Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our New Arachnid

Meet the newest resident of Pacific Science Center’s Insect Village – an African Amblypigid, Daman varigatus.

Also known as the whip scorpion, tailless whip scorpion, Tanzanian whip scorpion, cave spider, cave scorpion, amblypygid, or amblypygyd, our guy is not as scary as the names suggest. Amblypigids do not bite, sting, or pinch! Still, his ferocious appearance has made him famous. An amblypigid performed in the movie “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and yet another was an unusual meal on television’s “Fear Factor.”

Notice that unlike other arachnids, whip spiders only have six legs. One set of legs adapted into long feelers that allow the animal to sense their surroundings and find prey.

When you visit our African amblypigid exhibit, you may have to hunt around before spotting him. Perhaps he’ll be hiding in his cave?

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