The African Whip Spider (Damon variegatus) is an arachnid in the Phrynichidae family. It is not a true spider because it does not produce silk or venom. It is also known as the Giant Tailless Whipscorpion but it is not a scorpion.
The African Whip Spider has a large, flattened abdomen and cephalothorax, with eight legs. It has six ambulatory (walking) legs and two tactile legs that are longer than the others and act like feelers. It also has two pedipalps which are pincer-like appendages that helps to catch and hold its prey. It is mottled dark-grey to black carapace.
It grows up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.
It is found in countries in Africa, such as Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
It prefers living under stones near ponds or water pools. Because it is flat, it can slip into small cracks and crevices.
It feeds on insects, especially crickets.
The African Whip Spider is often seen in small groups.
Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM