Tailless Whipscorpions isolated on white background

Tailless Whip Scorpion Facts

Last updated on November 17th, 2022 at 11:30 am

Despiting looking really scary, these arachnids are in fact incredibly shy, and completely harmless. Let’s take a look at some Tailless Whip Scorpion facts…

Tailless Whip Scorpions, also known as Amblypygi, are a pan tropical group of arachnids that separate from spiders and true scorpions. They are almost always nocturnal, and have a strong preference for humid environments and caves. Unlike spiders and scorpions, they completely lack venom and are harmless to humans.

Scorpions are scary creatures and one look at the tailless whip scorpion confirms it. Though the tailless whip scorpion looks scary, in reality it is a harmless creature.

The significant fact to know about this scorpion is that it has no fangs that deliver venom. It is a harmless creature that does not hurt humans.

Tailless whip scorpion scientific name

The tailless whip scorpion belongs to the order Amblypygi in the phylum Arthropoda. They are referred to as Amblypygids.

There are five families in this order and around 155 species. Also referred to as whip spiders or cave spiders, these creatures are unique and are neither spiders nor scorpion.

Of the various species, the two most common species found are Damon variegatus and Damon diadema. They are classified as arachnids.

Some other species of tailless whip scorpion include Phyrnus marginemaculatus, Charon grayi, Acanthophrynus coronatus, and Tarantula marginemaculatus.

As a separate lineage of arachnid, these animals have some unique adaptations, including:

  • modified, whip-like front legs that serve as antennae
  • a flat body
  • spikey, gripping pedipalps
  • sideways locomotion

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

Tailless whip scorpion lifespan

The tailless whip scorpion has a life span of anywhere from 5 to 10 years. They can live up to 15 years in captivity, though this obviously depends on the care they receive.

In the wild, their life span can be lesser due to the threat that they face from predators.

Tailless whip scorpion size

The size of the tailless whip scorpion varies depending on its species. It can vary from being 2 inches long to 27 inches long.

For example, the Charon grayi is a species of tailless whip scorpions that is also referred to as the giant whip spider. It has a huge front legs that are up to 27 inches long. The interesting fact is that its leg length is thrice that of its body length.

On average, most species of the tailless whip scorpion would be 2 to 6.3 inches in leg span. The sizes of the males and females can vary. This also depends on the species of the tailless whip scorpions.

Species like Euphrynicus amanica and Charon grayi have males that are nearly twice the size of females. In some other species like Charinus insularis, there is no difference in male and female size.

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

How fast to whip scorpions grow?

The whip scorpions can grow slowly. When they are young, they molt once in a few months.

Once they grow to become adults, the molting happens once a year. It takes 7 to 10 days for the whip scorpion to harden after the molt is complete.

This is unlike other arachnids where the molting stops once they reach adulthood.

Tailless whip scorpion habitat

The tailless whip scorpion prefers a humid environment where it thrives. It requires places that have hiding spots, to protect themselves. They prefer dark places. While some species prefer to live under the leaves and rocks, others prefer to live under tree logs.

There are also some species that live in caves, which is why they are called as cave spiders. Since this kind of habitat is found across the world, the tailless whip scorpion lives across the world.

They are found in Asia, Australia, Europe (Greece only), South America, and North America.

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

What do tailless whip scorpions eat?

In general, Tailless Whip Scorpions eat insects. Often, they prefer to eat bigger insects like crickets and cockroaches, which are probably their are the favourites. They can even eat flies in the urban environment.

They eat grasshoppers, wax worms, and other insects too when available. Some species that are larger can even eat lizards and frogs.

This species of tailless whip scorpion does not have either fangs or glands that are used to make webs. They sit in wait for their prey in secluded areas. They use their long front legs to feel for prey and then grab them.

They use their pincers to literally skewer their victims. They don’t bite or chew, but use their mandibles to grind their prey and liquefy them before swallowing.

Overall, their favorite foods include:

  • cave crickets
  • small spiders
  • roaches
  • small lizards
  • beetles
  • beetle larvae
  • other larvae
  • frogs

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

How often do tailless whip scorpions eat?

The tailless whip scorpion usually needs to eat once a week. It eats a prey that is around a quarter of its body size. Like all of the more ancient arachnids, they have a long life span thanks to their slow metabolism.

Having such a slow metabolic rate means that they need to eat a lot, and in desperate times can survive months without a meal. Obviously in captivity they should be fed more often to keep them comfortable.

Do tailless whip scorpions bite?

A most interesting fact about the tailless whip scorpion is that it does not bite. It cannot bite nor can it chew. This is why these species of arachnids are harmless for humans. They do not bite and cannot sting, since they are tailless.

When they need to eat, they make use of their mandibles to crush their prey before swallowing it. If you make one angry, the best it can do is pinch you with its modified pedipalps. This isn’t particularly painful, though.

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

Tailless whip scorpion Arizona

In parts of Arizona, one of the common species of large arachnids found is the tailless whip scorpion. This species is known as Paraphrynus mexicanus and is mostly found in the Southern part of Arizona.

It looks like a spider but has features of a scorpion. It belongs to an order known as Amblypygi and is considered an arachnid. While their long legs resemble that of a spider, sometimes it looks like pincers of a scorpion. But it is not a pincer.

Like all members of the order, it does not have a sting. It can neither spin a web, since it does not have oil glands.

People in Arizona spot the tailless whip scorpion in gardens and sometimes even in their homes. Most people panic since it appears scary with its long legs and mottled color body.

But the tailless whip scorpion Arizona is harmless. It can neither sting, bite, not hurt using pincers. If you spot this arachnid in your house, don’t worry it will not cause you any harm. It is for this reason that many people even keep it as a pet.

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

Where else do these arachnids live?

These arachnids are found across the globe. They are found through the United States and in the American continent.

They are also found in Asia and Africa. It must be noted that the tailless whip scorpion is not one single animal. It belongs on an order with more than 155 species.

This is why they are found across the world wherever there is a humid environment.

Whip spider vs whip scorpion

Since the tailless whip scorpion is essentially an arachnid, it is sometimes also referred to as a whip spider. Both names refer to the same creature – the Amblypygid.

Common names vary by region, but if you live in the southwestern United States you can be sure that when someone talks about “whip spiders” they are actually referring to the harmless Tailless Whip Scorpion.

Tailless whip scorpions, Amblypygi sp, Phrynichidae, Neyyar wildlife sanctuary, India

FAQ relating to Tailless whip scorpion facts

The frequently asked questions and answers presented below will help you get all the facts about the tailless whip scorpion.

Do whip scorpions jump?

No, the tailless whip scorpion cannot jump. The whip spider is an arachnid and does not have the features required to jump. Some of the species have long legs that enable it to quickly reach out and grab a prey. But it does not jump at prey.

While it cannot jump, it is capable of fast movement. It moves sideways and can move very fast. The quick, jerky movements it makes with its long front legs may make it look as though it is going to jump.

Are whip scorpions blind?

Whip scorpions are not blind, but have very poor eyesight. The tailless whip scorpion has one pair of eyes at the front and three eyes on both the sides.

Being arachnids, they have eight eyes. However, their eyes do not help them see well. Their eyesight is mostly poor. This again varies from one species to another.

None of the species have great eyesight, their ability to see varies from medium to poor. It is their front legs that function as their antenna. They use these legs to sense things around them

Tailless Whip Scorpion facts

Can tailless whip scorpions hurt you?

No, a tailless whip scorpion cannot hurt you. This arachnid looks scary with its long front legs and the way it moves can spook people.

However, it is harmless for human beings. The reason is that it does not have a tail with a sting. It is not considered a scorpion and hence does not have a sting. It also does not have pincers, though its long front legs look like one.

It cannot bite and hence can’t hurt humans in any way.

Do tailless whip scorpions climb?

Yes, these species of arachnids can climb. As soon as they are born, they climb on their mother’s backs. When foraging, they often climb on walls and flat surfaces. Because they have a flat body, it is easy for them to blend in and camouflage on this kind of terrain.

They can also climb on rocks and trees. They move from side to side, but have the ability to climb very well. 

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