Logo Logo
Switch Language to German

Haug, Carolin and Haug, Joachim T. (2021): The fossil record of whip spiders: the past of Amblypygi. In: Palz, Vol. 95, No. 3: pp. 387-412

Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


Whip spiders (Amblypygi), as their name suggests, resemble spiders (Araneae) in some aspects, but differ from them by their heart-shaped (prosomal) dorsal shield, their prominent grasping pedipalps, and their subsequent elongate pair of feeler appendages. The oldest possible occurrences of whip spiders, represented by cuticle fragments, date back to the Devonian (c. 385 mya), but (almost) complete fossils are known from the Carboniferous (c. 300 mya) onwards. The fossils include specimens preserved on slabs or in nodules (Carboniferous, Cretaceous) as well as specimens preserved in amber (Cretaceous, Eocene, Miocene). We review here all fossil whip spider specimens, figure most of them as interpretative drawings or with high-quality photographs including 3D imaging (stereo images) to make the three-dimensional relief of the specimens visible. Furthermore, we amend the list by two new specimens (resulting in 37 in total). The fossil specimens as well as modern whip spiders were measured to analyse possible changes in morphology over time. In general, the shield appears to have become relatively broader and the pedipalps and walking appendages have become more elongate over geological time. The morphological details are discussed in an evolutionary framework and in comparison with results from earlier studies.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item