Tailless whip scorpions are scary looking but these Amblypygi do not attack
We found it! We found a couple of Tailless whip scorpions on FLAAR headquarters.
But when I read about them on the Internet, I learned that they have no venom and are (normally) totally harmless to people.
So now I ask everyone in the office not to step on them, and not to use insect spray where they live (in the back lower floors, where it is humid).
We also have true scorpions; these live under the computers (I guess they prefer the heat). When we find these we try to use cardboard to slide under them to pick them up and then put them outside, but we realize they will hike back in sooner or later.
Tailless whip scorpions are present at Tikal
You can probably find tailless whip scorpions in many diverse eco-systems within Guatemala. Our office and residence is at 1500 meters elevation. Many live inside the office and I assume even more are outside in the yard. Tikal is about 250 meters above sea level and has lots of these creatures.
Actually when a tailless whip scorpion sees you, it often plays dead, hoping you will either ignore it or be afraid of it. But if you put a piece of paper under them, you can move them to put them in your hand (to scare everyone else in the home or residence).
Tarantulas are more playful; the whip scorpions just wait until you get bored with them. Then eventually they run away.
Looks are deceiving
As you can see from these photographs, these relatives of true scorpions and spiders look fully equipped to sting, bite, pinch, and otherwise seriously attack your flesh.
But they can run around on your hand and they will not hurt you (though as mentioned before, they don’t run around like spiders when on your hand; they pretend to be dead).
This whip scorpion just sits on my arm. They normally pretend to be dead and don’t move much. We have found these in Peten and in our office at 1500 meters elevation in Guatemala City (many species exist). You can also find them in caves.
A good reason to provide them hospitality in your house is that they can help you get rid of cockroaches.
Bibliography, Suggested Reading
www.costaricajourneys.com/tailless-whip-scorpion, is probably taken from Wikipedia, but is a nice summary of everything you might wish to learn about tailless whip scorpions.
A really good article, albeit technical (in Spanish) is a free download on www.sea-entomologia.org/PDF/BSEA39ARACNO/B39345.pdf
The present stage of our storyboards is featuring animals. However we have decades of experience doing high-resolution photography of the rare flowers of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
We specialize in studying utilitarian plants, used by the Maya for thousands of years.