Amblypigi: the whip spiders

Yesterday I posted about whip scorpions…today it is whip spiders!  Aren’t you excited?

The amblypigids, like the theylphonids, are arachnids, or related to spiders and scorpions.  But these less familiar dudes are completely harmless to humans.

A whip spider

A whip spider

According to wikipedia, “The name “amblypygid” means “blunt rump”, a reference to a lack of the flagellum (“tail”) carried by the whip scorpions.”

Like the whip scorpions, the amblypigids have modified pedipalps, but they are much more delicate than their whip scorpion cousins, with just tiny claws at the end.

That's right, I said "delicate".

That’s right, I said “delicate”.

But the most interesting factoid about the amblypigids is that they show signs of sociality (one of the few arachnids that do)!  Here’s wikipedia again: “Research conducted by entomologists at Cornell University suggests that mother amblypygids communicate with their young by caressing the offspring with her anteniform front legs, and that the offspring reciprocate both with their mother and their siblings. Further, in an experiment where two or more siblings were placed in an unfamiliar environment, such as a different cage, they would seek each other out and gather back into a group.”

Aw, so sweet!

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11 thoughts on “Amblypigi: the whip spiders

  1. That’s pretty cool! Spiders are known for their engineering skills. Engineers, however, aren’t typically all that social. Glad the spiders succeed!

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