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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/palm size spider looking with too many legs


QUESTION: I am totally freaking out here. I live in NE GA and I know what a black widow, brown recluse, grandaddylong legs looks like THIS IS NO IT.This is flat, black in color, about the size of a coffee cup around, and looks and acts just like a spider BUT it has legs all the way around it. Like 3 times to many legs. Its completely round in shape, moves fast, totally black no other color at all. I have killed 3-4 of these just outside my garage door. The legs are all flat and it's completely circular in shape. You know how a centipede has lots of legs but is long, this has much longer about 2'' legs. It's flat to the ground not raised up as it walks around. I have never seen anything like this but it is freaking me out. Please tell me what this is, we have also noticed a lot of scorpions lately which we never had before either.

ANSWER: Laura:

Without seeing a specimen, or even an image, the best I can do is guess, and not very well at that.

My only suspect, given your description, is a tailless whipscorpion:

Note that these are non-venomous arachnids that prey on insects.  They are nocturnal and normally hide in cracks and crevices during the day.

Please provide me with an image next time if this identification is incorrect.  Thank you.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: No that is definitely not it. This is black, round, legs that completely go around the entire body and the legs are about 1-2'' long  the total size is about the size of your palm.


Well, then, I can be of no further help without an image of said creature.  I'm sorry, but you have to understand that, to an entomologist or arachnologist, your description is completely vague and could apply to many more species than I could address in a succinct and timely manner.

Please consider consulting the following website now and in the future.  You can even post images in the "forum" section and get rapid response as to what your spider or other arachnid might be:


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Eric R. Eaton


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.


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.

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.

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

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 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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