The huge tailless whipscorpion hunts at night in the jungle and our houses. While it looks scary, it’s actually harmless to people an you can pick them up. They kill pests such as scorpions, so leave them alone to do their work!
To some people, all insects and spiders are scary, but a few are particularly scary because they have a painful bite or sting, or in the case of the whip scorpion, they appear to be very dangerous (but arent’). None of the bugs in this section are actually dangerous (the most dangerous spiders and scorpions live in the United States).
I first saw this scary bug at the insect museum in Monteverde, and it’s called a Dobsonfly. This is the female, which apparently can give a nasty pinch with its mandibles. The male has much scarier, longer mandibles which can’t bite. This insect is very large… at least 2 1/2 inches long. Thanks to Jessica for remembering the right name for it.
You can’t see it from the photo, but the legs of this 2-inch centipede were actually a dark blue. I couldn’t tell if this type of centipede would
bite or not.
According to the insect museum in Monteverde, there are 12 types of scorpions in Costa Rica, and they had samples of all of them. One was black, and the other 11 were various shades of brown that all looked almost alike to me. They said that none of them were dangerous, but one of the brown ones had a very painful sting. The others had a sting that was not much worse than a bee or wasp.
This is a red assassin bug, which doesn’t look like much but can deliver a very painful bite. It’s a very aggressive predator and can kill wasps and other predator insects. The most dangerous insect in costa Rica, the “Mal de Chaga” is also a type of assassin bug.
A two-inch millipede that looks like it could bite – they’re actually harmless and you can pick them up.
The tailless whipscorpion is huge – nearly the size of a full grown tarantula, and it looks like it would deliver a nasty bite. However, it
is supposedly harmless, and I picked one up and found it didn’t bite me.
This huge bug, which was at least 5 inches long, was waiting for us when we returned home one night. I’ve only seen it once.
This is the same bug, with all kinds of crazy wings out. From the looks of it, you wouldn’t even know it had all those wings folded up in there, and I was lucky to catch this photo when the camera flashed.
This creepy little big scuttled around the floor and looked like some type of runty scorpion. Ian from Southern California identified this as a ‘Solipugid’, also known as a Sun Spider, Wind Scorpion, or Camel Spider. They can kill and eat scorpions, but are not venemous.
Scorpions Video! See a mommy scorpion with babies on her back!
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