently found to be a junior synonym to the name "Phrynus" when used for the genus of tailless whipscorpions. This means that an earlier description of the animal was found that used the name Phrynus. As a result, Phrynus becomes the official name with Tarantula relegated to the history books. Similarly, the former family name Tarantulidae, is replaced by Phrynidae.
- See also the entry under page 2, above.
- Pg. 66: "Furthermore, most of those characteristics that we can recognize are rather obscure."
- We should have pointed out here and elsewhere in the text that taxonomists must literally dismantle the specimen when attempting to identify it. Most taxonomic features are either too small to be seen with the naked eye, or are positioned in such obscure places as to be nearly invisible. To see them properly usually requires mounting selected portions of the specimen under a dissecting microscope. Obviously, the enthusiast would not want to send his prized living specimens to an expert for identification.
- Pg. 69: "In 1996 a small colony of Brachypelma vagans was discovered in an orange grove in the state of Florida (USA), and subsequently exterminated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services."
- Great news! The FDA&CS was unsuccessful at exterminating the colony. One of these authors (SAS) has seen specimens (98-October-16) collected from the site after the presumed extermination. The hobby now refers to these tarantulas as Brachypelma vagans floridanus, the Florida redrump tarantula. This is NEITHER a valid scientific subspecies NOR a valid common name, however, but rather a joke aimed at the FDA&CS!
- Pg. 71: "They relinquish the ability to dig a burrow wherever convenient, being forced to exploit whatever cover they can find, clefts in tree bark, bunched leaves, or a bromeliad, for instance.
- Rewrite this sentence to read: "They relinquish the ability to dig a protective burrow ..."
- Pg. 73: "Either they have such limited senses that they simply are unaware that other clan members are near, or they are such timid, retiring creatures that they rarely travel far enough to interact with their neighbors."
- In an e-mail posting, Rick Blauman reports speaking with several collectors who have seen colonies of Pamphobeteus antinous (among others) where the distance between burrows was sometimes as little as thirty centimeters (one foot). Surely, the individuals in those burrows were aware of, and made frequent contact with their neighbors. This poses some very interesting questions.
- "Are these tarantulas so gentle with their own kind as to freely allow such close proximity?"
- "Is this semi-communal behavior the result of natural selective breeding in areas where some resource (e.g., soil suitable for burrows) is very scarce?"
- "Are such high population densities the result of an extremely abundant food supply, thus blunting the normal predatory instincts between colony mates?"
- "Do the individuals in these colonies survive close packing by employing some sort of behavioral mechanism similar to that described under "Magic Dancers" (page 225, of TKG2)?"
- "Or, is there some totally unsuspected mechanism at work here? (E.g. a pheromone, see the entry under page 83.)"
- An even more extreme sort of communalism has also been seen in members of the genera Avicularia and Poecilotheria. These are arboreal tarantulas living in highly restrictive habitats (high in trees), presumably to escape periodic flooding. Such arboreal habitats offer few and closely spaced locations for building the requisite silk nests. Apparently, under these conditions, these tarantulas developed a high tolerance for close neighbors, even to the point of occasionally sharing common nests.
- Pg. 78: "After the spiderlings escape the eggsac and eventually leave the burrow, the mother will molt, usually in midsummer."
- Arachnologists refer to the leaving of the mother's burrow by the baby spiders as "dispersal."
- Pg. 83: "Secret Password."
- Pheromones are chemical messengers produced by individuals of a species, transmitted through air or water, that elicit some response in other members of the same species. Occasionally, they are directed at eliciting a response in other species as well (e.g., the bolus spiders [Mastophora species: Araneae, Araneidae] produce a pheromone that attracts the males of a certain species of moth as a feeding strategy.) Foelix (2011) contains an introductory discussion of pheromones in spiders with a number of references. Biologists have known about, and studied, pheromones in insects (for example) for decades, but little or no research has been conducted on tarantulas' pheromones. At this point, their existence in tarantulas is only conjecture, but seems entirely plausible since they are found in many other spiders.
- To date, research suggests that the activity of pheromones in spiders is centered on the female attracting a male for mating. While hobbyists who breed tarantulas are well aware that the male recognizes the female by her scent, we have no direct proof that the female recognizes the male by his scent. Yet, this would seem the perfect way for a female to determine that the male who is courting her really was her species. Does this happen? Is his scent, his pheromones, the real secret password? Again (and again, and again...), more research is badly needed.
- Pg. 84: "After copulation, the male holds the female as far away as possible, until he can safely unhook his front legs, and make a run for it! The female frequently chases him a short distance, but is seldom very intent."
- Mike "troll" Dame reports in an e-mail posting that a female Aphonopelma anax mated amicably 21 times before she finally attacked and killed the male. This indicates that the frequency or probability of the female attacking the male can be quite variable. Certain species (e.g., Avicularia avicularia) may even cohabit for days. In others (e.g., Brachypelma albopilosum) the females are predictably hostile and the male must be guarded carefully both before and after copulation.
- Additionally, a male may return day after day for several days, once he has found a receptive female, regardless of her chasing him after copulation is compete.
- Pg. 85: "With a continuing population of 150 to 450 adult tarantulas, most being females, over a span of more than twenty five years, the authors have had only one female lay eggs without being bred by a male."
- Rick Blauman, in an e-mail posting, reports that he frequently has females that produce eggsacs without preliminary copulation by a male. He also infers that, as in our experience, the eggs did not develop. He further states "Producing & laying sterile eggs seems to be common with tropical tarantulas."
- Lastly, he makes the conjecture that most females are successfully mated in the wild, making the production of unfertilized eggs uncommon in nature. The frequency with which this happens, however, is not known and requires more field work.
- Other questions are: "Is there a difference in the frequency of unfertilized eggsacs between different species?" "In nature, do any of the unfertilized eggs hatch (parthenogenesis)?"
- Pg. 86: "On the other end of the spectrum, Theraphosa blondi spiderlings emerge with a leg span of nineteen millimeters (three quarters inch)."
- Rick Blauman reports that he has had spiderlings of Haplopelma lividum emerge with leg spans of twenty-five millimeters (one inch), and Poecilotheria ornata and P. regalis spiderlings emerge with up to thirty-two millimeter (one-and-one-quarter inch) leg spans. He further suggests "Maybe temps/humidity/feedings have something to do with this. "In my experience hatchling size varies within a species, usually the smaller the number of spiderlings, the bigger they are."
- Pg. 87: "In spite of the fact that the mother tarantula tends the eggsac, tolerates the newly emerged spiderlings in her burrow, and may even feed them a little, her care is very brief."
- When this was written the authors had little or no data on maternal care of tarantula spiderlings, although maternal care among other spiders was well known (e.g., family Pisauridae, the nursery web spiders). However, upon reading this sentence, Rick Blauman reports that he has read reports describing instances where spiderlings from one or two eggsacs were seen living with the mother, some of them being quite large.
- Dr. Sam Marshall (1996) shows a photograph of a female Theraphosa blondi with her brood. And he reports (private communication) that he has seen one-third grown juvenile T. blondi cohabiting with their mothers in the wild.
- Thus, it appears that in many species maternal care may have progressed beyond the simple "birth them and abandon them" practice as reported in TKG2.
- Pg. 87: "Even small burrows are probably also present, but are extremely difficult to distinguish from minute insect burrows and irregularities in the soil."
- Typographical error. Rewrite this sentence to read: "Even smaller burrows...
- Pg. 89: "Enthusiasts with experience with B. emilia suspect that the females may be the longest lived spiders, perhaps approaching forty years."
- Dr. R. G. Breene reports that at least one New Mexico Aphonopelma species may have a life span considerably longer than forty years. This was based on the growth rates of young of the species.
- The truth is that the arachnoculture hobby is so young, and tarantulas have not been bred in captivity until so recently, and the life spans of many are so long that we really don't have a very good idea of the life expectancies of all but a very few kinds. In another twenty-five or fifty years that may change. For now, all we have are educated "guesstimates."
- Pg. 90: "However, as a designation for purposes of future reference, we suggest the name of sexual stridulation for this peculiar activity."
- The term sexual stridulation has since been disallowed on the grounds that no stridulating organs have thus far been identified or reported, the current theory being that the sound is made by vibrating musculature. Therefore, we propose the term courting vibration be used until or unless a definite stridulating organ is reported.
- Pg. 100: "A few species of tarantulas (probably fewer than a dozen) may have a potentially harmful venom."
- It is now known that this estimate is too conservative. As time progresses, evidence is accumulating that as many as 50 or more species of tarantulas may have medically significant venoms. Specifically, those of the genera Heteroscodra, Pelinobius (formerly Citharischius), Poecilotheria, Pterinochilus, and Stromatopelma have been reported in anecdotal accounts as producing severe symptoms requiring hospitalization in people bitten by them. Undoubtedly, more wil be added to this list as the hobby's experience grows. It is perhaps of some significance to note that all these are Old World species. (See also below.)
- Indeed, one of the authors (MJS) was bitten on the index finger by an "Usumbura" (unidentified species of Pterinochilus) and required Demerol to ease the pain. The bitten hand evidenced considerable swelling several hours after the bite. All symptoms had disappeared within eighteen hours, however.
- Individual species of other genera have also been reported to have caused severe reactions in a few individuals. Some of these are Grammostola rosea, Phormictopus cancerides, and Brachypelma emilia. These, however, have elicited only swelling and some pain, neither terribly severe.
- And, the use of the term "dangerous" must be argued against. Because no one in history has been verified as dying of a tarantula's bite, and further, no one in history has even been verified as suffering lasting harm or consequences from a tarantula's bite, it is arguable that the term "dangerous" cannot in all good conscience be applied to tarantulas as a matter of principle. One may speak of an "actively defensive" tarantula, and "medically significant bites," but that would be about the truthful limit.
- See an additional note concerning Brachypelma emilia under page 138, below.
- See also the entry under page 144, below.
- Pg. 100: "With the exception of those listed above, none of the species commonly sold in pet shops is "dangerous," and most make safe, reliable pets for the novice."
- The hobby is changing. In a never ending quest to offer their customers "new, improved" pets, the more exotic the better, pet shops are now occasionally offering tarantulas with medically significant bites WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT! One might tell the novice not to buy any tarantula except one of the kinds that have been sold in the pet industry for years, and are well known. However, the novice will not know which are old-time favorites and which are new to the hobby. That's where a little research and a good tarantula book come in handy!
- The potential buyer of any tarantula from a pet shop should at least first read a good book on tarantulas. If possible, contacting another, experienced enthusiast to try to determine what species is being offered before making a purchase is also a good idea. Such authorities might be local tarantula keepers or people contacted through one of the larger enthusiast organizations or through the Internet. See page 248 and following in TKG2 for more information. Under any circumstances, the prospective buyer should carefully read the section "Caveats" beginning on page 138 of TKG2.
- See also an additional mention of this at page 138, below.
- See also the updated data for several international organizations listed under page 248, below.
- Pg. 109: "As a rule of thumb, the cage should never be more than thirty centimeters (twelve inches) tall, and even less for some of the really huge species."
- Breene and O'Brien (1998) suggest a much more useful rule of thumb. For terrestrial tarantulas, the distance between the top of the substrate and the cage's cover should not exceed the outstretched, maximum leg span of the tarantula.
- For many cages, reducing the overhead distance may be accomplished by adding more substrate. A thick layer of substrate may also allow the tarantula to burrow, an added bonus if this is desired. Otherwise, the enthusiast should move the pet into a shallower container.
- Pg. 111: "Caging."
- In the last several years, one inexpensive style of cage, mass produced in Asia, has become very popular. It is variously called Pet Pal, Kritter Keeper and other names. In essence, they are small, clear plastic boxes with slightly sloping sides and a lid made largely of a plastic grillwork. The first models had lids that fit on by friction alone. Lately, some models have additional little tabs that snap over the edge of the bottom portion to make the lid more secure.
- Pet shops immediately began to sell them for all sorts of small animals, tarantulas included, and in the proper sizes they are more than adequate. However, to conserve valuable space, pet shops routinely use cages that are too small for their inhabitants by a factor of four in some cases. This in itself may not be too bad because they were intended only as temporary housing for the animals. However, in a large number of cases, the purchaser is tacitly led to believe that such small cages are acceptable as permanent caging, thus dooming the pet to spending the remainder of its life in what amounts to an extremely cramped prison cell.
- The same rules for cage size stated earlier should be applied with these as well. In addition, the handles supplied with these cages must also be removed, forcing the owner to pick the cage up by the edges or the bottom rather than the lid alone. This will forestall dropping the bottom portion of the cage and killing the tarantula.
- Pg. 112: "Among them are sheets of aluminum (commercially stamped as decorative grills), heavy mesh nylon cloth, and thin boards or plywood with many drilled holes."
- DO NOT USE NYLON MESH. Experience has proven that a resolute tarantula can tear its way through any nylon mesh as though it weren't there at all.
- DO NOT USE ALUMINUM WINDOW SCREENING. Experience has proven that a resolute tarantula can tear its way through any aluminum mesh as though it weren't there at all.
- Pg. 115: "Furthermore, a chemical in paper that is derived from fir trees resembles certain hormones that stop insect maturation (Slama and Williams 1965)."
- Continued use of wood products such as paper toweling and bark chips as substrates by tarantula enthusiasts has indicated that this may not be as much of a problem as was at first thought.
- Pg. 115: "Some enthusiasts have tried the green, artificial turf carpeting used for patios and porches."
- This subject is covered more fully in Schultz & Schultz (1998).
- Pg. 115: "Other organic substrates have been tried by the present authors, and many other enthusiasts."
- One such substrate that is used distressingly often by pet shops, and therefore by their unsuspecting customers for tarantulas, is ground corn cob. This product is marketed by a number of manufacturers and most brands are treated in some fashion to enhance absorbency of moisture and to subdue odours, necessary attributes when keeping small rodents. Both of these properties are at least not required with tarantulas, and can even be fatal.
- First, absorbency is seldom a concern in a tarantula's cage. In fact, the corn cob bedding usually desiccates the cage too severely for all but the hardiest deep desert species. Other species, depending on their stamina in the face of extreme drought, will either not do well or simply die after several weeks.
- Secondly, the chemicals used to reduce odours are also not required. Tarantulas have little or no natural odor detectable by humans. In fact, enthusiasts usually complain more about their food, the crickets, than the tarantulas. Also, there is some suspicion that these chemicals may be harmful to the tarantula, although there have been no authenticated cases of poisoning reported anecdotally or in the literature.
- Lastly, the corn cob remains loose and unstable indefinitely. This prompts many tarantulas to climb onto the cage's walls and hang there for days in preference to having to walk on it.
- Do not under any circumstances use a ground corn cob substrate with any of your tarantulas.
- Pg. 116: "Experience has demonstrated that most pet tarantulas..."
- Similarly, experience has suggested that Pelinobius muticus (formerly called Citharischius crawshayi, the king baboon tarantula) and Haplopelma lividum (the cobalt blue tarantula) probably require a burrow for long term survival in captivity. Most of these two species die soon after acquisition by the enthusiast unless allowed to burrow.
- Pg. 117: "Lund (1977) gives instructions for using a smaller aquarium inside a larger one for allowing the construction of a burrow."
- Select here for additional comments and diagrams.
Pg. 119: "For the individuals of Theraphosa blondi in the authors' collection, simple burrows were made from lengths of plastic pipe."
- In fact, these proved to be very useful as hides for quite a number of tarantula species. The diameter of the pipe used should be scaled to the size of the tarantula. Select here for additional comments and a diagram .
- Pg. 121: "The optimal temperature for pet tarantulas is approximately 23 C to 26 C (73 F to 79 F), but they can tolerate nearly any temperature that humans normally can without excessive protective cover, and most will live quite nicely at any room temperature at which people are comfortable."
- In fact, optimal temperatures are probably slightly different for each species, and the temperature that a given tarantula is best kept at will also be governed by whether or not the intention is for breeding.
- The stated temperatures are acceptable for pet tarantulas in an average situation. The enthusiast who is concerned that a pet tarantula may not be kept at an optimal temperature might depart from the temperatures stated here. For the most part, however, temperatures above 38 C (100 F) should be considered lethal. Similarly, long term temperatures below 21 C (70 F) are likely to cause illness or death, especially in those species that are seldom or never exposed to low temperatures in nature.
- One exception to this rule are those tarantulas that normally experience a winter cool season. These may be able to tolerate two or three months of temperatures down to 16 C (60 F) or even lower. Because no data (and probably no research or experience) has been reported concerning overwintering by temperate climate tarantulas, how low a temperature they may reasonably tolerate and for what lengths of time, these authors hesitate to suggest such extremes at this point. Again (and again, and again...), more research is badly needed.
- Pg. 121: "Several enthusiasts have reported that, during very hot weather, their tarantulas submerged themselves in a water dish for several hours."
- Breene and O'Brien (1998) report that tarantulas that are suffering dehydration due to quarters that are too dry will frequently stand atop their water dishes or even immerse their opisthosomas in the water. It is presumed that immersion moistens the book lungs to aid diffusion of respiratory gasses, but this has not yet been demonstrated.
- Assuming this to be a correct interpretation of their behavior, every effort should be made to move a tarantula into cooler, more humid quarters as quickly as possible if this behavior is noticed. See page 124 of TKG2, "The Importance of Wetness" for a more complete discussion.
- Pg. 122: "If there are any doubts about the temperature in a tarantula's cage, purchase a thermometer from a tropical fish shop and keep it in the cage."
- Do not be too trusting of the temperatures and humidities reported by thermometers and hygrometers unless you have checked them against some trustworthy standard, or even better, calibrated them from independent sources. Even expensive research instruments will go out of calibration with time and use, and the utility grade instruments are even more prone to shifting baselines and calibration factors. The subject of calibrating these instruments is too long and complex to be addressed here. Enthusiasts are encouraged to take their instruments to a commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning firm for comparison with their instruments as a practical method of determining their accuracy.
- Pg. 126: "On the other hand, tarantulas can be induced to mature more quickly by power feeding... At the same time, they will be much larger and more vigorous."
- In an effort to force their baby tarantulas to marketable size sooner or in order to hasten maturation, many breeders have learned to "power feed" their spiderlings.
- Power feeding is defined as feeding the spiderlings absolutely as much as they will eat. This is usually accomplished by checking their cages daily and adding more food (usually small crickets) whenever those previously offered are gone. Some will also elevate the cages' temperatures several degrees above room temperature to speed their metabolisms and further hasten growth and maturation.
- The final sentence quoted above may not be correct, and the reader is cautioned to not believe it entirely until more information is available. At this juncture, we know that power feeding will force spiderlings to grow much faster than ordinary, and we also know that they will mature more quickly. What is still not known is whether power fed tarantulas will reach, at their time of maturation, a size that is larger than normal, smaller than normal or about the same. It is hoped that some of the breeders who are power feeding their spiderlings will be able to provide this data in the near future.
- If power fed tarantulas mature at a significantly smaller size than ordinary, power feeding should probably not be done except during the very youngest instars in an effort to get them quickly past the initial, fragile part of their lives.
- Select here to jump to a related reference for Pg. 194.
- Pg. 135: "If there is great concern about the tarantula's ability to adjust to a drier cage life, its cage may be misted once every day or two with a small plant sprayer."
- It turns out that the practice of misting is probably not very helpful in controlling humidity. The water vapor that is added to the cage's air is too transient if there is any ventilation at all. Almost before the sprayer is put away, the humidity will have diminished to nearly ineffective levels. A far better practice is to restrict ventilation severely and to increase the diameter of the water dish, or add a second one.
- Pg. 135: "Some millipedes are notorious for exhaling traces of cyanide or other noxious gas, and will eat unsightly holes in the plants."
- Here it is assumed that living plants would be kept with millipedes and land snails. While this is not necessarily so, it is a fair assumption. If living plants are wanted, the enthusiast should first read the comments on page 120 of TKG2 under the heading "Decorations."
- Pg. 138: "It seems that B. emilia has gained its bad reputation by conjecture and rumor alone, for the authors are unaware of any reports of humans suffering from their bite.
- Since writing this, the authors have heard of one anecdotal report of a bite by Brachypelma emilia causing swelling and pain. Reportedly, neither were severe, however. In any case, the rarity of such bites makes their importance much more an academic speculation than a real threat.
- See additional comments regarding Brachypelma emilia under page 100, above.
- Pg. 138: "There are probably fewer than a dozen species in the entire world that may be dangerous; the authors have seen verifiable reports of only three or four."
- This is almost surely too optimistic a statement. See the comments under page 100, above.
- Pg. 139: "The Tyrannosaurus rex of Tarantulas."
- See the index entry on page 287 in your copy of TKG2 or the Comprehensive Index in this webpage for other references to these huge tarantulas.
- Pg. 143: "Our reaction to tarantula venoms also depends on where we are bitten and our physiological sensitivity to the venom."
- Humans exhibit at least a two tier reaction to tarantula (and most other animal) venoms. The first reaction is a direct effect of the venom itself, a poison pure and simple. Thus, most people might react to tarantula bites where venom was actually injected with the classic symptoms of swelling and numbness or pain. At the risk of trivializing the principle, one might compare this reaction to "throwing a monkey wrench" into one's biochemical machinery. The principal result is that "things" begin to malfunction or fail completely to work.
- The second type of reaction is the result of an allergic response and may be rarer in humans than the first, although much more spectacular and at least as dangerous. It is an extremely complex physiological reaction to the foreign proteins or other components of the venom. This allergic reaction can be as relatively trivial (though nonetheless disconcerting) as a bad case of hives where a tarantula's urticating bristles are involved, or as serious as anaphylactic shock caused by a reaction to a tarantula's venom. One might describe this reaction as being an all-out war waged against the foreign substances, but on one's home turf with all the consequent dangers and damage.
- Lastly, because a person is seriously allergic to bee stings does not mean that they will be equally allergic to a tarantula's bite. Many of the substances in the two venoms are vastly different. However, the fact that a person is grievously allergic to bee stings may indicate that they are prone to be allergic to a wide number of substances, or prone to readily developing such sensitivities (atopy). In that case, they may also be allergic to tarantula venom quite independently of their allergy to bee stings. Both result from the same, root property, not one from the other.
- Pg. 144: "Conflicting reports do occur in the literature, however (Baerg 1922 and 1926; Bucherl 1968-1971; Maratic 1967)."
- See also the entry under page 100, above.
- Pg. 144: "So, You're Bitten. Now What?"
- Additionally, if circumstances permit, blood and urine specimens should be taken and tests run on these. A specific request should be made for hard copies of the results. Photos should be taken of the site of the bite at the time of its worst symptoms. A brief description of the patient's reaction to the bite, concentrating on medically important data, should also be made. Copies of all of these should be sent to the American Tarantula Society for forwarding to competent toxicologists for archiving and eventual publication.
- Pg. 147: "Medical Problems"
- Shortly after TKG2's final manuscript was submitted for printing, American Tarantula Society published Breene (1997). The enthusiast is strongly urged to acquire a copy of this publication. Available from the American Tarantula Society.
- Pg. 155: "However, the following January she appeared to be having trouble moving around her cage, and she had stopped eating entirely."
- Tarantulas that have been severely injured or have suffered a bad molt often molt much sooner than expected, a method for accelerating damage repair. In the case of the individual discussed here, the tarantula may have stopped eating in preparation for another molt, but was too old and weak to complete the process.
- Pg. 165: "Parasites"
- From time to time hobbyists report the presence of horsehair worms (Also called gordian worms: Nematomorpha. See any college invertebrate zoology text [e.g.,Barnes (1980) or Meglitsch (1972)] for a fuller discussion of these.) in tarantulas' water dishes. Novices become very distraught upon seeing them. Experienced enthusiasts presume that these arise from the crickets that were fed the tarantulas, but thus far this has not been proven.
- Infestation by these parasites in tarantulas is unlikely because of the peculiar system of feeding employed by spiders. Specifically, because of the palate plate only liquids are swallowed. It is difficult to understand how an egg or larval gordian worm (or any food born parasite for that matter) could get past the palate plate to infest a spider. Having said that, parasites are often amazingly adept at circumventing the defenses of their hosts, and the possibility of it happening here has not been ruled out.
- Pg. 167: "While they have been observed crawling on tarantulas, they apparently do not irritate them (West 1995)."
- These mites or close relatives probably exist in the wild over much of North America, perhaps the entire planet. Thus, it is possible that some hobbyists, especially those with larger collections, may already have a few of these mites resident. This poses the question "How would the enthusiast be able to distinguish the predatory mites from the nuisance species?"
- There is probably no certain way of distinguishing them without sending preserved specimens off to a professional acarologist for an identification. These may be found at major universities and at government operated agricultural research facilities. Contact these institutions and facilities for names and locations of researchers with this expertise.
- Next, note if the mites that are found in the cage are slow moving, white or cream colored, round creatures that tend to congregate around food sources, or if they're "tear drop" shaped with the pointed end being the front end, rust or orange colored, and very fast moving. The former are the "bad" mites that enthusiasts soon learn to hate. The latter could probably be the predatory ones that are desirable.
- If round, slow moving mites are found, samples may be sent to an acarologist for identification, but the cage should be cleaned and sanitized immediately. If the other mites are seen, do not clean the cage. Send samples to an expert with a note of urgency and clean the cage only if the mites appear to be severely irritating the tarantula. If in doubt, temporarily move the tarantula into another cage, leaving the original cage alone until a response is received from the acarologist. If the response indicates that the mites are a predatory kind, there is a strong argument in favor of introducing them to other cages as a preventive measure, especially if they seem not to bother the tarantula.
- Pg. 169: "If window screening is no barrier, a similar product called microscreen may be the answer."
- It turns out that "microscreen" is only one name for this product, and not well known at that. As a result, when inquiring about it, a lengthy description should also be given to make certain that the listener will understand what is wanted. Such a description might include such phrases as "extra fine window screen," "filter screening," and "number 60 or 80 mesh." Additionally, the fact that it is made of brass or stainless steel might also be included.
- Pg. 169: "There are stories of eighteenth and nineteenth century explorers who were so fearful of driver ants (e.g., genus Atta) that they slept in beds whose legs were set in buckets of kerosene."
- Genus Atta is, in fact, the fungus ants, those that harvest leaves and maintain fungus cultures in their colonies as a food source. These are also called parasol ants.
- One genus of the so-called driver or legionary ants is Eciton.
- Pg. 173: "The authors use small yogurt and delicatessen cups)."
- Typographical error. Delete the closing parenthesis.
- Pg. 174: "7. A potato rake or a stout snake stick..."
- Select here for additional information about snakesticks.
- Pg. 180: "In each cup, insert a piece of moist sponge measuring about two centimeters (three-quarters inch) on a side."
- In particularly hot or dry weather these should be checked for moisture every day, otherwise every second day. The sponges should be discarded and replaced with new whenever they become soiled, or at least every 7 days to reduce the probability of passing some contagion to the tarantulas.
- Pg. 183: "Venomous snakes are arguable the most dangerous creatures the tarantula collector may meet."
- Typographical error. Replace "arguable" with "arguably."
- Pg. 184: ""How ugly!" you cry. They are only ugly to human tourists."
- The publisher cut the following parenthetical material from this sentence, immediately following "tourists."
"(insufferable wretches under the best of circumstances)."
- Pg. 194: "Several males are recommended in case one is sterile or impotent."
- The males may be kept at different temperatures and given different feeding regimens in order to stagger their maturation times over a period of several years. Growth and maturation rates are discussed more fully on page 226 of TKG2.
- See also the entry under page 126, above.
- Pg. 195: "Adult male tarantulas possess clubbed pedipalps ... , although these may not be readily obvious, being small or hidden under an extension of the cymbium."
- In fact, the hood referred to here is not an extension of the cymbium, but rather an extension of the tibia. The cymbium is very small and also hidden under this hood.
- Select here to jump to a related reference for Pg. 44.
- Pg. 202: "These adjustments and use of a dimmer switch reduces sudden, dramatic temperature fluctuations in the case, and prolongs the life of the bulbs."
- Typographical error. Replace "reduces" with "reduce."
- Pg. 204: "Of Pedigrees and Inbreeding"
- In a 1998-January-23 E-mail posting to the arachnid mailing list, Mr. Rick C. West related the results of experiments in inbreeding two species of tarantulas (a Phlogiellus sp. from W. Malaysia and Grammostola iheringi from N. Argentina). In both species, inbreeding caused severe deformities, difficulty molting, and reduced size after only one or two generations. Based on his experiences, we may safely say that inbreeding is to be strictly avoided except in the most extreme circumstances.
- Pg. 208: "Hybridization"
- Thomas Ezendam and Yann Evenou in E-mail postings during the first of week of August, 1998 report that the following hybrids had been offered commercially in Europe within the last few years.
- Avicularia avicularia x A. metallica
- Brachypelma albopilosum x B. vagans
- Brachypelma boehmei x B. emilia
- Brachypelma smithi x B. boehmei
- Brachypelma smithi x B. emilia
- Brachypelma vagans x Aphonopelma anax (NOTE: An intergeneric hybrid!)
- Ceratogyrus bechuanicus x C. brachycephalus
- Ceratogyrus darlingi x C. brachycephalus
- Pamphobeteus antinous x Vitalius platyomma (NOTE: An intergeneric hybrid!)
- Poecilotheria fasciata x P. regalis
- Poecilotheria regalis x P. ornata
- Psalmopoeus cambridgei x P. irminia
- Pterinochilus murinus x Pterinochilus "Usumbura" (NOTE: These are now considered color forms of the same species, therefore this may not in fact be a hybrid.)
- Stromatopelma calceatum x S. griseipes (NOTE: S. griseipes is currently considered a subspecies of S. calceatum, and thus this is not considered a true hybrid.
- Pg. 230: "Now might also be a good time to order a starter culture of predatory mites. See page 230."
- Typographical error. The page reference should be "page 167, ‘Fighting Fire with Fire.'" (Thanks to Wade Beresnak for pointing this out.)
- Pg. 235: "It is a pity that after almost 400 million years of evolving, and surviving holocausts and natural disasters whose nature we can only guess, ..."
- This sentence could be interpreted to imply that tarantulas have been existent for 400 million years. This is not so. Primitive spider-like creatures did exist 380 million years ago, but the oldest tarantula fossils are apparently only 65 million years old. Thus, they date back only to the time of the "T-K" extinction, when dinosaurs became extinct and other animals, including the mammals, began to experience an evolutionary explosion. Is this also true of tarantulas?
- Mammalian evolution, for instance, is thought to have been suppressed by the extremely successful reptiles that lived until the T-K event. Only after the dominant reptiles became extinct did mammals begin to evolve to fill the ecological void. Is this also what happened with the tarantulas? If so, what organisms did they replace?
- Pg. 235: "Indeed, the current rate at which species are vanishing has prompted biologists to call this extermination the greatest mass extinction of all time!"
- Perhaps this should have read "one of the greatest mass extinctions of all time."
- There have actually been at least five "Great Extinctions" in Earth's history, and this one threatens to be the sixth.
||25% of families
Unknown % of species
||19% of families
70% of species
||54% of families
70-90% of species
||23% of families
Unknown % of species
||17% of families
Unknown % of species
|The T-K Extinction
a.k.a. the Chicxulub Event
||Unknown % of families
Up to 50% of species by 2100 AD
- The third Great Extinction occurred about 250 million years ago. Ninety percent of all marine organisms and seventy percent of all land organisms are thought to have died. In the past, scientists had thought that this resulted from extreme climatic changes brought on by continental drift. However, recently a string of at least five major meteor craters have been found in a more or less "great circle" route (the spherical analogue of a straight line) stretching from eastern North America eastward around to Europe. Furthermore, these craters have all been dated at the same age: 250 million years old. The positional and age coincidences are striking, causing several geologists and palaeontologists to speculate that the third Great Extinction was not climatic in origin, but rather the result of bombardment by a fragmenting asteroid or comet in much the manner as Jupiter was pummelled by Shoemaker-Levy 9 in July, 1994. If correct, it is astounding that any living thing survived at all.
- 250 million years ago life on Earth came very close to having to start all over again.
- Several related popular articles appeared in the June 1998 issue of Popular Science (Vol. 252, number 6).
- Additionally, a related article dealing with biodiversity also appeared in the February 1999 issue of the National Geographic Magazine (Vol. 195, number 2).
- Pg. 237: "Now it is on a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) list (see page )."
- The list referred to here is Appendix II.
- Pg. 243: "Thus, while Brachypelma smithi, the Mexican redknee tarantula, is now protected from export from Mexico (as indeed, all Mexican Brachypelma species are), CITES can do nothing to protect the individuals living within that country."
- Recently the authors heard a grim story. Before Brachypelma smithi became popular in the pet industry Mexican peasants were relentlessly destroying every one they could find, having a deep seated, irrational fear of them. This included killing wandering males on sight, pouring gasoline down their burrows when found, spraying yards and fields with pesticides, and systematically searching for them in much the same manner as "rattle snake roundups" in the southern USA.
- When it became apparent that they could be traded for valuable merchandise or sold for cash for export to the rest of the world, the emphasis switched from killing them to shipping as many as possible out of the country with all available speed.
- After they were put on CITES Appendix II and could no longer be exported, the Mexican peasants have reverted to systematically exterminating them again by whatever means presents itself at the moment.
- Thus, CITES protection has done absolutely nothing to protect B. smithi in the wild, has made it much more difficult to acquire specimens for breeding and pets, and has raised their commercial price dramatically. The only good news in this story is that CITES protection has promoted the establishment of a captive breeding population, thus offering some promise that the species will survive in captivity even if it is eradicated in the wild. This, however, is not the way in which CITES was supposed to work!
- Pg. 244: "The bureaucracy and the red tape become as burdensome as a white rhino."
- Lastly, CITES is supposed to save wildlife from extinction, and in a few high profile cases (the so-called "Charismatic Megafauna") it may actually be successful. However, in the vast majority of cases it prevents saving threatened organisms from clear-cut deforestation, slash and burn agriculture and the ecological havoc created by human civilization. Without CITES' prohibitions many "protected" species of smaller, more easily reared organisms would be exported from their native habitats, and captive breeding populations established by fanciers and enthusiasts. Thus, while it may or may not save the white rhino and other high profile organisms, CITES seals the doom of thousands of smaller, less dramatic species. Herein lies the most important criticism of CITES: it actually ensures the extinction of many more species than it ever hopes to save.
- Pg. 245: "These organizations afford the enthusiast the strongest tool for influencing those laws and regulations."
- It is a sad twist of politics that in the United States of America, as well as many other countries, this input is fervently repressed.
- Any hobbyist organization in the USA must either be listed with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization, or pay taxes as any other person or entity. Furthermore, as non-profit organizations, their donors may claim their membership dues and other donations as legitimate deductions from their annual taxes. Without that non-profit status, the members are merely spending their money as far as the IRS is concerned, and cannot claim the contributions as tax exemptions. Thus, there is strong economic pressure applied to organizations to register as non-profit, and potentially substantial taxation to both the organization and its members if they do not.
- However, the United States government (and many others) has decreed that no organization that wishes to operate as a tax free, non-profit entity, can engage in any lobbying or other political activity. Thus, those organizations that would be best at promoting intelligent, effective legislation are outright barred from using their knowledge and expertise to influence that legislation and rule making. These organizations have been completely emasculated by the very governments that most severely need their input.
- Pg. 248: "American Tarantula Society"
- The ATS has moved several times since the publication of TKG2. To determine their current location and further contact information please visit their website at http://www.atshq.org.
- Pg. 248: "British Tarantula Society"
- 81 Phillimore Place
Radlett, Herts WD7 8NJ
An enthusiast organization. Publishes the British Tarantula Society Journal."
- Pg. 261: "However, those names that are the approved, official common names as listed by the American Tarantula Society's Common Names of Arachnids (Breene 1995, and pages and .) and upgraded frequently in their Forum Magazine, are emboldened in the following list. It is expected that new, revised editions of the master list will be published regularly, and the enthusiast is encouraged to contact the American Tarantula Society to request a current edition."
- The American Arachnological Society has little or nothing to do with either of these publications beyond establishing the committee that determines the name correlations. Common Names of Arachnids and the Forum Magazine are published by the American Tarantula Society, an entirely different and distinct entity.
- Pg. 263: "Two Cases of Whiplash"
- Change this to read "Three Cases of Whiplash," adding Phrixotrichus/Grammostola to the list. Refer to the entries for Pg. 271.
- Pg. 271: "Phrixotrichus"
- Since TKG2 was published this genus' name has reverted to Grammostola. The reader is advised to pencil in appropriate references to these changes in TKG2's index on pages 284 (Grammostola), 286 (Phrixotrichus), and elsewhere as required in the text.
- Pg 271: "Phrixotrichus spatulata."
- When the genus' name reverted to Grammostola it was determined that the species spatulata was actually the same as the species rosea. Because rosea is the older (senior) name it replaces spatulata and the correct name for this species becomes Grammostola rosea, again.
- Pg. 274: "Bibliography"
- This website contains a much more Comprehensive Bibliography listing over 1,000 entries mentioning or dealing with tarantulas and some of their close relatives from time immemorial to about 1985. In addition, Breene (1996) contains a bibliography that lists many of those same entries, several additional ones that were missed, and extends through at least 1995 or 1996. Together, these two bibliographies comprise one of the most complete and comprehensive listings of tarantula books, papers and articles available anywhere in the world. Anyone who is writing about tarantulas (from the level of a high school term paper through works to be published in professional journals) or doing research on tarantulas would do well to first consult these bibliographies for source or background material.
- Pg. 281: "Index"
- When the manuscript for TKG2 was originally submitted to the publisher it included a forty page index. Space limitations required that the publisher abbreviate it somewhat and the published TKG2 has only an eight page index. Obviously, a great deal of the original index had been cut including some important entries. To help correct this problem the original, Comprehensive Index is included as a separate page on this website. The reader is advised to print a copy of that index and include it with their copy of TKG2, thereafter largely ignoring the published version.
- See also the notes under "Global Comments."
A FEW OF THE REFERENCES QUOTED ON THIS PAGE.
A much more Comprehensive Bibliography, siting all works mentioned here plus many more, is available by selecting the link.
- Aitkins, MD. 1978. Insects in Perspective. MacMillan. New York.
- Baerg, WJ. 1922. Regarding the habits of tarantulas and the effects of their poison. Sci. Monthly. 14:481-488.
- Baerg, WJ. 1926. Regeneration in the tarantula Eurypelma californica Auser. Annals Ent. Soc. Am. 19:512-513.
- Barnes, RD. 1980. Invertebrate Zoology. Saunders College/Holt Reinhart and Winston. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Borror, DJ and DeLong, DM. 1971. An Introduction to the Study of Insects. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. New York.
- Breene, R. G. 1995. Common Names of Arachnids. American Tarantula Society. South Padre Island, Texas. Subsequent printings list this as Common Names of Arachnids, 1995.
- Breene, R. G., et al. 1996. Tarantulas of Texas. Their Medical Importance, and World-wide Bibliography to the Theraphosidae (Araneae). American Tarantula Society. Artesia, New Mexico, USA.
- Breene, RG. 1997. ATS Arthropod Medical Manual: Diagnoses and Treatment. American Tarantula Society. Artesia, New Mexico. See the entry under page 248 for a new address.
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This page was initially created on 1998-July-12.
The last revision occurred on 2013-June-26.