Currently viewing the category: "Scorpions, Whipscorpions and Vinegaroons"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Costa Rica
October 24, 2013 5:21 pm
Hi found it into my closet, what is that?
Signature: Diego

Cancle or Tailless Whipscorpion

Cancle or Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Diego,
This is a Tailless Whipscorpion.  We understand that the name in Spanish is Cancle.  Though they are related to Scorpions, the Tailless Whipscorpions do not have venom and they are considered harmless.

Hello Daniel, first of all I want to apologize because I just sent a few lines with almost no information, then I saw in your web site that people made a big description about bugs, now thanks to you I know that the little bug in my closet is name Cancle, as I wrote I´m from Costa Rica (tropical and warm place) and this is the first time that I see a bug like that.
One more time thank you very much for your information, great site btw!!!

You are most welcome Diego, and there is no need to apologize.  While it is true that we like to post submissions with as many details as possible, your concise letter did include the information that you found your Tailless Whipscorpion in the closet.  They are shy creatures that often hide during the day, emerging after dark to pursue prey.  Tailless Whipscorpions help to control Cockroach populations when they are permitted to share a home with human inhabitants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Devil Scorpion ?
Location: Gwinnett County, Lilburn, Georgia
September 27, 2013 12:40 pm
Hi,
I found this guy while removing some old Railroad Ties from a dilapidated flower bed. When I lifted the RR Tie, he was just sitting there with discarded carcasses strewn about – as if I had uncovered his Evil Lair. I thought he was dead at first…. just laying there flat as a potato chip. However, as I was trying to scrape him into my bug-examining jar, he sprang to life and ran over my hand and under my shoe. As my vision narrowed and I started seeing stars, all I could think was he was probably scampering around my shoe and about to climb the back of my leg. As I lifted my foot, he just laid there, doing his ”potato chip” routine again. Not to be fooled again, I opted to scoop him ( and everything around him) up into the jar. While I was trying to take his picture, he again sprang to life and went sky-diving off my patio table onto my leg…..I’ve never been so thankful not to be wearing shorts. With some deft maneuvering I was ab le to get him back on the table without getting stung, pinched, or fouling my pants. It is absolutely amazing how fast this critter can move. He’s only about 1 inch long…..sorry I don’t have anything in the picture for size comparison. He looked like he was getting cranky ( I suspect he was born that way) so I wrapped up the photo shoot and released him in the most remote section of my back yard ….. despite threats and protests from my mother and sister. I’ve lived in Georgia pretty much all my life and this is only the 3 scorpion I’ve ever found here. According to the WWW there are only two species of scorpion native to Georgia, and since I didn’t see any stripes on my guy, and I live about 25 miles north of Atlanta, I can only conclude that I have the ”Devil” scorpion gallivanting around my back yard. I didn’t really find any Scorpions on your website, despite browsing for more than an hour ….. so I&#8 217;m not sure if maybe you don’t consider them bugs or maybe they’re not very common. I’ve flipped over a ton of stones and boards in my 45+ years on this earth and this is only the 3rd one I’ve ever seen. So, I tend to think that they are pretty good at hiding, or they are at least relatively scarce … at least here in Georgia.
Signature: Scorpion Landlord

Bark Scorpion perhaps

Devil Scorpion perhaps

Hi Scorpion Landlord,
We found your letter to by highly entertaining and we commend you on the dedication to getting a photo of this wily Scorpion.  Dave’s Garden identifies
Vaejovis carolinianus as the Southern Devil Scorpion, yet BugGuide does not recognize that name, preferring instead the Southern Unstriped Scorpion.  We cannot understand why you couldn’t locate any Scorpions on our site and we do consider them to be bugs which we loosely define as “things that crawl.”  We have a Scorpion and Whipscorpion category in the link list on the left side of our homepage, and the search engine on our site should also have produced postings from our archive.  We are tagging you with the Bug Humanitarian award for defying your mother and sister.

I finally found the Scorpion section of your website, after I submitted the email.  I have a terrible tendency to totally miss something that’s staring me right in the face…..sometimes the harder I look for something the less likely I am to find it.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my new backyard buddy.  While I hope he lives a normal Scorpion life in my backyard habitat, I’m not looking forward to crossing his path again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: I dont know if my whip scorpion is safe
Location: pine island florida
September 4, 2013 10:22 pm
I have a whip scorpion and I was thinking of putting it together with my emperor scorpion and I didn’t know if they would attack each other
Signature: Jack Carlson

Whipscorpion

Whipscorpion

Dear Jack Carlson,
Putting two predatory species together in the same habitat sounds like a very bad idea to us.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Stephen King bug
Location: Albuquerque, NM
July 9, 2013 7:37 am
Hi,
I was watering plants in my backyard (Albuquerque, NM) this morning (6:45 AM, July 9, 2013), and was startled to see this really scary looking insect sitting on my patio. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I was thinking it was a bug I saw flying from a Vitex bush, but looking at the pictures I took, this one doesn’t seem to have wings. It was about 3 inches long, plus it had a really long antenna looking tail, which was at least 2 inches long.
Thanks for your help.
Signature: Susan

Giant Vinegaroon

Giant Vinegaroon

Dear Susan,
Considering you thought this Giant Vinegaroon or Whipscorpion,
Mastigoproctus giganteus, was scary, you have taken amazingly wonderful photographs, and from so many angles.  Giant Vinegaroons lack venom and they are considered harmless, but it is possible they might bite if carelessly handled.  They can also spray a weak solution of acetic acid, hence the common name Vinegaroon.  They are formidable predators and they will help rid your area of cockroaches and other undesirable arthropods.

Giant Vinegaroon

Giant Vinegaroon

According to BugGuide:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in 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 acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name “Vinegaroon.” The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.

Giant Vinegaroon

Giant Vinegaroon

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for the quick response. I’ve lived in NM for over 30 years and have heard of Vinegaroons, but have never seen one. Wow, what an impressive bug. I have many lizards in my yard so that’s probably the attraction. As far as the photos go, two words: zoom lens!
Thanks for your help. Your website is great!
Susan

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange 6 legged bug with barbed pincers
Location: akumal mexico suspected picture taken near austin texas
June 23, 2013 9:39 pm
i came home from akumal mexico and cleaned my water shoes and this odd bug came out. my friends at texas parks and wildlife had never seen anything like it
tailless whip scorpion was as close as i found
Signature: krazee fave

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear krazee fave,
You are correct that this is a Tailless Whipscorpion.  We cannot say for certain that you did not bring it back from Akumal, Mexico, but it does resemble a species,
Phrynus operculatus, that is found in Texas according to BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can not identify this bug
Location: Southeastern Arizona, Sierra Vista
June 14, 2013 10:10 pm
The bug was found moving slowly across my Saltio Tile floor in the Scorpions Den (Man Cave) which is the lower floor, half underground (Called a Tri-Level Home) in Southeastern Arizona , 85650.
It looks like a couple of insects combined. The photo is after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter, didn’t think. Not visible is the approximately 1/2 inch stinger/tail. The ants came later. Research on -line, AZ bugs/insects, netted no photos that matched.
What Is This Bug?
Good Luck
Harvey C
Signature: Harvey Campbell

Vinegaroon "after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter"

Vinegaroon “after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter”

Dear Harvey,
This is a harmless Giant Vinegaroon or Grampus (See Merriam-Webster Dictionary),
Mastigoproctus giganteus, a Whipscorpion that does not have venom.  Whipscorpions are not true Scorpions, and they are distantly related, but we still classify them together on our website.  We consider them harmless, though BugGuide does indicate:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in 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 acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name “Vinegaroon.” The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.”  We consider this to be Unnecessary Carnage and allowing the Giant Vinegaroons to live in your yard might actually reduce the Scorpion and Cockroach populations.  By the way, who would even build a “Scorpions Den” and not expect it to live up to its name?

Thanks Daniel. Yeah the name came from the multiple ones found in the Den/Man Cave. Cheers harvey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination