Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mystery bug

Do you recognize me?
I was doing some cleaning, on my last night of our recent stay in Mérida, and there it was: clinging to the wall just inside the patio door.

I had never seen anything like it. It looked kind of scary. Maybe three inches across, if you count the long legs and thingies at the back end. I took a picture for later identification, and then, sorry to say, I killed it. I didn't think it was a good idea to leave it there for someone else to deal with, in case it was a nasty one.

Then I forgot all about it until this morning, when I was sorting through photos. It brought back for a moment that feeling of alarm I had when I first saw the creature. It's a feeling I experience less and less often as the strange and unusual things about Mérida gradually become familiar.

I did a bit of poking around online and found this reference to a Tailless Mexican Whip Scorpion, or just  the Tailless Whip Scorpion. My little visitor looks like it could be an immature specimen - the other ones I found look less translucent, with more serious-looking pincers.

A Mexican rite of passage: my first scorpion, maybe. I've heard from friends and acquaintances that you can expect to encounter them in your home or wherever you hang out. I've seen at least one study that says the Yucatán's scorpions are relatively wimpy. Their sting, the study concluded, is painful but not very serious. But I didn't know there were any that didn't have stingers, or venom, and could be coddled like a rather creepy pet.

I am feeling a bit guilty for crushing the little guy.