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Giant Vinegaroon
(Mastigoproctus giganteus)
by Jon Fouskaris

Giant Vinegaroon
Specimen provided by Mike "Troll".
Photo taken by Mike "Troll".

       The Giant Vinegaroon is a species of whipscorpion that has a very unusual defense! It gets its' name from the vinegar (actual acidic acid) that it emits to scare away predators! As if that isn't strange enough, Giant Vinegaroons do not have stingers, they have long whip-like tails that do not sting at all. Sometimes people mistake them for insects because it looks like they have 6 legs and a pair of antennae, but actually, the "antennae" located in the front are just long, modified legs. All whipscorpions do not have venom, so Giant Vinegaroons are harmless when it comes to toxicity. They can be held, although handling any type of whipscorpion is not recommended. This creepy-looking arachnid is seldom seen in the wild due to its nocturnal nature. A note for any arachnid collectors out there, if you don't have a Giant Vinegaroon, your collection isn't complete. The Giant Vinegaroon is a truly fascinating arachnid that can be kept by beginners, intermediate keepers, or experienced hobbyists!
Range Southern and southwestern United States.
Type Burrowing.
Diet Babies eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, and other large insects.
Full Grown Size Up to 6 inches, including front legs and whip-tail.
Growth Medium speed.
Temperature 75 to 85 F.
Humidity 75 to 85%. Adults may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.
Temperament Docile and calm.
Housing Babies can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.
Substrate 4 to 6 inches of peat moss, or potting soil. Fine gravel, or chopped-up walnut shells may be lightly mixed in with the substrate.
Decor Rocks, driftwood, cork bark, etc. make good hiding places.
Other Names Giant Vinegarone, Desert Whipscorpion, and Grampus.

*Please note that this species of whipscorpion can secrete vinegar that can be dangerous to some people. Although most people are not affected by this species, some people may be allergic to the acetic acid, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle this whipscorpion. Affects of this whipscorpions' natural defenses may vary between people. This whipscorpion should be considered dangerous, so be careful, because you don't want to find out if you are allergic or more sensitive the HARD WAY!

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