Costa Rica Spider
January 30, 2010
This spider was found in a cabin in the jungle in the southeastern corner of Costa Rica, near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. S/he appeared in the evening around 7 pm, and was just sitting on the wall when I turned on the light. When I used the glass and paper method to move her, I noticed s/he moved kind of like a crab: sideways rather than forwards. S/he was fearful rather than aggressive in response to my trapping efforts. For scale, I left the white light switch panel in the photo, which was probably 5 or 5 1/2″ across. I have never seen anything like this spider and I have been unable to figure out what it might be based on anything I’ve seen online. I later asked a local about the photo and I was told that these spiders are seen when trees are cut down. I would appreciate any information you can share that might help me identify this spider.
Though it is an Arachnid, your Tailless Whipscorpion is neither a spider nor a scorpion. Tailless Whipscorpions, despite having a frightening appearance, are perfectly harmless since they have no venom. They are shy nocturnal hunters that prey upon cockroaches and other night crawlers.