When I was approached in early 2015 to be a part of this book, I quickly agreed. How exciting would it be to be a part of a book that had not been attempted yet about one of my favorite subjects, butterflies and moths. Yes, there have been other books on caterpillars (most notably “Caterpillars of Eastern North America” by David L. Wagner and “Caterpillars in the Field and Garden” by Thomas J. Allen) but none can boast a world-wide variety of 600 species shown full size! That is exactly what “The Book of Caterpillars: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World” has done!
Field guides are one of my favorite types of books, especially when it comes to insects. If you are a regular reader of my site you will know that I have actually reviewed quite a few here. The problem is there is a lot of rehash from guide to guide, oftentimes not offering any new info. If there’s nothing new to offer then why buy it?
This is such a great time to be a tarantula enthusiast. New exciting species are popping up all of the time and thanks to the internet, it is so easy to meet and talk to people with similar interests and experiences. Though there are many tarantula books out there, only a handful can really be described as exceptional. The subject of today’s review is one such book.
One of the most difficult things in being an invertebrate keeper is finding good information on the very animals you are keeping. Sure you can do a Google search and find pretty much anything you want but then you have to ask yourself, “How reliable is this information?” What is the source? Is this information good for keeping an animal alive for many years or just a few months? Good, reliable information is hard to find, especially when it comes to animals that may not be as widely available as something like a tarantula.
Just before Christmas of 2015 I became aware of two books that I found to be very exciting, “Tarantulas of the World” by Francois Teyssie and the subject of this review, “Scorpions of the World” by Roland Stockmann and Eric Ythier. It had been awhile since a new book on scorpions came out and despite its $95 price tag, I immediately bought it.
Though I primarily keep tarantulas, I have always found scorpions to be fascinating and I have always kept at least one species as pets. Most times scorpions seem to be covered in books having to do with arachnids in general such as “Arachnomania” by Philippe de Vosjoli and “Tarantulas and Scorpions In Captivity” by Russ Gurley. Finally here was a book that dealt with just scorpions and though it wasn’t a book designed for people who keep scorpions as pets, though it is covered briefly, I thought it would be a good reference book. I could not have been more right.
Being a resident of Rhode Island, I have always wanted a field guide just on the butterflies indigenous to the littlest state in the union. As of this writing no such book exists so I have to be happy with more generalized field guides such as “Butterflies of the East Coast” by Rick Cech and Guy Tudor (reviewed HERE) or “A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America” by Jeffrey Glassberg (reviewed HERE). Just recently I became aware of a book called “The Butterflies of Massachusetts,” by Sharon Stichter. Since Massachusetts is one of Rhode Island’s neighboring states, I figured this would be a pretty good book to have as many of the species between the two states should overlap.
Some classics just never go out of style. Such is the case for the book “Butterflies and Moths: A Guide to the More Common American Species” by Robert T. Mitchell and Herbert S. Zim. Most field guides eventually go out of print and become unavailable over time as their information becomes outdated and new guides are produced. To my knowledge, this book has been in continuous print since it originally came out in 1964.