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

Subject: Is this a dangerous scorpion?
Location: Eleuthera Bahamas
December 1, 2016 5:40 pm
I would like to know what kind of Scorpion this is. And is is deadly? A friend from Eleuthera Bahamas sent me the picture. I didn’t even know we has scorpions in the Bahamas. I live in the main city which is Nassau Bahamas an I never ever seen one.
Signature: Shirrel Douglas



Dear Shirrel,
We believe we have correctly identified your Scorpion as
Centruroides guanensis thanks to The Scorpion Files where the range is listed as “USA (Florida), Caribbean (Bahamas, Cuba).”  Regarding the sting, The Scorpion Files states:  “From Dr. Rolando Teruel’s personal experience: mild venom, sharp painful sting with aftereffects lasting for 1-5 hrs.”

Subject: Scorpio
Location: Long island bahamas
September 10, 2016 4:36 pm
What is this and are they poisonous
Signature: shazad ferguson

Scorpion:  Centruroides guanensis

Scorpion: Centruroides guanensis

Dear Shazad,
We believe we have identified your Scorpion as
Centruroides guanensis thanks to the Scorpion Files site where it states that the distribution is:  “USA (Florida), Caribbean (Bahamas, Cuba).”  Regarding the sting, the site states:  “No available data. From Dr. Rolando Teruel’s personal experience: mild venom, sharp painful sting with aftereffects lasting for 1-5 hrs.”  According to Caribbean Medical News:  “people do not usually die from scorpion stings” but there is information regarding the death of a two year old child.

Subject: What’s this bug!!?
Location: Cancun Mexico
July 12, 2016 10:30 pm
Hey, so I’m terrified of any type of bugs to begin with… I recently moved to Cancun, Mexico where the weather is super humid and hot. Last night I came across this spider-crab looking bug.. it had crab like claws on his face and apart from all its legs it had what I am assuming are legs but are super long and stringy than the rest of its body… it moved really quick. I’m just scared if there are more of these around my house and if they’re dangerous.. please help. I have a huge phobia of bugs 🙁
Signature: Scared of everything

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpion

Dear Scared of everything,
Despite its fearsome appearance and name, this Tailless Whipscorpion poses no threat to humans.  Unlike their venomous namesakes, Tailless Whipscorpions have no venom, though they do have powerful chelicerae or jaws, and they might bite if carelessly handled.  Tailless Whipscorpions are shy, nocturnal hunters that are often tolerated in tropical countries as they help control Cockroaches in the home.  In Mexico, the Tailless Whipscorpion is called a Cancle.

Update:  We just received a comment from Yadira informing us that in Michoacan, Tailless Whipscorpions are called Tindarapos.

Ed. Note:  We get annoyed when people submit images pilfered from the internet, claiming to be the authors of those images.  Eric Eaton provided the following explanation:
This is a still from a video I have seen circulating recently on Facebook (but of course cannot find right now).  Yes, it is definitely a tailless whip scorpion (amblypygid), probably a species that lives in caves given the ultra-long appendages.
Also definitely NOT from Maryland.

Subject: What’s this bug
Location: Maryland
February 7, 2016 11:54 am
I recently saw this bug and I was wondering what it was!
Signature: Creepybuggirl

What's That Arachnid???

What’s That Arachnid???

Dear Creepybuggirl,
Please provide us additional information on exactly where and when this Arachnid was sighted.  The image was obviously taken indoors, but we are having a difficult time believing it is native to Maryland.  There is not much detail in your image, and we cannot even say for certain to which order it belongs as it seems to have traits of both Harvestmen in the order Opiliones and Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi.  Tailless Whipscorpions are only reported from Arizona, Texas and Florida, and this individual does not look like any native species depicted on BugGuide.
  While Harvestmen are found throughout North America, we have never seen any images on BugGuide that look like this individual.  It is difficult to tell from your image if the appendages that appear to end in claws are the first pair, known as pedipalps, but that is what we surmise.  So, we know it is an Arachnid, and we do not believe it is native.  Are you able to provide any additional images from different angles?  We have contacted Eric Eaton to get his opinion. 

A Reader Provides a Link to the Video
Subject: The pincered still shot – here’s the video
Location: Unknown
February 7, 2016 4:43 pm
Signature: Cat

Thanks for sending the link Cat.  It is much easier to tell this is a Tailless Whipscorpion in the video clip.

My pleasure. And the self interest was that I was curious too.
I hope it wasn’t harmed. I hate to see creatures tormented for fun.
Best regards.

Eric Eaton provides additional information
One of my Facebook friends has this to say about the amblypygid:
“Stolen video, it’s a Whipscorpion … not a “whip spider”. Sheesh, I guess it gets more clicks if they call it a spider. Awesome creature (Euphrynichus amanica). Credit: Adrian Kozakiewicz / Insecthaus”
Laura Lee Paxson
Hope that helps, I’m glad to have the final answer myself.

Thanks to the inclusion of a name, Euphrynichus amanica, we found this information on Panarthropoda:  “Euphrynichus bacillifer can be found in middle and southern Africa where, in contrast to its sister species Euphrynichus amanica, it is widespread. Populations of this species occur in Kenia, Tansania (on the island Zanzibar), Mozambique, Madagascar, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi.  On the boarders between Kenia and Tanzania close to the coast the second species of the genus, Euphrynichus amanica, appears, too. Sympatric ways of life of those two spocies have been observed in this area, meaning the two share the same habitat. The animals occur in bigger caves, under bark and in cracks in more humid areas.”

Subject: Bug (Scorpion)
Location: soitok Research Area NW of Arusha in N Tanzania
January 17, 2016 8:29 am
During my trip to N Tanzania Nov 3 – 23 (mentioned before) I was shown a scorpion in Isoitok Research Area NW of Arusha in N Tanzania Nov 6. One of the local people lookeed it up for me under a little stone in a very stony area (probably Reg-habitat)
Signature: slit



Dear Slit,
We do not feel confident with committing to a definite species, but this does look very much like Parabuthus pallidus that is pictured on The Scorpion Files where it states “Distribution:  Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania).”

Subject: Vinegaroon with better eyesight
Location: Doesn’t matter
January 10, 2016 10:42 am
Hello there.
I got a question for a very unusual reason. I’m currently writting a book were bugs of different kinds have a very large role.
Funny thing is that in this book the bugs will be both the heroes and the villains so it’s definitivly not about exterminating bugs.
Nothing like Starship Troopers or anything like that where bugs are massacred.
I’m looking for a type of vinegaroon with better eyesight. It doesn’t have to be fantastic, but it must be able to locate prey outside the range of it’s feeler antenna’s.
The size of the vinegaroon does not matter much. A picture and further information about this particular species of vinegaroon is very much appriciated.
Had to put some kind of picture in there so i just threw in whatever was closest to hand.
Yup. I’m seriously trying to become a writter which has been my ambition for more than half my life.
Signature: Regards Spleen the wannabe author

Giant Vinegaroon

Giant Vinegaroon from our archives

Dear Spleen,
Since you did not supply an image, we delved into our archives for an especially nice image of a Giant Vinegaroon taken by Susan in New Mexico.  Our suspicions proved correct when we read this BugGuide statement:  “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.”  Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi are also nocturnal hunters, and we presume also with poor eyesight.  We cannot provide you with any information on Vinegaroons with good eyesight, so you should probably find a better protagonist for your book.  We would suggest a Wolf Spider, and if you really want it to be fierce, make it a female Wolf Spider defending her brood