Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion Fact File
Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Wild 2-3 years
Captive 2-3 years
Whipping Their Way Around!
The tailless whip scorpion is named for the two long front legs which are used in a whip like motion to impress the female during the breeding season. These also help them to find their way through darkened areas where they regularly live.
They are carnivores which will feed on a range of invertebrates.
Females initially carry their young on their back until they grow large enough to go off on their own.
Read on to learn more about these incredible invertebrates.
What does the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion look like?
The giant tailless whip scorpion is a species of arachnid which has eight legs. They stand on three of the pairs of the legs. The final pair are elongated and used to feel their way around as they move through dark environments.
One pair of eyes sit at the front of the body and three pairs are located down the side of the body. Despite this their eyesight is poor and they primarily use the elongated front legs to find their way around.
At the front of the body are a pair of pincers used to grab their prey. Along the inside of these are a number of small spikes. The mouth has shearing parts which are used to slice up their prey.
These animals have a legspan of up to 20cm (8in) across. Their body is just 8cm (3in) long and they weigh less than 1g (0.04oz). Females tend to be slightly larger than the males.
How does the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion survive in its habitat?
Tailless whip scorpions have modified front legs which are elongated and used to find their way through their habitat. Often this species is found in darkened areas such as caves or under bark.
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What does the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion eat?
The giant tailless whip scorpion is a carnivore which will feed on invertebrates such as crickets and other large insects. On occasion they will eat other whip scorpions, this mostly occurs while it is molting.
Rarely this species has been seen to take small vertebrates.
This species will typically lie motionless and wait for prey to come past which is then seized in the pincers.
Unlike other species of arachnid such as spiders and scorpions these animals do not possess a venom.
They will drink droplets of water by bringing it to their mouth.
Learn more about a species of Whip Scorpion in this video from Animal Planet on YouTube
Where do you find the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion?
Africa is the native home of the giant tailless whip scorpion. Here they can be found in Tanzania and Kenya.
Where can the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion survive?
This species can be found in rainforest, savanna and semi-desert habitats.
This species will seek shelter under a rock or log. Their flattened body allows them to squeeze in to small gaps.
Credit: Ltshears, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
How does the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion produce its young?
Mating occurs during the wet season. Males will fight to establish dominance. They often make full body contact with one another.
A dominant male will shake the long front legs in an effort to impress the female.
Males will deposit a sperm packet on the ground. They then move the female on top of this and she uses this to fertilize her eggs.
On her underside she carries a sac of up to 60 eggs.
Young hatch and move on to her mothers back. Initially they are white in color until their outer coating hardens.
It will take two years for these animals to reach maturity.
What does the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion do during its day?
These animals live in small groups within their habitat.
They will emerge at night to hunt.
Credit: Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Predators and Threats
What stops the Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion from surviving and thriving?
These animals are preyed upon by birds and small mammals.
While these animals can use their large claws to defend themselves against threats it is more common for them to run away.
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This species may also be known as the Tanzanian tailless whip scorpion or the African whip spider.
These animals are regularly confused with vinegaroons which may also be referred to as whip scorpions.
They were first described for science during 1850.
Credit: Matthew Robinson, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Howard, J., 2019. Encyclopedia of animals. London: Quatro Publishing.2022.
Tailless Whip Scorpion. [ebook] Sacramento Zoo. Available at: <https://www.saczoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Tailless-Whip-Scorpion.pdf> [Accessed 19 April 2022].
Scales 'N Tails. 2022. Tailless Whip Scorpion (Damon Variegatus) – Scales 'N Tails. [online] Available at: <https://scalesntails.com/tailless-whip-scorpion/> [Accessed 19 April 2022].
Zoo Boise. 2022. Tailless Whip Scorpion – Zoo Boise. [online] Available at: <https://zooboise.org/animals/tailless-whip-scorpion/> [Accessed 19 April 2022].
Animal World. 2022. Tanzanian Whipscorpion. [online] Available at: <https://animal-world.com/encyclo/reptiles/whipscorpions/TanzanianGiantTaillessWhipScorpion.php> [Accessed 19 April 2022].