The whip scorpions have a life pattern similar to the true scorpions, but they do not possess a poisonous sting. Their flat body enables them to squeeze into extremely narrow cracks and crevices.
The palps are developed into strong pincers equipped with sharp teeth and spines, which are used for catching and crushing prey. The first pair of legs are generally much longer and thinner than the other three pairs, and may have more a tactile function rather than walking. The tail, which bears numerous fine hairs, has only a sensory function, but can be waved about in a whip-like manner - hence the common name.
Although whip scorpions are not poisonous, some species defend themselves by squirting an acrid fluid from defence glands situated at the base of the tail