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EulersK

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I'm looking for some good reading recommendations on the anatomy and physiology of spiders. Bonus points for neurological information. I'm not looking for a coffee table book, but rather a proper textbook. In another thread, @AphonopelmaTX suggested Biology of Spiders which is what kicked off this question. Given that the price is right, I'll very likely be picking this one up.

While collector's books are great in their own right, I'm not looking to drop the funds needed for the rares/exotics. Also note that I'm only fluent in English.

So, what's the most information-rich text you know of? As always, thanks for the input!
 

Paiige

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Arthropod Brains: Evolution, Functional Elegance, and Historical Significance by Nicholas James Strausfeld

Also Neurobiology of Arachnids by Freidrich Barth
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Biology of Spiders is everything you are looking for and it also includes information on neurobiology. It really does cover just about everything relating to physiology and anatomy on an academic level so there is no dumbing anything down there. The book also includes chapters on phylogenetics and taxonomy. If there is a topic not covered in the depth you are looking for, use the extensive bibliography to look for more information. The bibliography is useful if you would want to know how the experiments were done to arrive at some of the conclusions written about in the book.

I also recommend the book "Spiders of North America- An Identification Manual" published by the American Arachnological Society. Information on it can be found here. This book covers how to identify spiders from the family level to the generic level. It begins by providing an overview of spider anatomy as it applies to identification. Not so much as to function but what certain things are and where they are located. The book also informs readers on how to collect and preserve spiders to build a reference collection. It also includes an extensive dictionary of anatomical terms as well as terms used in taxonomy. Included as well is an extensive guide on the meaning and pronunciation of scientific names and their Greek and Latin roots. Want to know what Lactrodectus or Aphonopelma means? It's in there. It's too bad other arachnid societies from all over the world haven't done books like this as it would be awesome to have identification manuals and guides for spiders other than those found in the USA and Canada. This book alone will show you why you can't take IDs based on pictures or most pet trade IDs seriously. One will surely appreciate how difficult it is to identify spiders when reading this. This is starting to read like a commercial so I will stop here. I use this book all the time and I can't say enough good things about it.

These two books will keep you busy for quite some time. The identification manual has practical application which you can actually use, as opposed to just memorizing facts, so you can run with that one and start building a reference collection and practice keying out species of spider you find around the house or yard.

For the sake of saying so, neither one of these books is geared towards tarantulas specifically. The information in these books though can certainly be applied to tarantulas as tarantulas are spiders after all. :)
 

EulersK

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Neurobiology of Arachnids by Freidrich Barth
Now that's what I'm talking about :D

For the sake of saying so, neither one of these books is geared towards tarantulas specifically. The information in these books though can certainly be applied to tarantulas as tarantulas are spiders after all. :)
Yeah, I figured as much. But are they really geared more towards "true" spiders? Obviously the majority of it will apply to tarantulas, but I just worry that there will be a bias towards the former.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Yeah, I figured as much. But are they really geared more towards "true" spiders? Obviously the majority of it will apply to tarantulas, but I just worry that there will be a bias towards the former.
I wouldn't say there is a bias towards the Araneomorphae as that there is just so much more that is unique among those families of spider than there are in the Mygalomorphae so there is going to be more written about the Araneomorph families. The current edition of Biology of Spiders however does have more information specifically on tarantulas than previous editions, but that isn't too say every topic written about has information specifically for tarantulas. For example, the anatomy of a tarantula's eyes is more or less the same as all other spiders so there won't be much written about tarantula eye sight, but there is more written about how the eyes work in specialists that depend on eye sight for hunting such as the ogre spider, jumping spiders, or wolf spiders. Another example is embryonic development. Embryonic development is described for Araneomorphae but it would be the exact same for tarantulas. As a breeder, you will be able to see that from your own experience watch eggs develop into first instar spiderlings. Silk production and use is another topic too. Tarantulas produce silk in the exact same way all other spiders do but since they don't use it in remarkable ways, not much will be written about it. One thing I hope won't dissuade you from getting and reading these books is a lack of focus on one type of spider. Understanding and appreciating tarantulas comes with learning and comparing them with other types of spiders.
 

EulersK

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I wouldn't say there is a bias towards the Araneomorphae as that there is just so much more that is unique among those families of spider than there are in the Mygalomorphae so there is going to be more written about the Araneomorph families. The current edition of Biology of Spiders however does have more information specifically on tarantulas than previous editions, but that isn't too say every topic written about has information specifically for tarantulas. For example, the anatomy of a tarantula's eyes is more or less the same as all other spiders so there won't be much written about tarantula eye sight, but there is more written about how the eyes work in specialists that depend on eye sight for hunting such as the ogre spider, jumping spiders, or wolf spiders. Another example is embryonic development. Embryonic development is described for Araneomorphae but it would be the exact same for tarantulas. As a breeder, you will be able to see that from your own experience watch eggs develop into first instar spiderlings. Silk production and use is another topic too. Tarantulas produce silk in the exact same way all other spiders do but since they don't use it in remarkable ways, not much will be written about it. One thing I hope won't dissuade you from getting and reading these books is a lack of focus on one type of spider. Understanding and appreciating tarantulas comes with learning and comparing them with other types of spiders.
Very well written, thank you. I've actually already ordered a copy, I'm very much looking forward to it. I've no business reading this textbook when I'm barely reading my assigned texts, but so is life. I'm excited to expand my knowledge past the very surface-level understanding I believe to be wielding now. Thanks again for the suggestion!

But to everyone else, by all means, keep them coming :D I'm not the only one interested in this, I know.
 

Venom1080

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tarantulas of the world is expensive but visually very nice and has all tarantula related info in it.
 

EulersK

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tarantulas of the world is expensive but visually very nice and has all tarantula related info in it.
That's not so much of a textbook as it is a glorified picture book. I have no problem spending that money on a textbook, but a textbook this is not. Plus, that's readily available for free online if you're willing to look.
 

Paiige

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Just stumbled across this, it's a good read on venom studies. Figured I'd post it in here in case you're interested in a quick read :)
 

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Paiige

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Here's another on psalmopeotoxins - peptides present in the venom of P. cambridgei. I'm trying to kill my last hour doing nothing at work and am on a toxicology roll right now :cool:
 

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Nicolas C

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That's not so much of a textbook as it is a glorified picture book. I have no problem spending that money on a textbook, but a textbook this is not. Plus, that's readily available for free online if you're willing to look.
Are we speaking of the same book, i.e. the one by french author François Teyssié (and not the one by Gurley)? I don't know what really is a textbook, but the book by Teyssié is really good on technical informations and isn't only about beautiful pictures. Far from that. The preface (and section about venom I think) is made by the very Pierre Escoubas that is linked above.

This is taken from the presentation of the book: "Theraphosidae systematics are presented in the form of an identification key for subfamilies and a description of particularly note-worthy genera. An exhaustive list of currently known species is also presented by subfamily and by country. This book also covers Theraphosidae biology : anatomy, primary biological functions, ecology, venomology and pharmacological research."
 
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