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Amplypygids – Tailless Whip Scorpions

20mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

These fearsome looking arachnids have an order to themselves, Amblypygi. Though commonly called tailless whip scorpions or whip spiders, they are neither. Intimidating though they may look, they aren’t dangerous and possess no venom. They are quite timid in fact, and I had to take care not to scare them away while photographing them.

Here’s how you might expect to see one actively moving about, with its oversized first pair of legs outstretched.

Longest legs extend outside frame

That first pair of legs is modified for use as antennae. They wave them about, sensing and probing. While the body of this one measured only 2cm, each one of those antenniform legs was 8cm long! read more

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