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Links/Recommended references

Searching for information on scorpion is not easy. Conventional library don't carry many books on scorpions and searching through index of every probable book is not for the weak hearted. To help anyone interested to know further, I have put down a list of my preferred references. Opinions are my own and please do not take offense for my skewed judgement.

The level set usually mean the minimum age to comprehend most of the content. Adults who think that'age 6 and above' is condescending to your level may be mistaken. All books here are not 'children's book' but caters to all ages in our special interest group. In no order of merit,

  1. 'Tarantulas and scorpions' by Rankin and Walls (TFH) 1994
    Level: For beginners who likes eye candies (age 6 and above)
    Coloured, 64 pages, many colour plates, paperback, 11 pages on scorpions, about US$12
    Rating: 6.5/10
    - Beginner's guide to keeping scorpions furbished with beautiful pictures. However it has more about tarantula keeping. Also according to David Gaban, the Androctonus crassicauda labelled should be A.australis while A.bicolor looks more like A.crassicauda. It has been verified using Fauna Palaestina: Scorpiones and Dave Gaban is as always right.
  2. 'The Biology of Scorpions' by Gary A. Polis (Stanford University Press, 1990)
    Level: For those more technically inclined (age 12 and above)
    Hardcover, 587 pages, black and white photos, illustrations, about US$90
    Rating: 9/10
    - The 'bible' for budding amateur scorpion enthusiast. Compilation of the many journals and the author's long) research into scorpions. It is however quite technical and a background in zoology and related medical science is an advantage. Except for researchers and 'nuts' like myself, it has more information than one need.
    Major drawback: cost Australian $150
  3. 'Revision of genus Heterometrus' Couzijn, 1981
    Level: For taxonomist (age 18 and above)
    Paperback/hardcover, illustrations with no photos, 196 pages, price unknown.
    Rating: 8/10
    - Specific for genus Heterometrus (which is relatively abundant in Malaysia and Singapore.) For Heterometrus spp identification, it is the most recognised paper to this day.  Heterometrus sp. key was extracted from it for my webpage.
  4. 'Venomous animals and their toxins' by G.G. Habermehl, 1981.
    Level: For layman who likes to know venom (age 12 and above)
    Hardcover, mainly illustrations, thin, price unknown, small section on scorpions
    Rating: 7/10
    - An easy to read, interesting and yet scientifically sound text on venoms in general. Have a good section on scorpions.
  5. 'Bites and Stings' by John Nicol, 1989
    Level: For layman interested in venom
    Hardcover, black and white photos, thick, small section on scorpion, price unknown
    Rating: 6.5/10
    - Very easy to read and interesting. Tendency to dramatise/sensualise (personal opinion) but is mostly quite scientifically based. Caters more to man-in-the-street who is interested in venom.
  6. 'Desert soil fauna' by John A. Wallwork , 1982
    Level: Interesting read for those interested ;) (age 16 and above)
    Hardcover, black and white photos, thick, numerous section on scorpion ecology, price unknown
    Rating: 6.5/10
    - Contains much information on desert scorpion life history. Finds it up-to-date and interesting. It's so interesting I read the whole book instead.
  7. 'Dangerous animals in Malaya' MWF Tweedie, 1941
    Level: Easy read (age 6 and above)
    Paperback, illustrations, thin, price unknown
    Rating: 5/10
    - One of the only few book with a little information on scorpions of Malaysia and Singapore. Some information may be outdated.
  8. 'Arachnida' 2nd Edition by Theodore Savory, 1977
    Level: Easy read (age 12 and above)
    Hardcover, mainly illustrations, thick, price unknown
    Rating: 7/10
    - An old but interesting classic with good overview of arachnids. Contains clearly presented information on classification, anatomy and life history. Section on familial difference is easier to digest than Sissom's key in 'Biology of Scorpion' but is outdated. The first edition of 'Arachnida' contains some different pictures and information and may prove interesting to read as well.
  9. 'Scorpion man - Exploring the World of Scorpions' Laurence Pringle, photos by Gary A. Polis, 1994
    Level: Interesting and inspiring (age 6 and above)
    Hardcover, coloured photo, thin, about US$ 15
    Rating: 7/10
    - Features how Polis, the famous (to us) author of 'The Biology of Scorpion' gains his interest and develops it into a career. Also gives simplified information about scorpions and is the simplest accurate text on scorpion in general. The black and white pictures in 'The Biology of Scorpion' is in full colour here.
  10. 'Golden Guide: Spiders and their kin' Herbert W.Levi and Lorna R.Levi, 1990
    Level: any level (age 6 and above)
    Paperback, pocket size, 160 pages, coloured drawings, about US$7
    Rating: 7/10
    - A good general introduction to the Arachnids with emphasis on Araenae. The 3 pages on scorpions is quite informative and deserves at least a read.
  11. 'Simply scorpions: A guide for beginners' by Hancock, Kathleen, 1996
    Level: any level (age 6 and above)
    Paperback, line drawings, 44 pages, about US$5
    Rating 4/10
    - The binding is inferior and so is the printing (photocopy). The information is very brief but is reasonably OK on keeping scorpions as pets. The other information is mostly coincidentally repeat of what I have here. Also the section saying that 'scorpions can be overfed' is what most of us dismiss as a myth (carried over from 'Arachnomania'?)
  12. 'Scorpions: A comprehensive guide' by Hancock, Kathleen, 1996
    Level: general (age 12 and above)
    Paperback, line drawings, 92 pages, about US$12
    Rating: 6/10
    - The binding and printing is similarly inferior but the information inside is at least worth a read. A much better version of the above in terms of content.
  13. 'Fauna of India: Arachnida Vol III : Scorpions' by B.K. Tikader and D.B. Bastawade, 1983
    Level: more for technical people (age 12 and above)
    Hardcover, illustrations, 671 pages, price about US$60-S70. Out of print but may be available from NHBS.
    Rating: 9/10
    - A surprise find which proves to be a 'treasure'. The general information on scorpions is easy to read and presentation clearer than 'Biology of Scorpion'. It contains taxonomic keys and description of many Asia genus and proves invaluable for my work. However, other taxonomic sources is usually more recognised in the international taxonomic circles.....
  14. 'Arachnomania' by Phillipe de Vosjoli, 1991
    Level: general (age 12 and above)
    Paperback, b/w photos, 80 pages, 20 pages on scorpions alone, about US$ 9
    Rating: 7/10
    -I read it with low expectation but is elated by its relative accuracy and wealth of information. The disagreement over whether scorpion can be overfed is adequately and objectively discussed which leaves one to decide. Overall, a good book for both tarantula and scorpion care. Some wrong names.
  15. 'Scorpions' by Conrad J Storad, 1995
    Level: Children (age 4 and above)
    Hardcover, coloured photo, 48 pages, about US$15
    Rating: 4/10
    - Gosh! This really is a children to young people book. The letters are HUGE resulting in the 48 pages being very little information. The photos are nice and the general information decent but..... not for people who manage to read through and understand my webpage. Very elementary but easy to read.
  16. 'Looking inside spiders and scorpions' by Dr Paul Hillyard, 1995
    Level: Children (age 6 and above)
    Hardcover, coloured pictures and photos, 19 pages, about US$11
    Rating: 6/10
    - A unique interesting and clear way of presenting anatomy of arachnids. However, it similarly suffers from a lack of information. Layout could be more organised but is generally easy to read.
  17. 'Field Guide to Spiders and Scorpions of Texas' by John A. Jackman, 1997
    Level: General (age 12 and above)
    Paperback, colour plates, 201 pages, 8 pages on scorpions, about US$19
    Rating: 7/10
    - Solid book for those in Texas. The illustrations is clear and the taxonomic description concise. However, ecology and other information on scorpions is limited and the species covered is very small.
  18. 'Fauna Palaestina: Arachnida I: Scorpiones' by G.Levy and P. Amitai, 1980
    Level: Taxonomist and advance readers (age 16 and above)
    Hardcover, illustrations, 130 pages, about US$30
    Rating: 8/10
    -Information is concise and clear with illustrations to support. Emphasis on taxonomic information may be mind boggling and boring to some. Most species in the region is covered including the infamous Androctonus genus.
  19. 'The New Creepy Crawly Collection: Scorpions' by Tamara Green, 1996
    Level: Kids (age 6 and above)
    Hardcover, coloured cartoon like drawings, 24 pages. about US$19
    Rating: 4/10
    - This book covers the basics though information should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is very easy to read but is inaccurate in sections which if you're interested, email me. The drawings and colouring is kiddish and is pricey.
  20. 'Tarantula and other Arachnids' by Samuel D. Marshal, 1996
    level: Adult
    Soft cover, 69 color photos, 104 pages, US $8
    Rating: 8/10
    - Solid book and lives up to its recommendation by American Tarantula Society. Only 4 pages on scorpions but is well written for tarantula.
  21. The book of Spiders and Scorpions by Rod Preston-Mafham 1996
    Level: kids to adult
    Hardcover, 200+ illustrations some are color photos, 144 pages, US $29?
    - A good book which didn't disappoint me. Again the focus is on spiders but there is 5 information filled pages on scorpions. It is well written and quite informative on arachnids.
  22. Scorpions of Medical Importance 2nd Edition by Hugh L. Keegan 1980
    Level: Adults
    Soft cover, many superb b/w drawings, 140 pages, US$30+
    Rating: 7.5/10
    - A overall solid book covering clearly and concisely anatomy and other aspects of 'dangerous' scorpions.  The drawings has to be seen to be believed. It is of more taxonomic value than most photos can convey due to accuracy and clarity.
  23. Gaban's Scorpion Tales: An ATS Manual by R. David Gaban
    Level: Above 12
    Binding, papercover, 15 pages, US$5(?)
    Rating: 7.5/10
    -Dave Gaban covered each aspects of the scorpions featured (A.australis, P.imperator, P.cavimanus, H.trilineatus,P.transvaalicus, O.glabrifons, C.gracilis, I.maculatus) in the order every enthusiast would like to have.  Scorpion care and concise identification is given . The lack of accurate and authoritative source for such information make this a gem. Hope his book can come out sooner.....
  24. Scorpions: keeping & breeding them in captivity by Ann Webb (TFH)
    Level: kids to adults
    Soft cover, 70+colour photos, 64 pages, US$10
    Rating: 7/10
    - Ann Webb's book is riddled with what I perceive as mistakes or misquotes.... however, the beautiful pictures and the rarity of books on scorpion in captivity sways my opinion to favour it.  A good book with sufficient information for most beginners.
  25. Revision of Lychas and Hemilychas, with description of six new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae)
    Dr Frantisek Kovarik 1997
    Level: Adult
    60 pages.
    Rating: 7.5/10
    THE latest resource on Lychas sp.  A book on Lychas by him has also been published early this year.  One to get for taxonomy on Lychas sp.
  26. Afroisometrus genus by Dr Frantisek Kovarik 1997
    Level: Adult
    Rating: NA
  27. Re-appraisal of the rock scorpions (Scorpionidae:Hadogenes) by G. Newland 1985
    Level: Adult
    Rating: 7/10
    10 pages
    THE paper on Hadogenes classification.
  28. Albinism in Australian scorpions (Urodacus yasenkoi) Adam Lockett 1986
  29. ' New species in Malaya' of Lychas tweediei F.Kopstein 1937
  30.   Stephen Bullington's paper on Hadogenes sp breeding

Many other books have small sections on scorpions but there are too many to quote here.

Other books recommended but not in my collection.... ;-)

1) 'Scorpions (Arachnida from Costa Rica)' by Oscar Franke, Scott Stockwell
- Dr Scott Stockwell is the owner of the best scorpion page available. This book is out of print.

Look out for
1) David Gaban's new book on scorpion
2) Gary A. Polis new book
3) Frantisek Kovarik's book on Lychas
4) .........  Catalog of World Scorpion........  Dr Fet et al

Sometimes caught in the bewildering span of the web, even Webcrawler, Yahoo, AOL Netfind etc can't help you much. Frustrated that the so called 'scorpion' match turns out to be a rock group, football team or baseball team? Here are some links to get you started.

Almost purely scorpions

Arachnids in general (with some emphasis on tarantula and scorpions)

Singapore nature links

Book suppliers

That's all folks...... any queries concerning anything on the page or any of my interest, email Kian Wee