Are Tailless Whip Scorpions Dangerous? Uncovering the Truth

Tailless whip scorpions, also known as amblypygids, have a unique and intimidating appearance.

Their flat bodies, long whip-like legs, and powerful, spiny pedipalps can make them look quite fearsome. But are these creatures as dangerous as they appear?

In reality, tailless whip scorpions are not as dangerous as one might think.

Unlike true scorpions, they don’t possess venom glands or a stinger, which means they don’t pose a threat to humans through stinging.

However, their pedipalps can still give a harmless but surprising pinch if they feel threatened.

Overall, tailless whip scorpions are more fascinating than dangerous, and their fearsome appearance is merely a case of looks being deceiving.

Are Tailless Whip Scorpions Dangerous

What Are Tailless Whip Scorpions

Arachnid Classification

Tailless whip scorpions, also known as Amblypygi, belong to the Arachnid class. Unlike insects, arachnids have:

  • Four pairs of legs
  • Two main body parts: the cephalothorax and the abdomen

Some examples of arachnids include spiders, scorpions, and mites.

Physical Appearance

Tailless whip scorpions have unique characteristics that set them apart from other arachnids:

  • Flat body
  • Ten legs; the first pair are long, thin, and whip-like
  • Pedipalps (front arms) with spines and pincers, adapted for sensory and predatory use

Size and Species

There are over 150 species of tailless whip scorpions, spread across five large genera.

Sizes vary by species; for example, those found in the El Yunque National Forest can measure between 19 to 25 inches (48 to 63 cm).

Here’s a comparison of tailless whip scorpions to other arachnids in terms of size and appearance:

FeatureTailless Whip ScorpionSpiderScorpion
Number of legs1088
Body typeFlatSegmentedSegmented
Size range19-25 inches (48-63 cm)VariesVaries

Habitat and Distribution

Natural Habitats

Tailless whip scorpions inhabit a variety of ecosystems, including:

  • Tropical regions
  • Subtropical areas
  • Caves which serve as shelter

These creatures prefer environments that offer high humidity, warmth, and a sufficient food supply.

Geographical Range

The geographical range of tailless whip scorpions spans across different continents:

  • South America: A significant number are found in countries such as Brazil and Ecuador.
  • Africa: They are also prevalent in some African nations.
  • Asia: Whip scorpions can be found in countries like India and Indonesia.

To summarize, tailless whip scorpions can be found in tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Africa, and Asia.

They typically inhabit caves, where the conditions are optimal for their survival.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Nocturnal Activities

Tailless whip scorpions are primarily nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during nighttime.

Having poor eyesight, they rely on their long first legs (antenniform legs) to navigate and sense their environments.

Diet and Feeding Habits

These fascinating arachnids primarily feed on:

  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Small spiders
  • Other large insects

Using their powerful pincers (pedipalps), they catch their prey effortlessly. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are harmless to humans and non-venomous.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Mating and Reproduction

Tailless whip scorpions have a unique courtship behavior involving:

  • Tapping and stroking using their antenniform legs
  • Male depositing a spermatophore
  • Female picking up the spermatophore with her genital opening

Their mating process can last several hours, and females carry fertilized eggs internally until they molt, releasing the offspring.

Defense Mechanisms

These timid creatures use their intimidating appearance and pedipalps as defensive mechanisms.

In addition, some species like the vinegaroon can emit an acetic acid mixture when threatened, giving an unpleasant odor.

However, they are not dangerous and generally avoid confrontation.

Comparison Table: Tailless Whip Scorpion vs. Cave Spider

FeatureTailless Whip ScorpionCave Spider
Legs108
VenomousNoYes
Size19-25 inchesSmaller
DietInsects, spidersInsects
Harmful to HumansNoNo
Other NamesVinegaroon, whip spider

In conclusion, tailless whip scorpions are shy, nocturnal, and fascinating arachnids with unique behaviors and characteristics.

Despite their intimidating appearance, they pose no threat to humans and are an interesting subject for enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Tailless Whip Scorpions as Pets

Caring for Tailless Whip Scorpions

Tailless whip scorpions are unique pets that require a specific environment and diet. Creating a suitable enclosure for them involves incorporating a few crucial elements:

  • Substrate: A mix of coconut fiber and soil provides a good foundation for their habitat.
  • Hiding spots: Tailless whip scorpions need dark places to hide, so adding cork bark or caves is essential.
  • Climbing surfaces: These creatures enjoy climbing, so incorporating branches or mesh for them to grip onto is necessary.

Feeding your tailless whip scorpion entails a diet of live insects, such as grasshoppers and mealworms.

Remember to gut-load the insects for added nutrition. Offer them food 2-3 times a week, depending on their size and age.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Is It Safe to Keep Them as Pets?

While tailless whip scorpions might seem intimidating, they pose little threat to humans.

Unlike true scorpions, they do not have venomous stingers. They belong to the families Charinidae and Phrynichidae, which are known for their less aggressive nature.

Here are some key differences between tailless whip scorpions and true scorpions:

FeatureTailless Whip ScorpionTrue Scorpion
AppearanceFlat body, long, whip-like legsBulky body, fat tail with stinger
VenomNo venomVenomous (some species more than others)
AggressivenessLess aggressiveVaries by species, some are aggressive
Suitable as a pet for beginnersYesDepends on species, some are not suitable for beginners

In conclusion, tailless whip scorpions are fascinating creatures that can make intriguing pets for responsible owners.

As long as you provide proper care and a suitable habitat, they can safely share your home.

Notable Species of Tailless Whip Scorpions

Damon Diadema

  • Commonly found in Tanzania and Kenya
  • Often kept as a pet due to its impressive appearance

Damon Diadema is a well-known species of tailless whip scorpions, native to Tanzania and Kenya.

They are quite popular as pets, thanks to their fascinating and intimidating appearance.

Euphrynichus Amanica

  • Found in East Africa
  • Known for their fast movement

Euphrynichus Amanica is a species of tailless whip scorpions that can be found in East Africa. This particular species is known for its quick movement and ability to escape predators.

Acanthophrynus Coronatus

  • Native to Mexico
  • Unique protrusions from their body

Acanthophrynus Coronatus is a unique tailless whip scorpion species that is found in Mexico.

They are known for the distinctive protrusions extending from their bodies, making them easy to identify.

Phrynus Marginemaculatus

  • Found in Central America
  • Known for their ability to defend themselves

Phrynus Marginemaculatus is a species of tailless whip scorpions native to Central America.

They are known for their effectiveness in terms of self-defense, which is essential for their survival in the wild.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Paracharon

  • Rare species
  • Found in Africa and Asia

The Paracharon is a rare species of tailless whip scorpion that can be found in select regions of Africa and Asia.

Due to their rarity, not much is known about this particular species.

Charontidae

  • Large family of whip scorpions
  • Found in various parts of the world

Charontidae is a large family of tailless whip scorpions that can be found in different corners of the world.

This family includes various species with diverse appearances and characteristics.

Phrynidae

  • Another extensive family of whip scorpions
  • Found around the globe

Phrynidae is another extensive family of tailless whip scorpions, similarly found in various parts of the world.

Just like the Charontidae, this family contains numerous species with unique features and characteristics.

Comparison table:

SpeciesGeographic LocationUnique Characteristics
Damon DiademaTanzania and KenyaPopular as pets
Euphrynichus AmanicaEast AfricaFast movement
Acanthophrynus CoronatusMexicoProtrusions from body
Phrynus MarginemaculatusCentral AmericaEffective self-defense
ParacharonAfrica and AsiaRare species
CharontidaeVarious locationsLarge family of species
PhrynidaeVarious locationsAnother extensive family

Are Tailless Whip Scorpions Dangerous? Myths and Misconceptions

Venom and Stinging Capabilities

Contrary to popular belief, tailless whip scorpions are not venomous. They do not have venom glands or venomous fangs, and they do not possess a stinger.

Instead, these fascinating creatures rely on their spiny and powerful pedipalps (pincer-bearing front arms) for capturing their prey and for self-defense1.

Here are some key attributes of tailless whip scorpions:

  • No venom glands
  • No venomous fangs
  • No stinger
  • Spiny and powerful pedipalps

Tailless Whipscorpion

Confusion with Vinegaroons and Other Arachnids

Tailless whip scorpions are often confused with vinegaroons (giant whip scorpions) and other arachnids2.

While they all belong to the same class – Arachnida – their characteristics and behaviors differ significantly. Let’s compare tailless whip scorpions and vinegaroons through a comparison table:

FeatureTailless Whip ScorpionVinegaroon
VenomNoneVinegar-like substance
StingNoneCapable of spraying
ColorVaries, often brown or redDark brown or black
CourtshipGentle and animated3Not well-documented

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s essential to understand the differences and characteristics of these unique arachnids to dispel the myths and misconceptions.

Tailless Whip Scorpions are not at all dangerous to humans, despite the many myths surrounding them.

Knowing their features will help in appreciating their distinct behaviors and avoiding unnecessary fear or harm.

Footnotes

  1. Tailless Whip-Scorpion – US Forest Service

  2. Giant Whip Scorpion – Mastigoproctus giganteus giganteus (Lucas, 1835)

  3. Tailless Whip-scorpions – Amblypygi

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Hoax or Not??? Tailless Whipscorpion allegedly found in Michigan

Subject: What is This Thing?
Location: Michigan
October 4, 2014 8:47 am
Found in Michigan, autumn weather.
Signature: JPF

Tailless Whipscorpion allegedly found in Michigan
HOAX:  Tailless Whipscorpion allegedly found in Michigan

Dear JPF,
We would like additional information.  Did you find this creature?  Was the photograph taken by you?  If the photograph was not taken by you, from where did it come? 

We are inquiring because we believe this image is part of a hoax, though it is not entirely impossible that a Tailless Whipscorpion in the order Amblypygi might have been found in Michigan since global travel is now quite routine and this Tailless Whipscorpion might have stowed away in a suitcase. 

According to BugGuide, Tailless Whipscorpions have only been reported from Arizona, Texas and Florida in North America, though we imagine they might also be found in other southern states.  Tailless Whipscorpions are found throughout Central and South America and they are also found in warm, Old World countries.

It’s a hoax.  My neighbor said they found it, but I found the exact same image online associate with a “cave spider”.

Thanks for the confirmation that you have been “Hoaxed” by your neighbor.

Letter 2 – 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:
Daniel:
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.
Eric

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
https://www.facebook.com/itsmuchtoolate/videos/1004745686238090/
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.
Cat

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.
Eric

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.”

Letter 3 – Cancle or Tailless Whipscorpion

HI FROM PARADISE !!
HELLO THERE— MY NAME IS JUAN CARLOS, I LIVE IN PUERTO VALLARTA JAL, MEXICO I JUST LOVE YOUR PAGE (AND OFF COURSE INSECTS)

I AM SENDING YOU SOME PICTURES OFF A TAILLESS WHIPSCORPION THAT IS MY HAND THANKS (AS YOU CAN SEE MY LANGUAGE IS SPANISH)
Juan Carlos Lemus

Hi Juan Carlos,
We got another letter once that reported the Spanish name for a Tailless Whipscorpion is a Cancle. Thanks for the verification. Your photo is great and will surely creep out some of our readers.

We can’t imagine that your tourist bureau advertises with photos of the Tailless Whipscorpion, but we are sure eager to visit your paradise.

Letter 4 – Cancle or Tailless Whipscorpion from Mexico

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
Zihautenejo, Mexico

Tailless Whipscorpion
Tailless Whipscorpion

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.

Letter 5 – Cannibalism among Tailless Whipscorpions in Belize

Subject: Bug battle?
Location: Toledo District, Belize
August 15, 2014 7:59 pm
Thanks so much for your speedy answer about the stinging caterpillar. I took this photo in the dark last night and don’t know what it is, but it looks like one is eating the other.
Signature: Tanya

Whipscorpion Cannibalism
Tailless Whipscorpion Cannibalism

Hi Tanya,
We don’t get so many submissions from Belize, but there are many similar species living in Costa Rica, a country that because of eco-tourism tends to have much documentation on the fauna of the country online and many folks sending their unknown creatures to us for identification. 

Thus we have prior submissions of Tailless Whipscorpions from Costa Rica as well as other parts of the world, and we always advise folks to let them live as they lack venom and are harmless to humans.  They are effective nocturnal predators that will help to control the Cockroach populations. 

That said, this is the first image we have of the predatory behavior of a Tailless Whipscorpion, and it is phenomenal that it also depicts cannibalism.

Thanks again, Daniel,  for a very speedy and useful response.  To assure you, we don’t kill many bugs (mosquitoes and other flies actually biting us are really about it).  We aren’t afraid of insects although we don’t know nearly as much as we’d like about them. 

We remove scorpions with the help of long scissors used as tongs; just toss the scorpions outdoors and we all go along with our lives.

Got to say I’m pleased I inadvertently captured a scene you hadn’t observed with the tailless whipscorpions.  Glad I took the shot; I have a couple more if you’re interested.


Thanks again to you and your dedicated crew.  You’re a tremendous resource (and I admit a guilty pleasure reading the responses to the Nasty Reader Awards).
Yours in Belize,
Tanya

Hi Tanya,
We would love a few other views of this cannibalistic drama.  We actually get a bit of a thrill writing responses to our Nasty Readers and we are happy to hear you are enjoying them.

Hello, Daniel,
I could tell you enjoyed responding to your Nasty Readers, and it seems a number of your Non-Nasty Readers also enjoy weighing in.  Any chance some/all of you were English majors once upon a time?


I will send along the photos I took of the insect drama; there are only three.  If I can’t get them to attach here, I’ll send them separately.
Yours in Belize,
Tanya

Cannibalism among Whipscorpions
Cannibalism among Whipscorpions

Hi Tanya,
While we cannot speak for our readership and their educational backgrounds, Daniel only majored in Art with concentrations in photography and cinema, however he loves to turn a good word and thoroughly enjoys the playfulness of the English language. 

We did receive your additional images, and we are thankful, however they are not too different from the original image.  We had hoped for more of a progression in the action.

Letter 6 – Exterminated Harmless Tailless Whipscorpion in Trinidad

brown beetle/spider?
Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 8:54 AM
Hi,
Cleaning out my back storeroom, I came across this insect. I got so scared, I emptied half a tin of insecticide on it before it died. It has six long legs, two large mandibles at front and two very long antennae. It’s black with brown spots/stripes and its body is about 1-1.5 inches in length.
Cheers
shurland
Trinidad, West Indies

Exterminated Tailless Whipscorpion in Trinidad
Exterminated Tailless Whipscorpion in Trinidad

Hi shurland,
Tailless Whipscorpions are fierce looking, but they are totally harmless unless you are a small Arthropod or other creature that becomes prey to this shy nocturnal hunter. 

We haven’t posted an image to our Unnecessary Carnage page, so we will be posting your letter and image.

Letter 7 – How to care for a Whipscorpion

Subject: I dont know if my whip scorpion is safe
Location: pine island florida
September 4, 2013 10:22 pm
I have a whip scorpion and I was thinking of putting it together with my emperor scorpion and I didn’t know if they would attack each other
Signature: Jack Carlson

Whipscorpion
Whipscorpion

Dear Jack Carlson,
Putting two predatory species together in the same habitat sounds like a very bad idea to us.

Letter 8 – Kenyan Tailless Whipscorpion

Please identify for us
Dear Bugman,
Could you identify this bug for us. We found this one (dead) during our holyday on the coast of Kenya near Mombassa. The body itself is about 5 cm long.

Although it looks quite specific, we were not able to find another picture with a name of it It would be very nice if you give this one a name so we are not puzzeld anymore If it is not your area, could you give a place were we could look for it? Thanks,
Rob & Annita
(The Netherlands)

Hi Rob and Annita,
This is a Tailless Whipscorpion, a harmless relative of true scorpions. They are shy nocturnal hunters found in warm climates.

Letter 9 – Mexican Tailless Whipscorpion

tailless whipscorpian from Chacala, Mexico
I visited Chacala Mexico (in the state of Najarit). The week that I was there, a strange creature would reappear in the bathroom every night. She freaked me out, but was too larget for me to kill without a seriously guilty conscious.

I just left her alone everynight, keeping an eye on her while I used the bathroom, and got out of there as quickly as I could. I assumed she was simply a giant spider, until someone suggested she may be a scorpian.

Once I got home, a friend tracked down your website and we were able to conclude this bizarre creature was a tailless whipscorpian, and thankfully not harmful!

I thought you might be interested in this photo of her. Thanks for providing this info! One more question: are these common, and in what parts of the world?
Thanks,
Anna

Hi Anna,
According to our Audubon Guide, there are about 60 species worldwide and three in North America. They are found in warm climates. Being nocturnal, they are often overlooked.

Letter 10 – Mexican Tailless Whipscorpion

Mexican Amblypygi
Greetings.
I believe this to be an arachnid Amblypygi but have not been able to find one on the web that is this large or colourful. It was discovered in a kitchen sink on Mexico’s Pacific coast just north of Manzanillo.

Contrary to what I’ve read on the web, our Mexican friends attributed paralyzing bites to this insect. Can you give me a bit more information? Also, in trying to identify this insect I’ve noticed whip-scorpion and whip-spider being used – are they they same insect.
Thanks,
Ralph

Hi Ralph,
We have never seen a Tailless Whipscorpion quite like your beauty. When we were in Mexico for a solar eclipse, the locals warned us to stay indoors during totality since scorpions would fall from the sky. There are many unfounded superstitions about many creatures.

We have only ever heard that Tailless Whipscorpions possess no venom, hence are harmless. Thank you for the wonderful image. Our Audubon Guide says there are 60 species worldwide and three in North America. Mexico has so many insects, spiders and related Arthropods that this could well be an undescribed species.

Letter 11 – Scorpions, Whipscorpions and Vinegaroons

We live in the hills in Los Angeles, and were recently visited by – what we discovered on your site to be – wind scorpions or sun spiders. However, last week we discovered a NEW and more FRIGHTEINING scorpion in a bedroom, and yet another today on our back patio. Would this be a WIND scorpion?

It has a tail with a little stinger on it, as well as little claws on its front legs. It’s really creepy looking. Also, is it poisonous and does its sting contain venom? Or would it just simply “sting.” I’ve attached a photo for your viewing pleasure! Any help you could give us would be greatly appreciate. Thanks!

It appears to be a Striped Tailed Scorpion, Paruroctonus silvestrii, which has venom like all scorpions, and will sting readily, but will do no lasting harm.

There are four conspicuous dark brown lines on the underside of the tail, which is unfortunately not visible in your photo.

Letter 12 – Scorpions, Whipscorpions and Vinegaroons

Austin, Texas
We live in an older house – it was empty several years so we have all kinds of bugs which we try to keep out of the house! Our worse invader is the scorpian after my husband was stung. But we also have a horrible time keeping the katydids out of the house.

They come out at night and get on us – after the scorpian sting scares you to death. We kill probably 10 a night – between the 3 bedrooms. Even though they have been harmless I do not want them in the house – can you tell me how to get rid of them? Thanks!

Are you sure they are katydids? which are green and look like grasshoppers.

I’m suspecting you have crickets, a common prey of scorpions. Bugs get into the house. Perhaps you should have a contractor find out where all the points of entry are and seal up the foundation.

Letter 13 – Scorpions, Whipscorpions and Vinegaroons

I have heard of these vinegar runes that when they bite you everything tastes like vinegar for a month do they exist?

Vinegaroons, or whip scorpions, are venomless arachnids that release an acetic acid substance when molested. This is the same type of acid as vinegar, hence the name. They do not bite, so please quit spreading this silly vicious rumor about a harmless, though somewhat frightening looking relative of spiders and scorpions.


Mr. Marlos,
I’ve got another one for you!
I had been sitting diligently at my computer, waiting for the last few seconds of an ebay auction in order to snipe the competition, when I caught this creature making his way into a closet.

The room was dark, and against my beige carpet, I actually thought it was a silverfish (it’s legs and tail blended in). Had I known, I wouldn’t’ve stepped on it, wearing only socks!


When the little bastard zipped across the carpet, I knew it was time for the bug glass. This is the sixth scorpion I’ve caught in 3 summers, and the smallest, so far. I’d say the dark part of the body is about 3/4 of an inch long.
Do you have any idea how much of a zinger these things wield? Sooner or later one of them is going to get me!
—Chris

Hey Chris,
Directly from the pages of Hogue:
“None of our indigenous scorpions is considered dangerous, although any may inflict a wound that is temporarily painful. However, there is a potentially lethal species (Dentruroides exilicauda) in southern Arizona and portions of the neighboring states.

In Arizona, during a twenty year period, C. exilicauda has been responsible for the majority of the deaths due to venomous creatures, many more than rattlesnakes and all other types put together. The species has turned up in recent years in parts of Orange County, it has been particularly common in Irvine, where it poses a health hazard.

The stings of our scorpions usually cause only a local reaction similar to that of a bee sting, consisting of pain and a burning sensation, with swelling that lasts from a few minutes to over an hour. First-aid treatment involves immersing the affected area in ice water or applying an ice pack. If symptoms persist, a physician should be consulted.”
p. 358

Authors

  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

8 thoughts on “Are Tailless Whip Scorpions Dangerous? Uncovering the Truth”

  1. Hello
    This is also from Puerto Vallarta.
    After reading your information I feel so bad because we had one of these spectacular beautiful insects at home and one of our employees killed him. He said the insect was worse than a scorpion. I am really so sorry I was not aware that it is a harmless being.

    Most people will say it is not a very attractive insect but I think it is. Now I have to start a campaing to let people know about the good things about this inofensive creature.

    Best to all of you
    Luis M de Velasco
    Puerto Vallarta

    Reply
  2. I live on the coast in Mexico…actually the area is jungle. The locals had told me about the cancle…they call it the mother of scopians and say that it is highly dangerous. I had a rather large one in my bathroom and fearing for my dog who goes after everything, I sprayed it. I put it in a zip lock and brought it to my vet who is also a zoologist. He told me what it was and brought out a book with numerous photos…also told me that the locals are wrong about it. This was several weeks ago. Today lunching with some Mexicans we were talking about bugs and they mentioned the dangerous cancle. I didn’t remember the name of the bug I had before so this time I wrote the name down and looked it up at your website. Sure enough it was the same bug.
    I live in an environment where bugs are common place, but am not happy when they are scorpions, alacrans or 8 inch long centipedes; they have their life ended. The beautiful brown and rust tarantula on my terrace this morning was scooted off before my dog saw it and ended his life.
    I’ve had pet praying mantis living in a vase of flowers for weeks. I feed it bugs with a tweezer and mist them periodically.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the information. According to Panarthropoda, the genus Damon is from Africa. The person who submitted the image to our site for identification confirmed that a neighbor created a hoax by claiming a Michigan sighting.

      Reply
  3. The first time I saw a tailless whip scorpion was in a beach house in Puerto Vallarta when I was 12. It was above my pillow and it scared the crap out of me! After I described it to the owners of the house, or series of cabanas really, and they told me about the legend of the dangerous cancle. Stating that it’s venom will make you pass out for about 12 hours but after that you will be ok. Needless to say I had a hard time falling asleep that night! It’s nice to know I was never in real danger, but sleeping in the jungle came with its adventures!

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  4. 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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  5. the amblypige (whip scorpion) are common pet insect and can be found in a lot of exotic pet store.
    I would believe this one to be a household exotic pet.
    very unfortunate for the hoax, but still a nice picture of an arachnid not Sandra Guérin

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