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TARANTULAS OF THE WORLD - THERAPHOSIDAE by François Teyssié (french version)

Nicolas C

Jan 13, 2014

This book has been written in french, but exists in english translation too, by french specialist François Teyssié and is a five years work labour of love. Within its almost 500 pages, it gives a deep insight of the world of the Theraphosidae in a rather scientific manner. It not only gives pet keepers adivces, but rather helps to understand biology, behavior and identification keys. The 147 first pages are about biology and some global descriptions of the tarantulas (including a good but complicated insight about venom). Then you have a short passage about pet keeping (9 pages), three pages about myths and legends, and then 60 pages about systematics and identification keys (with several boards and pictures). The second half of the book presents the different spp., each time with one photo and a short description (about 300 different spp. are introduced here).

I don't know anything about the english translation, but for us french aficionados, this book is the most complete and serious available on the subject in our langage, and is a good complement of the already old classic by JM Verdez. The scientific part of this book could maybe be difficult to understand for the people who don't have good basics in biology (the informations are summarised, which means it's not made for the neophyte), but the fact that it covers such a large field makes it essential, in my humble opinion.

Unfortunately, there are some typos (at least in the french version), which should be corrected in the next edition (for instance, in the description of each spp., prosoma and opisthosoma are reversed). Taxonomy questions are opened, as you all know, then some names could be subject to changes. And discussions are still active about the way you keep some spp. (communaly or not, obligate burrowers or not, etc.). But this doesn't take away any value from this excellent book: it's the fruit of the large experience and knowledge of Teyssié, and the fact that there are some different opinions on one or another subject doesn't mean it's bad.

But, once again: it's not a handbook filled with tips for pet keepers. The TKG is more detailed in this way. Rather, it's a book to help us keepers to understand more fully our beloved tarantulas. And that's so important, because, as you know: there's a lot more to discover about them than substrate humidity or what's the best beginner spp.


Highly recommended (even if it's expensive... Christmas is coming, hehe...)