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Phrynus mexicanus (Marshal Hedin).jpg
Paraphrynus mexicanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Amblypygi
Family: Phrynidae
Genus: Paraphrynus
Moreno, 1940

Paraphrynus is a genus of whip spiders, also known as tailless whip scorpions (order Amblypygi), of the family Phrynidae. It is distributed from the southwestern United States to Central America, including several Caribbean islands. Most species are endemic to Mexico.


A female P. pococki showing palpal spines.

This genus can be told apart from Phrynus by observing the patella of the pedipalp, which in Phrynus has one small spine between the two largest, while Paraphrynus has two. It can be distinguished from Acantophrynus by its lack of spines in the frontal region of the carapace. The remaining member of the family Phrynidae, Heterophrynus, does not seem to be sympatric with any species of this genus.

There are about 18 species:[1]


Like other Amblypygi, the species in this genus are nocturnal predators that dwell in moist microenviornments. Some species are troglophiles and some are true troglobites.[2] They feed upon insects and other arachnids. They use their first pair of legs as sensory organs and their spiny pedipalps to snare prey.


  1. ^ Paraphrynus. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
  2. ^ Cokendolpher, J. C. and W. D. Sissom. (2001). A new troglobitic Paraphrynus from Oaxaca, Mexico (Amblypygi, Phrynidae). Texas Memorial Museum, Speleological Monographs 5 17-23.