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Whip Scorpions

Whip scorpion, also known as vinegarroons, are arachnids that have a similar appearance to true scorpions, but do not possess a venomous sting. Over 100 species of whip scorpions have been discovered worldwide.

Whip scorpions range in size from 25 to 85 mm in length. They have eight legs: the first two legs serve as the sensory organs, while the other six legs are for walking. They have clawlike pedipalps or pincers. One pair of eyes can be found at the front of the cephalothorax, and the three remaining pairs are on either side of the head. Their glands can be found at the abdominal rear. While they are not venomous, they can spray an acidic mix that has a vinegarlike smell. Because of this, they are often called vinegarroons in the Southwestern United States.

Whip scorpions are carnivorous and nocturnal. They hide under leaves or rocks during the day. They typically prey on insects like cockroaches and crickets.

Whip scorpions live in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. They usually dig their burrows with the use of their pedipalps. They also dwell under logs, rotting wood, rocks and other debris. They would rather stay in humid, dark places and avoid light.

In mating, males secrete a sperm sac and find a way to transfer it to the female. A single burrow can accommodate 35 eggs. The female will stay with the eggs until they hatch, after which the young ones climb onto their mother’s back for long periods until their first molting. After they molt, these tiny scorpions leave the burrow.

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