Heterophrynus batesii (the Giant Amazonian Whip Spider) are often referred to as “whip scorpions” or “whip spiders” because of their very long antenniform legs (i.e., whips), but they are neither scorpions nor spiders. They are amblypygids, a type of harmless charismatic arachnid with an alien-like appearance that students are drawn to. I have developed care and breeding techniques that are effective at getting H. batesii to live and reproduce in captivity. I developed these techniques with other science teachers in mind. These techniques are simple, time efficient, utilize the least expensive materials, and require minimal space—important characteristics since most high school biology teachers are limited by time, money, and space. This article instructs high school biology students (under the guidance of their teacher) how to properly care for and develop a captive breeding program for H. batesii in their high school biology classroom. Topics, resources, and activities are also suggested that allow teachers to make educational connections between the H. batesii captive breeding program, the ongoing sixth mass extinction, and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
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Vol. 80 • No. 1