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

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.”

Subject:  what’s this bug?????
Geographic location of the bug:  Baja Mexico, East Cape
Date: 03/21/2018
Time: 03:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw 2 of these strange bugs.  They were in dark corners, on concrete surfaces, long antenna (2) and front crap/scorpion like legs as well as spider legs. The picture is after I sprayed the spider and moved it.  It’s a little curled up here.  Sorry for the shadows.
How you want your letter signed:  Kathleen

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Kathleen,
This was a harmless Tailless Whipscorpion, a shy nocturnal predator that will help keep your residence free of unwanted pests like Cockroaches.  We try to educate the web browsing public about the marvelous creatures that crawl about, so we created an Unnecessary Carnage tag long ago to draw attention to creatures that have been needless dispatched because they looked scary.

Thank you for your response.  I felt so bad ending this bug’s life, but until I was sure of what it was, I was rather scared.  I needed that a day before in the dark corner I found it as there was a huge cockroach that came from that spot.
Hmmmm… we learn as we go.  I will share the information with my neighbors so they know to just move the intimidating whipscorpion and not harm it.
Thank you!!!

Thanks for the update Kathleen,
We should probably clarify that though they are not venomous, Tailless Whipscorpions are predators and they do have rather powerful mandibles, meaning they might bite if carelessly handled, but they are shy and not aggressive around people, so provided you don’t try to pick one up, they pose no threat to you.

Subject:  Found it lingering outside room
Geographic location of the bug:  Samana island, Dominican republic
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Just wondering what this bug is, it seemed rather slow moving when I saw it
How you want your letter signed:  Devin


Dear Devin,
This is a Whipscorpion or Vinegaroon, a non-venomous, distant relative of Scorpions.  Whipscorpions are not considered dangerous to humans, but they do have strong mandibles, so they might bite if carelessly handled.  They are shy nocturnal predators that will help keep populations of Cockroaches under control.  Arachnoboards lists
Mastigoproctus proscorpio as a Dominican species.


Subject:  Is that a scorpion?
Geographic location of the bug:  Kigali, Rwanda
Date: 10/17/2017
Time: 04:21 AM EDT
I saw the bug or whatever it is,  come out of the bathroom hole in the morning when i was gonna baith. Please tell me what that is.
How you want your letter signed:  Any way


This is indeed a Scorpion.

Subject:  Spider in Nicaragua
Geographic location of the bug:  Matagalpa, Nicaragua
Date: 10/02/2017
Time: 04:03 PM EDT
We found this spider already deceased and decided to take a picture and try to identify it in case we find more of them.
How you want your letter signed:  Dalton Bragg

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Dalton,
This is a Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae.  There is a similar looking image on Arácnidos de Centroamérica.

Correction courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel. I think this is actually a Tailless Whipscorpion (Amblypygi). Regards, Karl

Thanks for the correction Karl.  Now that you have brought this to our attention, we agree with you that this is a Tailless Whipscorpion.  They look much more distinctive alive.

Subject: What kind of scorpion is this it’s pregnant
Location: California
July 15, 2017 9:11 pm
Okay please get back to me as soon as possible. My brothers scorpion had babies he said if i can make sure its a paruroctonus silvestrii. I really wanted it when i cought it with my sister, so please id love to have one. I just need what species it is i can look into it from there unless tou can tell me about it like how venomous it is, the temperature the food when to take them from the mom.
Signature: Darius

Scorpion and her Brood

Dear Darius,
We are inclined to agree with you that this is most likely a California Common Scorpion,
Paruroctonus silvestrii, based on images posted to BugGuide, but we cannot be certain.  We are unable to offer you any information on keeping Scorpions in captivity, but you might want to start by reading the Amateur Entomologists’ Society Raising Scorpions in Captivity caresheet.  Since female Scorpions guard their young, you should not try to remove any of the young until they disperse from the mother on their own.

Probably California Common Scorpion