… That vinegaroons are also called whip scorpions? It actually does not make that much sense in a way as they do not have a whip and they’re not scorpions… But let’s see where it might get from…
- The Vinegaroon, also spelled Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus, is a type of Whip Scorpion. Legend has it that the bite of a Vinegaroon will cause the person to taste vinegar for weeks. Though this is untrue, BugGuide notes that “Although its tail is unable to sting, this creature can spray an acidic mist from a scent gland at the base of the tail when disturbed. The spray is 85% concentrated acetiv acid/vinegar, hence the common name “Vinegaroon”. The heavy pinching mouthparts can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.”
- Vinegaroons are carnivores that hunt at night. They use their powerful pincers to catch prey. During the day, Vinegaroons hide under leaves or rocks.
- The long, whip-like tail (now there we are, there is something like a whip and let’s be honest, they do look kind of like scorpions…) is used as a sensory organ and does not have a stinger (unlike true scorpions, which have a stinger at the tip of the segmented tail).
- In captivity they tend to be very aggressive to one another and it is only possible to keep them in individual cages.
- The common Thai name for them means ‘stinking scorpion’.
- Whip Scorpions range in size from 25 to 70mm in length,
- They use their long thin front legs as feelers, in much the same way that insects use their antennae.
- Whip Scorpions are purely nocturnal hunters feeding mostly on insects such as cockroaches and grasshoppers, though they also eat worms and slugs. The prey is seized between the two pedipalps and crushed between special teeth on the inside of the trochanters (the second segment of the leg) of the front legs. The large American Mastigoproctus giganteus carries its prey back to its burrow to eat and has been known to feed on small frogs and toads.
- After mating, the pregnant female digs a special burrow with a large area at the end. When the eggs hatch, the young are white and look nothing like their mother. They attach themselves to their mother by special suckers. After a while, however, they molt and look like miniature whip scorpions. They are slow-growing and molt three times over a period of about three years.