Breaking News
More () »

It might look like it was made by the Devil himself, but this Arizona arachnid is harmless

Talk about something with a bark worse than its bite! The tailless whip scorpion doesn't even have venom.
Credit: Sandra Friedel, North Phoenix
A whip spider caught in a glass jar in a North Phoenix home. Photo by Sandra Friedel.

PHOENIX — A woman in North Phoenix has found one of Arizona's most awe-inspiring arachnids. Sandra Friedel shared her photos of a captured tailless whip scorpion on Facebook to try and find out just what she was looking at.

Is it one of the freakiest looking bugs we've ever seen? Absolutely. Does it even remotely pose a threat to people? Not at all! 

Also called the whip spider, Paraphrynus carolynae is one of Arizona's native species that does not possess any venom.

Although they can bite if really threatened, these amazing arachnids would prefer to pinch potential predators with those long limbs.

Entomologist Dr. Salvador Vitanza confirmed that "they are harmless to humans."

Not just that, but a study from Cornell University suggested that they're one of only a few species of arachnid to show social behavior. 

Mother whip spiders were observed to stay and communicate with their kids until the babies were fully grown, making sure they stayed safe.

Credit: Dr. Salvador Vitanza
A photo of a whip spider showing off where it got its name, taken by Dr. Salvador Vitanza.

So if you see one of these in your home, don't worry, and don't go rolling up your newspaper. They're a uniquely beautiful part of Arizona wildlife that poses no threat to you.

Just help the little guy back outside, and you're good to go!

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Puede parecer que fue hecho por el mismísimo Diablo, pero este arácnido de Arizona es completamente inofensivo


Explore amAZing people, places and things across our state on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.

More ways to get 12 News

On your phone:
Download the 12 News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.  

On your streaming device: 
Download 12 News+ to your streaming device  

The free 12 News+ app from 12 News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.  

12 News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona. 

On social media: 
Find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out