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Amblypygid

Phrynus marginemaculata

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11 Comments

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 10 years ago

Excellent words dave with something for us all to think about. Thanks.

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 10 years ago

More useful information, thanks.
Although dangerous animals are rare here, I should still keep alert.
You are right about putting the natural items (rocks, logs) back after lifting, some of the animals I have seen even died of quick sun exposure after they are brought out of their shelter.

skinheaddave
skinheaddave 10 years ago

ChunXingWong:

A few words regarding flipping things. First off, as you suggest by your comment, it is important to replace everything where you found it. Every time you remove things, you modify local microclimates. It may not be so quick in humid environments where water is abundant and the rate of change/decay is great anyways .. but in more arid environments you can do great harm by displacing ground cover. It is just good policy to put everything back where you found it.

It is also important not to place the items back onto animals. If you, for example, see a snake underneath the log, it is important to get it out before you replace the log. You can make sure it is placed next to the log afterwards .. but if you simply drop the log back on it it may not come to rest in exactly the same spot and you can do damage. So lift, do a good check for animals, remove any larger ones (small bugs etc. are generally fine) and then lower the cover.

Lastly, a word on safety. Lots of things live under logs. Some of them can be dangerous. It is often a good idea to pry up the log with an implement rather than your hands ... or at least thick gloves if the local concerns are all of the stinging arthropod type rather than venomous snakes (many of which can punch right through gloves). The other important tip is to lift the item away from you. That way if you spook something like a venomous snake, it will flee away from you rather than directly towards your legs.

A funny diversion. I was leading a little field trip for some children etc. to go look for scorpions with a blacklight at night in Texas. There was a guy there in his late teens and he took to helping the younger children out. Quite nice of him. I had impressed upon him earlier the importance of lifting things away from yourself. He started doing so. At one point, however, I see him gathering some children around a piece of bark with their blacklights. He very helpfully lifted the bark so that the children could look for scorpions underneath. He opened it away from himself and towards all the children. There were no rattlers underneath so it was funny as anything .. but still not the recommended technique, you know.

Anyhow, that's my advice on flipping stuff. If you haven't been doing so already it will potentially result in many more good finds for you. Just be mindful to minimize the damage you do and keep yourself and those around you safe. Happy hunting.

Cheers,
Dave

KarenL
KarenL 10 years ago

Great capture!

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 10 years ago

Thanks for the information, it was indeed helpful.
From now on I will lift everything up to find more amazing creatures.
I just hope that the forest here will not be turned upside down by me.
Merry Christmas.

skinheaddave
skinheaddave 10 years ago

The smaller ones in Florids are found by looking under small rocks, pieces of wood etc. You have to look carefully because they blend in with the dirt under the rock etc. .. and particularly with the wood you also have to look on the underside of the item you are lifting as well. Since I am often looking for scorpions, these guys are found as a byproduct .. though they don't fluoresce under a blacklight and are thus more easily missed.

The bigger ones in Costa Rica were all found on tree trunks at about waist to head level. Simply a matter of walking around and shining a flashlight on every surface imaginable. Things are different there, though .... every surface has something living on it .. and every surface of those finds has something else living on it. It wasn't a matter of finding things to photograph as trying to decide what order to photograph everything in.

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 10 years ago

Thanks for the link, seems like you have several spottings of them.
How do find them? I have always wanted to have a spotting of these tailless whip scorpions but my luck never came.

skinheaddave
skinheaddave 10 years ago

If you are looking for bigger, check out: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/802... from Costa Rica. The biggest ones had legspans much larger than my hand. With that sort of stretch they were lightning fast too so you end up chasing them around and around trees trying to get a picture.

Cheers,
Dave

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 10 years ago

That is very small.
It sure looks big in this picture.

skinheaddave
skinheaddave 10 years ago

These little phrynus are small. The body is maybe the size of a fingernail.

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 10 years ago

Nice tailless whip scorpion you spotted there.
How big is it?

skinheaddave
Spotted by
skinheaddave

Homestead, Florida, USA

Spotted on Feb 19, 2008
Submitted on Dec 14, 2011

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