Scorpion or something else in motion ?

Mark White

Feb 19, 2007
Dear all. I am new to this forum and have registered in order to see if anyone out there can help me clarify what insect (?) I might have seen the other evening.

Some background: I live in the Cayman Islands in a new house, so a lot of vegetation had been hacked down and left to rot by the builder, just outside my boundary lines. Weather had recently been wet - unusually for this time of year, so some water has collected in the gulleys where the builder dug up the bordering vegetation. So some of the vegetation is now under water.

The back porch was lit and the time was approx 8pm and dark. My dog likes to peep under the curtains at the back window and yap at lizards (mostly Anoles) that might be posturing. But then the dog started going mad, and I opened the curtains to see this thing. And this is not some spoof so please read on.

Having never seen a scorpion in real life, only in photo's (like on this site) or on TV, I am in no way an expert, but this crawling insect clearly had the curved "tail" which a layman might associate with a scorpion. Forgive my lack of knowledge of scorpion body part names.

However, and on to the title of this piece, this creature was up on its legs - at least 6 maybe 8, I didn't think to count at the time. It moved like I would expect any other 6-legged item, seemingly searching the porch for something, going back and forth, covering several patio tiles in a couple of seconds, never stopping. This is not what I would have expected from a spider or a scorpion, albeit never having seen the latter in action. My expectation of scorpions is that the body remains close to the ground when in motion, not well above ground at the extent of its outstretched legs.

The insect was approx 5-6 inches in length, with legs that appeared to be at least 2-3 inches long. It was black but had almost no body (thorax ?) to speak of. It was spindly.

Not expecting such an event, I wasn't prepared with a camera (so no photo, sorry), and I was reluctant to open the door in case the dog got out and was bitten, stung, whatever, and I was nervous too. The insect wandered around for another 10 seconds and was gone. Then I spent an uncertain few hours that evening and the following day searching the internet. None of the 3 scorpion species normally found in the Cayman Islands resemble this creature.

I've seen the Camel Spider videos too.

So, any ideas, and can anyone shed light on this serious enquiry ?

My apologies if this is not the sort of stuff you are interested in, but I thought the experts would be my best hope for an answer. If you wish to e-mail me and not respond to this thread, send to