Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug

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Question
Big bug
Big bug  
I was just down in Mexico near Zihuatanejo and ran across this bug on a wall in the laundry room of our house our last night. Looked positively prehistoric and my girlfriend said it was so big it had hooves.  For reference, the body was about 3-4 inches long, it was late night and the bug never moved while I watched it, but my guess is it crawls. Biggest pincers I've ever seen.

Answer
Hi, John:

Fortunately, this is something from Mexico that I actually recognize :-)

The creature is an arachnid called a "tailless whip-scorpion" or amblypygid.  Here's more about them:

http://www.americanarachnology.org/gallery_amblypygids.html

http://biosci-labs.unl.edu/hebets/sensory_biology.html

Do be careful where else you go for information on these.  They are completely harmless to people and pets, and actually valued as mobile pest control in hotels, motels, and hostels in tropical resorts.

I'd love it if you would send me the image file with permission to use your image in a blog post about these curious animals.  I will obviously credit you.  Thanks.

Eric
bugeric24ATyahooDOTcom

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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