|A whip spider|
is any arachnid belonging to the order Amblypygi (/AM-blī-PĪJ-ee/). Despite their name, they aren’t true spiders. Also known as tailless whip-scorpions or amblypygids, they have well-developed, pincerlike pedipalps, as do scorpions, but lack a tail (thus, their name: ambly = blunt, and pygi = rumps). These arachnids are 4-45 mm (0.16-1.8 in) long. Most amblypygids are nocturnally active and prefer a humid environment. All lack both silk and venom.
The first of the four pairs of appendages corresponding to the walking legs of spiders, is not used in locomotion. Instead each of these members is a thin, whiplike sensory organ, several times the length of the body, used to detect prey in darkness. Amblypygids walk sideways like a crab, extending one whip ahead and the other far out to either side.
Geographic range: Tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
Etymology: The prefix ambly- comes from the Greek word amblys, meaning blunt or dull, and the suffix
-pygi comes from the Greek word pyge, meaning rump or buttocks. So the ordinal name Amblypygi means "ones having a blunt rump" (as opposed to scorpions, which have a sharp rump or tail).
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