Tailless Whip Scorpion
(Damon Variegatus)
FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, JUST $34.99, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.

We certainly have love for dogs and cats, but we are all about the less traditional, more unusual pets here at Scales ‘N Tails. So we’ve decided to fully embrace the unusual animals some of us call pets and are celebrating one of the strangest creatures on the planet by naming the Tanzanian Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion (Damon variegatus) our May Animal of the Month.

Tailless Whip Scorpions, also called Whip Spiders, are Arachnids with incredibly flattened, wide bodies, and long legs. (They are often confused with Vinegarroons, also called Whip Scorpions, which are closer in resemblance to true Scorpions and possess their trade-mark, whip like tail that Tailless Whip Scorpions lack.) Unlike true spiders, Tailless Whip Scorpions are completely harmless to humans and do not possess venomous fangs. These nocturnal creatures can be found in tropical regions the world over, however, the Tanzanian Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion is native to western Africa. They are typically found living in small groups in protected vertical spaces in and around cave entrances, rock clusters, and tree trunks.

Like nearly all other Arachnids, they have 8 legs, however the front legs on Whip Spiders are not used for walking, but serve as sensory organs used to feel out their typically dark environment. These front appendages are quite thin and incredibly long, stretching out a few times the length of the body, which is typically around 2”. It has been theorized that the sensory legs are also used for communication between mothers and their offspring, which if true, would be a rare example of advanced social behavior in Arachnids. They also possess a pair of secondary appendages, called pedipalps, each with it’s own claw, which they use for grabbing and securing their prey.

Scales ‘N Tails highly recommends Tanzanian Giant Tailless Whip Scorpions as we believe that make great pets for beginners and experts alike. They are one of the most bizarre looking pets you’ll ever find, exhibit very interesting behaviors, and are very hardy in captivity. While they may look menacing, they typically have a very docile nature, and as mentioned, are completely harmless to humans. They can defend themselves with their claws, but are more likely to run away when threatened. These Arachnids can be flighty, and they are very fast, so handling is not recommended.

Caring for a pet Tailless Whip Scorpion

Like many Arachnids, caring for a pet Whip Spider is relatively simple. We recommend keeping 1-2 adults in a 12”w x 12”d x 18”h terrarium. Eco Earth Coconut Bedding should be used as a substrate, at a depth of about 2-3. The terrarium glass and bedding should be sprayed as often as necessary to keep the substrate damp and maintain the appropriate humidity. Water droplets on the glass will also likely be the animal’s preferred source of drinking water. (You can actually watch them scoop small drops off the glass which they carefully bring to their mouth with their claws.)

A few choice pieces of Cork Bark should be placed vertically to provide ample space for them to move around and hide. While they may rarely, if ever, drink from it, we do recommend keeping a small water dish filled with clean water at all times. Temperatures should be kept between 74-82 degrees, so providing a small supplemental heat source may be necessary. Ideal humidity level should be around 75%, which can be achieved by simply wetting the substrate, and letting evaporation take care of the rest. Once it’s environmental needs have been met, simply provide your Tailless Whip Scorpion with a few appropriately sized Dubia Roaches or Crickets weekly, and you’ll have a happy, healthy pet.

If you provide the right environment for your Tanzanian Giant Tailless Whip Scorpion, then you’ll be able to enjoy your pet for a long time. While research in this area is lacking, it’s generally thought that this species can live 10-15 years in captivity.

Finally, we wouldn’t be doing our Animal of the Month justice if we didn’t make it an affordable pet option. So for the month of May, while supplies last, we will have adult Tanzanian Giant Tailless Whip Scorpions available for $34.99! So if you’re interested in owning the strangest pet in the neighborhood, there has never been a better time!

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