Monday, December 14, 2009

Amblypigid - whip spider, tailless whip scorpion

I stepped on this thing as I plodded, barefoot, into the kitchen late one night. It looked as if it might do something terrible to me, but it didn't, and its horrible appearance was only a phony. No venom.

Another name for it is vinegarroon. It is a lovely word, but I can't for the life of me imagine why it's applied to this creature.
It has extraordinarily long second and fourth legs, that act as sensors  to find its food in the dark. Its jaws can grab anything.

Creepy, indeed.


Anonymous said...

wow i cant believe you stepped on a scorpion....are you all right? did it hurt you at all?

Anonymous said...

the name vinegaroon isnt applied to that at all - what you have there is commonly known as a whip scorpion - or - whip spider - it is neither in reality as it has no venom gland or silk gland - it does however belong to the arachnid family - it gets its name whip because of the modified front legs that now act as feelers and resemble whips - whip scorpion vinegaroons are a completely different species they resemble a scorpion more and get there name from the long whip that sticks out the back end and excretes a mist of acid in defence that smells like vinegar
Damon variegatus - is the name for a whip scorpion vinegaroon
Mastigoproctus giganteus - is the tailess whip scorpion you stood on - if you type both into google search box you will find images of the two different species