Currently viewing the category: "Scorpions, Whipscorpions and Vinegaroons"

Subject:  What ARE you?!?
Geographic location of the bug:  Montserrat, British West Indies
Date: 05/26/2021
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We are a tropical island. It’s almost 8 inches across from antennae, end to end. Discovered on my kitchen floor in the middle of the night.
How you want your letter signed:  Gretchen Hosbach

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Gretchen,
We are catching up on some unanswered requests and we decided to post your submission.  This shy, nocturnal hunter is a Tailless Whipscorpion.  They do not have venom and they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Because they will hunt and eat spiders and cockroaches, they are often tolerated indoors.

Subject:  some sort of scorpion
Geographic location of the bug:  akureyri, iceland
Date: 02/15/2020
Time: 05:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  this scorpion was found in akureyri iceland, pretty far from home im guessing, do you know what kind of scorpion it is and if its dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  icelandic scorpion

Scorpion, from Iceland!!!

Your query leaves many questions unanswered.  It is currently winter in Iceland and we imagine it is quite cold right now.  You did not indicate if this Scorpion was discovered this week, last month or during the summer.  You did not indicate where it was found other than what we have learned is a city in northern Iceland called Akureyri.  Was it found indoors or outdoors?  Was it found in a garden or someplace more wild where there are hot springs that might explain how a Scorpion can survive in Iceland in the winter?  We can’t help but to ponder if this an escaped pet or some symptom of extreme global warming?  Though it is not the ideal citation, we are very amused with this quote from the blog Gagleg Maltaka which states:  “And now it’s time for one of my favorite things ever– today’s word is sporðdreki, the Icelandic word for scorpion. I’ve been fascinated with scorpions for a long time now, and have been keeping select species in captivity since my freshman year of college. If everything goes as planned, one day I will conduct independent research on their behavior/evolution and eventually become the scorpion guy. But enough about that. It’s interesting that there is a native Icelandic word for “scorpion” to begin with, as scorpions are not found in Iceland or anywhere remotely near the Arctic Circle for that matter.”

Subject:  New Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Date: 01/29/2019
Time: 04:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the Bugman:  Julien found it in a cave in Panama!  🙂 (he was already deceased) xo
Jesse Kamm

Tailless Whipscorpion

Hi Neighbor,
This is a harmless Tailless Whipscorpion, a shy predator that prefers the dark, hence its presence in the cave.  It is our understanding that Cancle is a common name used in some Spanish speaking countries for the Tailless Whipscorpion.

Subject:  A face only a Predator could love
Geographic location of the bug:  Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
Date: 10/24/2018
Time: 11:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fellow happy and healthy on the kitchen floor amidst the corpses from a cockroach spraying.
From one tip to another the spread of the antennae is about 4 inches.
I’m having trouble looking him up online.   Any help would be greatfully received.
How you want your letter signed:  Tim

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Tim,
This Tailless Whipscorpion is a harmless, shy, nocturnal predator that will help keep you kitchen free of Cockroaches.

Subject:  What kind of bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix, AZ
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 08:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy crawling from underneath my concrete patio? Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Frank

Tailless Whip Scorpion

Dear Frank,
This is a Tailless Whip Scorpion, and unlike its namesakes, the true Scorpions, it lacks venom, so it is no threat to humans, though a large individual might bite if carelessly handled.  Tailless Whip Scorpions are shy predators that hunt at night and they will help keep your home free from other more problematic creatures, like Cockroaches, Scorpions and Spiders.  Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your individual is 
Paraphrynus carolynae.  According to BugGuide:  “The very long front legs are referred to as ANTENNIFORM LEGS. The animal uses them to ‘feel’ its way about and to locate its insect prey, which is captured with the spiny pedipalps.” 

Thank you so much for the info! I appreciate it.

Subject:  Indentification please?
Geographic location of the bug:  South of of Alamogordo, NM
Date: 07/17/2018
Time: 09:16 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Not sure this is an insect.  The front appendages do seem to be pincers.  The overall length including the “tail” is over 8″!  Seen July 17, 2018.
How you want your letter signed:  Dave and Teri

Giant Vinegaroon

Dear Dave and Teri,
This is a Whipscorpion,
Mastigoproctus giganteus, commonly called a Giant Vinegaroon or Grampus.  Though related to Scorpions, they are not considered dangerous as they lack venom, but they can secrete a weak acetic acid that smells like vinegar.  Giant Vinegaroons are shy, nocturnal predators with powerful mandibles, so they are capable of biting.  At the risk of being repetitive, 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.”