Spider from Mars

If you don’t like creepy-crawlies, look away now! I am going to show you the creepiest crawly that I have ever seen. My daughter found this strange creature at the door to the bathroom in our new home. She thought it was a dead spider and asked daddy to move it. When my husband went to pick it up in a piece of kitchen roll, it scuttled away super quickly. So it was alive! It looked like an enormous upside down flattened spider gone badly wrong. Anyway, I am the (live) spider catcher in our family, so I caught it in a glass, and here it is, next to my hand for scale.

I took it outside and set it down on the front path to examine it again, only to see a set of pincers covering up its eye area! Then I noticed it had a crab-like shell. So it seems to be some kind of land-based crustacean – like a cross between a spider and a crab. You can see this very clearly below. It looks like an alien life form to me! You can see its long thin feelers which it moved around in a spookily controlled manner curling the ends of each one in slow motion.

I tried to find out what this creature is, but couldn’t find any information on the internet – maybe we’ve discovered a new species! I did find creatures called spider-crabs, but they definitely looked liked spiders, and I didn’t see any that had these pincers. If anyone knows what this creature is, I would love to hear from you. This is one visitor I’m hoping doesn’t call round again!

NOTE: After I posted this article, I was reliably informed that this is a tailless whip scorpion! The things I took for feelers were actually very flexible front legs. Apparently one featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and it was suggested one bite could kill. But I have found out they are not actually poisonous, although they can squirt acetic acid if annoyed!

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5 thoughts on “Spider from Mars

    1. Yikes! Yes, that certainly looks like the same beastie Diana! I found out what it was from a friend…it is a tailless whip scorpion! The things I took for feelers were actually very flexible front legs. Although it has the name scorpion, if I remember correctly it is actually a kind of land crab and not poisonous…

  1. heiii.. I’m Diana in Indonesia. I just found the same creature! I was searching from internet to find out what is that then I saw your blog.
    I found it in the bathroom too *maybe bathroom is its habitat?*
    Have u found out what insect is it?

  2. Thanks for the kind words about my blog Alex! I heard they have tailless whip scorpions in caves in Costa Rica the size of saucers, so I guess we got off relatively lightly!

  3. Not attractive but very common in humid dark places. You don’t need to fear it. I have never anybody being stung or bit by it.

    Congrat on your blog. I have enjoyed it.

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