What is this insect?
Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 4:04 PM
We had just put some towels that were drying into our beach bag, when we noticed a long black thread-like thing inside the bag. Upon further review we saw some sort of insect, with long black legs, a brown body like a HUGE grasshopper or beetle, with pincers like a crab. We convinced it to leave the bag, but it was not aggressive in any way. it scared the hell out of my wife who now wonders if there are more, is it dangerous, did it lay eggs???
Jerry & Nora
Hi Jerry and Nora,
This is a harmless Tailless Whipscorpion, and it is an Arachnid, not an insect. Tailless Whipscorpions are shy, nocturnal predators, any your specimen was likely just hiding from the sun and heat inside your bag. In Mexico, there are many superstitions about the Tailless Whipscorpion, but the rumors that it is dangerous and venomous are not true. We have had one reader report that the Tailless Whipscorpion is known locally in Mexico as a Cancle, but we cannot verify that in our web research. We doubt that it laid eggs.