Friday, January 18, 2013

new year, new arachnid

 Have I mentioned that I don't do spiders? I think I may have. Several times, perhaps.

Well, here is something I met in the bathroom a couple of weeks ago. Be proud of me: I didn't even squeak. I did manage to get past it and run to my room for the bug spray. It waved its little front claws at me (claws? pincer? I thought... what the heck kind of a spider is this?!) But then even once it had gone to the great insect haven in the sky, I didn't want to get near enough to it to re-enter the bathroom. But that is why God made brooms, and I gingerly moved his or her remains outside from as far away as possible. Ugh.

Then I got brave and took a closer look. Even belly up, he looked even nasty, even more nasty than I had thought. What the... ? So of course I had to take a picture.

not what I wanted to meet in the bathroom...and it was right side up then, too.

And then, despite the fact that even photos make me shudder slightly, I tried to identify it on the internet.  No luck.  Until I happened upon this site: .  No, I didn't find it directly there, but having a certain anxiety about potential family members of this critter who might even now be lying in wait for me along with a touch of resulting chutzpah, I emailed the arachnologist who runs this site with the photo. 
She was kind enough to identify it for me.

It's not a spider.  It's a tail-less whip scorpion.  

A what?  In my bathroom?

Oh yes, a sister said.  It's humid in there. 

Fortunately, unlike real scorpions, this one is not poisonous.  The aforementioned scientist assured me that "They are not a threat to humans but can deliver a bad bite if provoked."

Remind me not to provoke anything.  At least before I have my spray can in hand.  And am wearing shoes. 

Maybe I'll go back to the idea of combat boots.

I did go look up more about it.  I rather like its scientific name: amblypigid.  It seems so much friendlier.

It occurred to me, too, that if I were to study the biodiversity of Caribbean spiders as this particular woman does, I might eventually find the beauty in them and other arachnids.  However, other than an appreciation of Charlotte's Web, so far my best effort is the appreciation of dewdrops on a spiderweb outside - without the spider. 

I did also find out in the process of looking all this up that I am not alone in thinking this critter is scary-looking.  In fact, I have encountered a species featured in Harry Potter (where it is said to kill with one bite).  Consolation of a sort?

Mad-Eye Moody with tailless whip scorpion

I think I'll skip Mad-Eye's class.

1 comment:

  1. But spiders eat mosquitoes and ti-mouche (so do the ti-lizards!) Haiti can be so challenging to those of us who were raised in a more antiseptic environment...
    But you will survive(and thrive!)
    How beautiful are the feet of those who wait upon the Lord!
    (Have you encountered the giant wasp -like bug they call the "24 hour"? I'd rather have a house full of various arachnids than ONE of those things!)
    Looking forward to coming home to you, the spiders, the dust & noise, and even the moustiques soon!
    Love & hugs & blessings!!!!