Hello guys from a big fan ! Yes, a big hoorah for the best bug site on the net. Even though it’s largely New World orientated, the photos, the philosophy, the humour..oh, and the scientific accuracy are all first class, and searches usually point me in the right direction for Eurpoean and Asian examples, although you do deservedly have a world-wide audience. I’m glad to hear that you,ve been swamped over the summer because it means that people are out there are getting interested in the amazing variety to be found in the insect world, and also know the right people to contact with their discoveries. However, your popularity has prevented me from consulting your oracle during the summer, as I didn’t want to overburden you with my footling little problem, but ……ooh, I can’t contain my curiosity any longer. I spotted this little beauty on the 29th of May this year, and after looking all over the place, still can’t even work out if it’s an insect or a spider, or even something more resembling a prawn ! An interesting little story is behind my unearthing of ” Jaws ” , though, so here goes… On that day, I was staying at the house of friends in Rayong, Thailand, and it was an unbelievably hot morning, which built up to one of the many thunderstorms which we’d been having in the afternoons and evenings at the time. This time, though, we had a near-apocalyptic tropical downpour ( as opposed to a normal tropical downpour ), and water was just cascading off the roof in all directions, as the guttering was completely overwhelmed. At one point there came a great crash from the front yard which didn’t sound as if it came from the heavens, so we all peered out the front door to see what had happened. What we found was that a section of guttering at the front of the house had given way under the pressure of water and crashed down into the front yard on top of a huge, three-foot high earthenware bowl, which was, as is usual in Thai gardens, full of water lilies and fish. The huge pot shattered, of course, and the hapless fish were spewed out all over the already waterlogged front yard, flapping about and in imminent danger of being washed away, so we had to grab pans from the kitchen and run out into the cloudburst to try and scoop them up !! In the middle of the rescue operation, I found this very unfishlike thing floundering around as well, so scooped it up as well. Its body ( jaws head,thorax, abdomen ) is about the same length as my little finger, though obviously not so thick. I’m afraid it’s not such a good photo, and I’ll give the circumstances as my excuse, but it seems to have eight legs, although the extra ones may not be legs.. Also, it has a long “sting ” on it’s abdomen, at least the same length as the abdomen itself, possibly an ovipositor. Originally I had assumed that it had come out of the water jar along with the fish, and was therefore aquatic, but it’s posssible that it was just hanging around in the yard and got caught up in the all-pervading wetness !! My first thought was that it was a dragonfly nymph, quickly discounted, and then maybe a water-scorpion, but it doesn’t quite match that either, and I’m still not sure if it’s an insect or an arachnid, so……HELP !!! ( I let it go pretty quickly, as I didn’t fancy a nip from those mandibles, and yes, the fish are all doing fine !! )……Cheers
Graham Moore, Purmerend, Netherlands……..and quite often Rayong, Thailand.
This is a Whipscorpion. We found a near exact match on a crazy blog entitled Wesley in Thailand. We also posted another similar example from Thailand last year that met a nasty fate when it was discovered. Sorry we can’t provide an exact species.