Giant Vinegaroon Bite: Is It Poisonous? Uncovering the Truth

Giant vinegaroons, also known as whip scorpions, are fascinating arachnids found in the southwestern United States, parts of Mexico, and southern Florida. These creatures often capture people’s attention due to their intimidating appearance and their striking name, which leads to curiosity about their potential danger to humans.

While their name might suggest a fearsome bite, vinegaroons are not actually venomous, and they do not bite humans. Instead, their primary defense mechanism is a spray containing 83% acetic acid, which can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. As a result, there is no need to worry about a dangerous or poisonous bite from these unique creatures. In comparison to venomous species like vipers or pit vipers, the threats posed by vinegaroons are significantly less severe.

To help understand the difference between a vinegaroon’s defense and potentially dangerous bites from other creatures, let’s compare their effects:

Creature Bite/Spray Effects Danger to Humans
Vinegaroon 83% acetic acid spray; causes irritation Low
Venomous Snake Puncture marks, swelling, severe pain, nausea, difficulty breathing High
Mosquito Itchy, reddish-brown bump or blisters; potential disease transmission Varies

So while vinegaroons may look intimidating, their lack of a poisonous bite makes them far less of a threat than other potentially dangerous creatures found in the same regions.

Understanding Vinegaroons

Mastigoproctus Giganteus

The giant vinegaroon, scientifically known as Mastigoproctus giganteus, is a large arachnid found in North America, Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. They belong to the arthropod family Uropygi, with over 120 known species worldwide.

Classification and Characteristics

Vinegaroons are nocturnal creatures with poor vision. They rely on sensing vibrations to locate their prey. Some remarkable characteristics of vinegaroons include:

  • Non-poisonous, but capable of pinching
  • Can spray a mist containing 83% acetic acid
  • Special teeth on the inside of their front appendages, used for crushing prey

These arachnids are often mistaken for scorpions or spiders due to their physical similarities. However, they are distinct from both, belonging to their own unique group of arthropods.

Comparison Table:

Feature Vinegaroon Scorpion Spider
Poisonous No Yes (some species) Yes (some species)
Pinching Ability Yes Yes No
Acetic Acid Spray Yes No No

Habitat and Distribution

Vinegaroons inhabit a diverse range of environments, including:

  • Desert areas
  • Grasslands
  • Mountains
  • Scrub
  • Pine forests

While they are more common in desert regions, their distribution spans from North America and Mexico to Southeast Asia. Vinegaroons adapt well to various ecosystems, making them a widespread and fascinating species to study.

Vinegaroon Behavior and Diet

Hunting Strategies

Vinegaroons are nocturnal arachnids with poor eyesight. They rely on sensing vibrations to locate their prey. These creatures are mostly found in desert areas but can also be spotted in other habitats like grasslands, pine forests, and mountains.

Prey

Their diet primarily consists of other insects and arachnids, such as:

  • Crickets
  • Millipedes
  • Worms

Occasionally, they do prey on small vertebrates, like lizards. While hunting, vinegaroons utilize their whip-like tail to capture their prey.

Predators

Vinegaroons have a limited number of predators due to their intimidating appearance and acidic spray. However, they still fall prey to some natural predators, including:

  • Larger arachnids
  • Birds
  • Reptiles

Comparison of Vinegaroon Prey and Predators

Prey Predators
Arachnids/Insects Crickets Larger arachnids
Millipedes Birds
Vertebrates Lizards (rarely) Reptiles

These arachnids often seek shelter under leaf litter, rocks, and logs, which provide camouflage and protection against their predators. Overall, vinegaroons possess fascinating hunting strategies and exhibit interesting dietary patterns that largely involve invertebrates, with a few vertebrates occasionally. Their nocturnal nature and elusive habitats limit their interactions with other species and help them avoid predation while hunting for their prey.

Vinegaroon’s Defense Mechanisms

Acidic Spray

Vinegaroons, also known as whip scorpions, are famous for their acidic spray. They possess pygidial gland secretions containing 83% acetic acid. This strong acid is similar in concentration to vinegar and serves as their primary defense mechanism. When threatened, they can release a spray that can cause irritation or even pain if it comes into contact with an enemy’s skin or eyes.

Scent Glands and Caprylic Acid

In addition to their acidic spray, vinegaroons have scent glands at the base of their abdomen. These glands produce a mist rich in caprylic acid. Caprylic acid is a weaker acid than acetic acid, yet it can still be an effective deterrent against potential predators.

Pros of Using Acidic Spray and Caprylic Acid:

  • Effective in warding off predators
  • Quick response to threats

Cons of Using Acidic Spray and Caprylic Acid:

  • Can cause unintended harm to surrounding organisms
  • Acetic acid can produce a strong and unpleasant odor

Pinching Mouthparts

Not only do they have the ability to spray acid, but vinegaroons also utilize pinching mouthparts for self-defense. Their special teeth on the insides of their front appendages can crush prey or even deter potential predators. Although their bite is not poisonous and may not cause severe pain, it can be an uncomfortable experience for anything that comes too close.

Comparison Table: Defense Mechanisms

Defense Mechanism Effectiveness Discomfort Level
Acidic Spray High Moderate to High
Caprylic Acid Moderate Low to Moderate
Pinching Bite Moderate Low to Moderate

In summary, giant vinegaroons possess a variety of defense mechanisms to protect themselves in their scrub, grassland, and mountain habitats. With their unique combination of acidic spray, scent glands, and pinching mouthparts, these whip scorpions ensure their survival in the wild against potential predators.

The Vinegaroon Bite

Is It Poisonous?

Giant vinegaroons, or Mastigoproctus giganteus, are not considered poisonous despite being a type of arachnid. They lack the venom-filled stinger found in scorpions and the venomous bite of some spiders1. As a nocturnal species, they rely on sensing vibrations to locate prey2.

Features of the vinegaroon:

  • Non-venomous
  • Nocturnal
  • Arachnid

Symptoms and Effects on Humans

When threatened, vinegaroons use their tails to release a mist from scent glands at the base of the tail2. This defense mechanism is not dangerous to humans, but the mist does have a strong vinegar-like smell.

Vinegaroon encounters with humans can result in a pinch, which can be painful but is not venomous1. A pinch might cause some initial discomfort, but it doesn’t pose any lasting health threats.

Characteristics of a vinegaroon bite:

  • Painful pinch
  • Not venomous
  • Strong vinegar smell from mist release
Differences Vinegaroon Venomous Spider
Bite / Sting Painful pinch Venomous bite
Danger to humans Non-poisonous Poisonous
Defense mechanism Mist from scent glands Venom delivery

In conclusion, the giant vinegaroon’s bite is not poisonous to humans, and the pain experienced from a pinch is temporary. Their unique scent gland defense mechanism serves as an effective deterrent to would-be threats but presents no lasting danger to humans.

Interactions and Encounters with Humans

How to Avoid a Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons are dark brown arachnids typically found in soil or under logs. They can grow to a considerable size, with some genera reaching a lifespan of several years. To reduce the likelihood of encountering vinegaroon:

  • Be cautious in areas with loose, moist soil, especially near logs or rocks.
  • Keep an eye out for them during their activity period, which is usually around dusk.
  • Wear gloves and closed-toe shoes when working outdoors, especially in areas where they are known to reside.
  • Keep your living spaces clean and free of clutter to discourage them from taking up residence indoors.

First Aid Measures

Vinegaroons are not known for biting humans. Instead, they release a concentrated acetic acid (similar to vinegar) spray from their pygidial glands when threatened. Although the spray can be irritating and painful, it’s not seriously harmful. However, if it contacts the eyes, it can cause temporary discomfort and vision issues.

If you are sprayed by a vinegaroon, here are some first aid measures to consider:

  • Rinse the affected area with copious amounts of water for at least 5-10 minutes.
  • If eyes are involved, hold the eyelid open while flushing to ensure the irritant is properly removed.
  • Seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen.

In general, vinegaroons should not pose a significant threat to humans when given space and respect. Following these basic measures can help minimize your risk of an unpleasant encounter.

Footnotes

  1. https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/misc/giant_whip_scorpion.htm 2

  2. https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/vinegaroon/ 2

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

Scorpion like bug in New Mexico
Attached is a photo of a rather large and intimidating “bug”. It has claws like a scorpion, but not the curved tail with the stinger. Instead it has that long thin wiry tail. The tail actually looks like a long piece of wire of stiff hair. Can you tell us what it is? Is it poisonous or harmful to humans? Does it eat other insects? Thanks.
Monte and Mary Kern

Hi Monte and Mary,
This is a harmless Whipscorpion, Mastigoproctus giganteus, also called a Giant Vinegaroon or Grampus. Legend has it that the bite of a Vinegaroon will cause the person to taste vinegar for weeks. Though this is untrue, BugGuide notes that “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.” The Vinegaroon is a nocturnal predator with poor eyesight. It feeds on insects, other arthropods, and also, probably, small vertebrates like lizards.

Letter 2 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

Scorpion or not?
June 24, 2010
This bug was found at our campsite in the Davis Mountain State Park near Ft Davis, Texas. Pinchers and hard body suggest scorpion but the stinger and fore legs do not match any species I have searched, the bug was very aggressive as well. What is it?
West Texas Camper
Davis Mountain State Park. Ft Davis,Tx.

Giant Vinegaroon

Hi West Texas Camper,
This is a Giant Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus, one of the Whipscorpions which are not true scorpions.  Unlike their stinging relatives, Giant Vinegaroons do not sting and have no venom.  They do secrete a concentrated acetic acid that smells like vinegar, hence the common name.  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.”  We have also seen the name Grampus used in literature regarding the Giant Vinegaroon.

Thank you Daniel. Your response is greatly appreciated. The Giant Vinegroon was quite a site for my 11 year old daughter, she was horrified when she saw it while roasting marshmallows around our camp fire. We did notice a vinegar smell in the air and just couldn’t place its origin. Thanks again!

Letter 3 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

weird bug
Location: cr 204 in Mitchell Co Texas
September 21, 2011 8:02 pm
Could you help us to ID this bug. We have never seen it before.
Signature: jennifer

Giant Vinegaroon

Hi Jennifer,
This harmless Whipscorpion is sometimes called a Giant Vinegaroon because it can spray a mild acetic acid that smells like vinegar.  Unlike Scorpions, Whipscorpions do not have venom.

Letter 4 – Giant Vinegarone

 

What bug do I have?
I found this bug outside of my house on my porch right after a rain storm on 10/4/07. I live in New Mexico at about 5500ft on the plains west of the Sandia Mountains in central New Mexico. The body is like a beetle, but it has pinchers like a scorpion. The tail is about 2 inches long, and appears to act like an antenna of sorts but does not appear to be a stinger. It gives off an awful and irritant smell that hurts the eyes and throat. This thing is freaky and looks like a cross breed of a scorpion and a beetle. The picture does not illustrate its size. It is about 3 inches long. Please let us know, if you are familiar with what it is.
Zachary Grant

Hi Zachary,
This Whipscorpion is commonly called a Vinegarone, or Grampus in the South. It is a harmless relative of scorpions and it gets the name Vinegarone because of the vinegar scented acid they release from a gland near the tail. They are shy nocturnal hunters that are seldom encountered.

Letter 5 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

What’s this bug!
Hi I live in New Mexico, and while remodeling an old building my grandfather found two weird big bugs. He decided to hand them over to me, I’ve had them for over a year and I am still curious in finding out what they are. Here are some pictures, I hope you can help me out. To describe them more, they are about the size of standard size tweezers and are dark brown in color, they have claws much like a scorpion but a tail like a cocroach, long and slender. Please help me out.
nat

Hi Nat,
Your critters are Giant Vinegarones, also known as Grampus, Mastigoproctus giganteus. They are Whip Scorpions in the Family Thelyphonidae. They are found in the South and Southwest and are rarely seen since they hide during the day. Despite their fearsome appearance, they are harmless.

Letter 6 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

hurry and look please
Location:  Southwest Central NM
September 30, 2010 11:54 pm
Seriously this thing freaks me out and its in my garage
Signature:  adam

Giant Vinegaroon

Hi Adam,
Despite its fearsome appearance, the Giant Vinegaroon,
Mastigoproctus giganteus, is perfectly harmless.  Also known as a Whipscorpion, it is a shy, nocturnal predator that has no venom, unlike its distant relatives the true Scorpions.  Like many creatures, it might bite if carelessly handled, but we must stress that it does not have venom.  This is what BugGuide indicates:  “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.

Letter 7 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

is this a tailless whip scorpion
Location: Sierra Vista AZ
August 31, 2011 5:25 pm
Found this in my garage. Is it a tailless whip scorpion?
Signature: t8rsage

Giant Vinegaroon

This Giant Vinegaroon, Mastigoproctus giganteus, is classified in the Arachnid order Uropygi while Tailless Whipscorpions are classified in the order Amblypygi.  The Giant Vinegaroon is considered a Whipscorpion, but it is not tailless.

Letter 8 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

unnowne bug
Location: central fla
October 28, 2011 9:47 am
bug with crab like claws spider face,found in merritt island fl.
size 3”
Signature: phionex207@aol.com

Giant Vinegaroon

Dear phionex207,
Though this Giant Vinegaroon is an Arachnid  that is distantly related to venomous creatures like spiders and scorpions, the Vinegaroon does not pose a threat to humans as it has no venom.  It is capable of releasing a mild acetic acid that smells like vinegar, hence the common name.  The Giant Vinegaroon is a Tailless Whipscorpion that is also sometimes called a Grampus.

Letter 9 – Giant Vinegaroon

 

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.”

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

65 thoughts on “Giant Vinegaroon Bite: Is It Poisonous? Uncovering the Truth”

  1. HI WHAT’S THAT BUG,

    While camping at Caballo Lake State Park near Hatch, NM my family and I came across the biggest and scariest insect that we have ever seen! It was dead (thank heavens) and looked to have floated up onto the shore of the lake. We examined it for a long time and could hardly wait to get back home so that we could find out what it was. Thanks to you and your wonderful blog we have the answer! Our crazy critter was a Whipscorpion. Although I get chills just thinking about it, I am grateful for the discovery because it makes the occasional house roach a bit less disturbing knowing that there are much more intimidating insects, like this one, out in the desert!

    Thanks again for the work that goes into publishing your blog. We’ll be back!

    Sincerely,
    The Yap Family
    Las Cruces, NM

    Reply
  2. I live in Artesia, New Mexico, southern part of NM, I found this bug in my house by the bathroom door, hallway. Do I need to be concerned that there will be more or this was just a fluke and it just happen to come in. I did have my sliding doors open that day.

    Annie

    Reply
    • If you leave the doors open, things will come into the house, though we haven’t the prescient powers to determine how many or how often. In many parts of the world, Whipscorpions are tolerated indoors since they eat Cockroaches.

      Reply
  3. I live in Artesia, New Mexico, southern part of NM, I found this bug in my house by the bathroom door, hallway. Do I need to be concerned that there will be more or this was just a fluke and it just happen to come in. I did have my sliding doors open that day.

    Annie

    Reply
  4. Years ago in New Orleans, a bug crawled into our hous. It was large and looked almost like rubber. The reason that I knew that it was not a toy was that it was still moving. It was about 4 inches long and reminded me of a vinegaroon (I am from New Mexico) but it had no whip tail. It had large pincers and was a dull grey. I gave it to the exterminator and he said he had never seen anything like it and could not identify it. Have you got any ideas?

    Reply
  5. I have seen a few here in Nevada, but they are light brown in color and shine, almost look wet. I have been told they are the larva of the owl moth, is that true?

    Reply
  6. I’m from Washington State and was stationed at Holloman AFB New Mexico when I was in the Air Force. I found one in my lower kitchen cabinet when I was putting dishes away one evening…Scared me to death, didn’t know what it was… My husband swept it out of the cabinet and killed it with a broom… The house smelled of vinegar brine for several days!

    Reply
  7. 15 years ago saw one in my kitchen just walking around taking its time. My daughter, 16. yrs old, felt sorry for it. Put it in a jar, took it to her high school science teacher, who identified it. They took it outside & released it. Yucca Valley, CA, 35 miles north of Palm Springs.

    Reply
  8. I LIVE AT BUFFALO SPRINGS LAKE , LUBBOCK TX I SPOTTED 4 VINEGAROONS THIS WEEK END. THE FIRST ONE I SAW, MONTHS AGO, REALLY “BUGGED” ME BUT I’M STARTING TO GET USED TO THEM. DO THEY EAT SCORPIONS? WE HAVE A LOT OF THOSE AND CENTIPEDES.

    Reply
    • Though we have not received any documentation of Vinegaroons feeding on Scorpions, we suspect that if a Vinegaroon and a Scorpion encountered one another, the Vinegaroon would be the victor more often.

      Reply
  9. I live in casa grande az and I have a nest somwhere under my house there only geting about 2 in long but I don’t know how to get rid of them any ideas there vinegaroons and I have a new born and a 6 year old daughter and I don’t trust them please help

    Reply
  10. I have a pic of a 4 to 5 inch vinegaroon that I just saw on my outside house wall and would like to share.. I live in Silver City, New Mexico

    Reply
  11. thanks for the information. There is one now dead on our front porch in Alamogordo, NM but now know to just redirect them from our door! We also have a spotted egg on our rock in our courtyard that we have been watching for over a week. Believe if it had fallen out of a nest it would have broken. Thinking Quail

    Reply
    • I sure hope that you still respect nature our environment.
      I personally believe that people disrespecting our Mother Earth is part of the reason that we are going to see extreme climate change and the extinction of more and more species of animals which is just dreadful.

      Reply
    • I sure hope that you still respect nature our environment.
      I personally believe that people disrespecting our Mother Earth is part of the reason that we are going to see extreme climate change and the extinction of more and more species of animals which is just dreadful.

      Reply
  12. In the mid 70s I saw a very scarily critter, about 8-10 inches long, slowly walking walking down the hallway of my home. Thinking it was a scorpion I picked the largest book I could find and crushed the bug. Immediately the smell of viniger filled the room. A neighbor said it was a vinagaoon. Today,, about 40 years later, another appeared. A friend , Sue Bacca, found a dead bug she didn’t recognize. When she showed it to me clearly it was a vinagaoon but only 2-3 inches long. They must live here in the high desert of New Mexico. So they are not confined to tropical or subtropical climates. A harmless highly adaptable animal.

    Reply
  13. I am so grateful to know more about this insect. My husband and I first came across a 9″ long one while on a late night walk on Indian School Rd. around 11PM about 400 yards from the open space in the Sandia Mts. About a year ago my daughter and I found a smaller one, about two inches long. We took pictures. Than we scooped it up into a jar and released where the other was sited.

    This week while tile installers were moving my washer and dryer, they found another one about 6″ long. They thought it was a scorpion. Thanks so much for the real scoop on this Giant Bug. We now understand why our chihuahua no longer seeks refuge in the laundry room. She’d rather sit in the rain outside than share a room with a bug six inches long with large pinchers.

    Reply
  14. I am so grateful to know more about this insect. My husband and I first came across a 9″ long one while on a late night walk on Indian School Rd. around 11PM about 400 yards from the open space in the Sandia Mts. About a year ago my daughter and I found a smaller one, about two inches long. We took pictures. Than we scooped it up into a jar and released where the other was sited.

    This week while tile installers were moving my washer and dryer, they found another one about 6″ long. They thought it was a scorpion. Thanks so much for the real scoop on this Giant Bug. We now understand why our chihuahua no longer seeks refuge in the laundry room. She’d rather sit in the rain outside than share a room with a bug six inches long with large pinchers.

    Reply
  15. 8/15/2015 I live in Gainesville Ga and at 10:30pm my wife saw one walking across the floor. My children and I was going to try to catch it. But my wife didn’t let us. When we flushed it out it came out her way snd she murdered it. I put it into a s sandwich bag and put it in the freezer to find out what it was. Now I have Thank you. We can put it to rest.

    Reply
  16. My 2 mini doxies just flushed one from a corner of our living room in Silver City, NM and apparently got sprayed, since they were sneezing and shaking their heads! I captured it in good condition and returned it to the wild.

    Reply
  17. My boyfriend in Bisbee, AZ caught one outside in a jar alive and sent it home with me to show my 18 yr old daughter what one was alive. We are from WA and never saw one before and we are completely fascinated. We decided to name it Kevin and mad a nice tank for it. It eats crickets, grasshoppers, mantis, lizard, roaches, and whatever we put in the tank. We also spray the tank and keep it moist. Kevin sure does like to dig and rearrange the tank. He is awesome!!

    Reply
  18. Is it common to see a Giant Vinegaroon in Massachusetts? i encountered one a couple of months ago when I was walking along a road. At first I thought it was a tiny lobster.

    Reply
  19. Years again I lived the high Desert, CA. Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. They resembled the scorpion, with one difference, they were opal almost see through. They said it was also a Vinagerette. They hid in the dark places of our garage. I never touched it and was not threatening me? These also have the bite of vinegar for 2 week’s. Just a little smaller, I saw bigger ones.

    Reply
  20. I live in Northern Arizona. My husband got bit by one a week ago. Now he does taste vinegar when he eats and drinks. He vomits up everything he eats. It has made him very sick. I have been doing research on these spiders and everything he is going thrtthrtough is very normal.

    Reply
    • Is this a spider? or an insect? Looks like 6 legs, not 8. I think it is neither and both, ergo, a hybrid or mutant, or just simply something other than either ???

      Reply
  21. Are the dangerous to dogs? We’re from El Paso, tx. We have a 6 month old beagle and we found one in our bathroom! It freaked us out! It was the first time ever seeing one so up close. Our concern is our furry baby. Help!

    Reply
  22. Just swept one of my porch -in Silver City, NM.
    To hell with this – the snow and cold of Yooperland is better than this !!! 🙂

    Reply
  23. Just swept one of my porch -in Silver City, NM.
    To hell with this – the snow and cold of Yooperland is better than this !!! 🙂

    Reply
  24. We saw one 2 or 3 years ago at our Church. I took several photos of him, and just let him crawl away; he was outside. Two mornings ago, when my husband went out to the garage, there was another one, shiny, black, probably close to 6″ long, in the corner beside the back door, like he was wanting out. My husband plopped a bowl over him, slid a piece of paper under the bowl, and took him outside to the Red Yucca, where he deposited him. I don’t know whether he will be back or not; it hasn’t been long enough since that occurrence to know. Whenever I go out into the garage, I check that corner, because we had a tarantula in that spot, too. My husband did the same for it.

    Reply
  25. Change your exterminator. This bug eats other bugs and spiders. He should have known what it was.
    It just looks offensive and ugly.

    Reply
  26. Grew up with these guys in the upper Mojave Desert, CA. Our version was large, but more long and slender than the hefty black variety seen in the Sonoran Desert areas. As has been mentioned in at least one previous post, the local type were also very light, indeed often almost translucent in color. We all knew, even as kids, how to distinguish these from the much more significant threat, the true scorpions, of which we had three varieties, the smallest, oddly being the most dangerous. We knew that most of what was said about these creatures was myth and an understandable, although erroneous reaction, to their less than endearing appearance. Perhaps conversely, because of those creepy cool looks, but relatively harmless nature, they were permanent residents in more than a few science classrooms throughout the Mojave Desert communities where I grew up. None the less, growing up in an area that was habitat for a fair percentage of what is poisonous in the U.S. the rule for wild critters of all variety was “step back, leave it alone.”

    Reply
  27. i grew up with these critters in South Florida. I know those front claws can break a small stick. I now live in the Southern end of North Florida and discovered they are also here, a dead one fell from my attic stairway as I pulled it down, almost onto me. I do know there are also scorpions up there also but have never been stung by a scorpion. Been stung by nearly everything else however. I agree, don’t harm these critters, they are good to have around us. Don’t play with them either. While you’re trying to be a good nature person, don’t feed the deer either.

    Reply
  28. First encountered one in the Calif. desert 40 yrs ago with some buddies. Walked into camp and scared me. A buddy in the know laughed and clued me in. Fear gave way to fascination. It exibited zero aggression. Put him in a box where it waited patiently. Wondered how they defended themselves. Couple of hours went by and another buddy pointed out another intruder by the campfire. A scorpion. And of course the inevitable; placing it in the same box as the vinegaroon. It quickly closed the distance grabbing the scorpion which impailed its stinger into its head three times in rapid succession. The vinegaroon’s response was to begin devouring its meal. The scorpion managed two more head shots before dying. The vinegaroon’s head was an angry bright red where it was stung. We wondered how long before it would die. Well it ate till there was nothing left. Released from the box it casually exited our campsite, leaving five grown men with their mouths hanging open at what they had just witnessed. Two thoughts came to mind. Thank god they are not aggressive, poisinous, or large. The other thought was is there any creature on earth as tough as they are. I was and still am impressed by this wonderful creature.

    Reply
  29. We’re in Port orange and I’m 9 years old. me and my grandma were looking
    for one in the yard. we didn’t find one. How do you?

    Reply
  30. We’re in Port orange and I’m 9 years old. me and my grandma were looking
    for one in the yard. we didn’t find one. How do you?

    Reply
  31. En República Dominicana abunda mucho este insecto y se le conoce como “guabá”. Se tiene la creencia de que su picadura o mordedura es muy dolorosa y peligrosa. Yo personalmente los detesto!

    Reply
  32. Enjoyed reading about this creature. I have found them living throughout California. Have seen many in the high desert, where there are lots of scorpions. I have also found them in Oakhurst which is in the mountains close to Yosemite. I have generally let them be. Good to know they are beneficial and hunt harmful creatures. They always run away when I get near them.

    Reply
  33. the crickets have bitten off the tail of my vinegaroon, will it grow back , again, also I do not know what to feed it, as crickets are nasty.

    Reply
    • If it’s not an adult it should grow back in the next molt. If it is it should be ok without the tail. Try feeding Dubia or red runner roaches.

      Reply

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