HOAX: Tailless Whipscorpion wrongly reported from Maryland

Ed. Note:  We get annoyed when people submit images pilfered from the internet, claiming to be the authors of those images.  Eric Eaton provided the following explanation:
This is a still from a video I have seen circulating recently on Facebook (but of course cannot find right now).  Yes, it is definitely a tailless whip scorpion (amblypygid), probably a species that lives in caves given the ultra-long appendages.
Also definitely NOT from Maryland.

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: Maryland
February 7, 2016 11:54 am
I recently saw this bug and I was wondering what it was!
Signature: Creepybuggirl

What's That Arachnid???
What’s That Arachnid???

Dear Creepybuggirl,
Please provide us additional information on exactly where and when this Arachnid was sighted.  The image was obviously taken indoors, but we are having a difficult time believing it is native to Maryland.  There is not much detail in your image, and we cannot even say for certain to which order it belongs as it seems to have traits of both Harvestmen in the order Opiliones and Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi.  Tailless Whipscorpions are only reported from Arizona, Texas and Florida, and this individual does not look like any native species depicted on BugGuide.
  While Harvestmen are found throughout North America, we have never seen any images on BugGuide that look like this individual.  It is difficult to tell from your image if the appendages that appear to end in claws are the first pair, known as pedipalps, but that is what we surmise.  So, we know it is an Arachnid, and we do not believe it is native.  Are you able to provide any additional images from different angles?  We have contacted Eric Eaton to get his opinion. 

A Reader Provides a Link to the Video
Subject: The pincered still shot – here’s the video
Location: Unknown
February 7, 2016 4:43 pm
Signature: Cat

Thanks for sending the link Cat.  It is much easier to tell this is a Tailless Whipscorpion in the video clip.

My pleasure. And the self interest was that I was curious too.
I hope it wasn’t harmed. I hate to see creatures tormented for fun.
Best regards.

Eric Eaton provides additional information
One of my Facebook friends has this to say about the amblypygid:
“Stolen video, it’s a Whipscorpion … not a “whip spider”. Sheesh, I guess it gets more clicks if they call it a spider. Awesome creature (Euphrynichus amanica). Credit: Adrian Kozakiewicz / Insecthaus”
Laura Lee Paxson
Hope that helps, I’m glad to have the final answer myself.

Thanks to the inclusion of a name, Euphrynichus amanica, we found this information on Panarthropoda:  “Euphrynichus bacillifer can be found in middle and southern Africa where, in contrast to its sister species Euphrynichus amanica, it is widespread. Populations of this species occur in Kenia, Tansania (on the island Zanzibar), Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi.  On the boarders between Kenia and Tanzania close to the coast the second species of the genus, Euphrynichus amanica, appears, too. Sympatric ways of life of those two spocies have been observed in this area, meaning the two share the same habitat. The animals occur in bigger caves, under bark and in cracks in more humid areas.”

1 thought on “HOAX: Tailless Whipscorpion wrongly reported from Maryland”

  1. What’s Eric Eaton even trying to say? Smh whipspider and tailless whipscorpion are both accepted names for the species, and actually among breeders I hear whipspider more often


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