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?
Signature: Harvey Campbell
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