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.


  1. Creepy is right. I usually try to scoop them up and take outside, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Especially when they look at you like "Go ahead, make my day!"

  2. If it makes you feel any better, I would have crushed it, too.

  3. John, I admire your kindness to even the creepy creatures. Have you seen "real" scorpions yet, or encountered this type?
    Barb, thanks. I feel less guilty already.

  4. It was clearly a case of either you or him. The house isn't big enough for both of you.

  5. Hello¡¡ I just discover your blog, its seems a little bit weird to hear about my city from other perspective rather than the local one, but it's interesting jaja. And for the little bug, it looks intimidating but is harmless, it's called Amblypygi (or whip spider)