Whipscorpion from Tanzania

Tanzanian 10 legged spider with claws
November 4, 2010 3:15 am
Dear Bugman,
I am living in a tropical coastal region of north Tanzania, there are all sorts of interesting bugs here (wadudu in Swahili!) but I thought this one was especially good and was wondering if you could help me identify it. It seems to have 10 legs; the front two with hooks or claws and the next row back being much longer and thinner. Probably about 10cm leg span. I thought it might be a Solifugae of some kind but haven’t found anything online which looks similar.
Looking forward to your thoughts,
Signature: Olly


Hi Olly,
This is a Tailless Whipscorpion in the order Amblypygi, and despite its name, it is perfectly harmless since it does not have venom.  They are shy nocturnal hunters.  BugGuide describes them as:  “Spiderlike Large pincer-like, powerful and spiny claws used for capturing prey Wide head and thorax Flattenned overall appearance No spinnerets First pair of legs are very long and whiplike and function like antennae Eight eyes.

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