What is a Whip Scorpion??...

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

... a cross between a spider, a scorpion and a crab? or a magical creature from Harry Potter

The whip scorpions are a hugely fascinating group of Arachnids named Thelyphonida. They consist of the tailless whip scorpions and the vinagroons. In fact the whip scorpions are neither a scorpion nor a spider. They form their own group. They make great pets, easy to look after and very gentle. They are not harmful to humans other than the Vinagroons who can spray a vinegar like chemical as a defence. In fact the whip scorpions are neither a scorpion nor a spider. They form their own group.


- there are over 155 species of whip scorpion

- fossil records show they have been around for over 350 million years

- when mating, whip scorpions do a little dance and gentle stroke each other with their long whips



Why are they classified as Arachnids if they aren't spiders?

Not all arachnids are spiders. The Arachnid family covers mites, ticks, scorpions, spiders, daddy longlegs and tailless whip scorpions. Whip scorpions have no venom and no bite.



Why so many legs?

Even though they have 8 legs, whip scorpions only walk on 6. They use hairs on their long antenniform legs to feel, see, smell and taste the pathway ahead of them. In addition to their legs they also have two strong, needle sharp pinchers at the front. These are classed as pedipalps and are used for eating.


Lifespan?

On average this is between 5-10 years. Not much is know about their lifespan in the wild, but with added predation and disease it could be much less.


Are they communal?

Although classed as a solitary species, when living in cave environments or areas with plentiful food supply, whip scorpions will tolerate each other, choosing to hunt around each other rather than enter into territorial disputes.




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