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Not a scorpion and no real spider

Avatar of koney koney - 25. February 2020 - Environment

The two large pincers studded with spines resemble that of a scorpion and therefore they are also known as tailless whip scorpions. With their pincers they seize and overpower prey.

Dirk Heinrich 

This animal is a combination of two species, spider and scorpion, and therefore looks scary and disgusting at the same time for many. These crawling animals are also called " tailless whip scorpions". However, it is a completely harmless whip spider, of which there are more than 200 species worldwide. 

The front legs look like antennae or whips and give the animal the name whip spider. They are not real spiders, but with their eight legs they still belong to the arachnids. They don’t have venomous pincers and glands and they cannot spin a web. They grab their prey, overwhelm them with their pincers and eat them while they are still alive. Most whip spider species are found in tropical and subtropical areas with high humidity. According to Prof. Lorenzo Prendini, five of these spider species occur in Namibia. They live in caves, rock crevices and near springs. No English or German names have been established for these species yet. 

According to Benson Muramba, the National Museum in Windhoek gladly accepts specimens of these spiders for its collection. They should be placed in ethanol and handed in with information about the location, GPS coordinates, the name of the finder, date, and a description of habitat and condition of the whip spider. 

For more information about the whip spiders in Namibia, please visit Namibia Outdoor.

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