The whip scorpion is an arachnid scientifically known as a Thelyphonida. They look like scorpions but they feature a whip like tail. Scientifically they are known as Uropygi. Now these creatures are scary looking and they are native to the Arizona and other similar desert terrains of the United States, Texas, New Mexico and Florida. The good news is that they are not really scorpions although they look like scorpions.
Now the giant whip scorpion is also known as the vinegaroon mainly because it emits a vinegary smell when it feel threatened. They spray the chemical substance and towards their predators to ward them off and frighten them in the process. The giant whip scorpion is almost two inches long with a long thin trialing tail meaning from the rear.
These creatures are the dark brown of most scorpions and they have eight eyes. Two of the eyes sit at the front of its head while the other six are positioned on the sides of the head. The irony is this is that despite having eight eyes strategically positioned on its head this creature is known for extremely poor vision. They look like they have eight legs but they only use three pairs to walk around. The two longest legs which tend to protrude towards the front act as feelers which they use to sense their environment.
In the United States the giant whip scorpion is the only species of whip scorpion in the entire country. They are nocturnal creatures which stay burrowed in the ground during the day to stay cool from the sun and hidden from predators and by night they come out to hunt insects like termites and cockroaches.
The defense mechanism
The giant whip scorpion is not going to sting you not only because they tend to keep away from humans but also because they carry no venom and don’t have a stinger. Instead, to defend themselves they will spray you with their vinegary smelling substance and duck while you are distracted.
They generally do not come indoors so they have very few encounters with human beings. This is one of their successful defense mechanisms as well.
Life cycle of a giant whip scorpion
They mate during fall and they only mate during the night. In their lifetime the female will only produce one egg sac containing her eggs. When they hatch they look white and are immediately launched into the nymph stage and for a whole month they will be carried around by the female on her back until they molt once. This signals their readiness to leave the burrow. They will molt four times with intervals of a year between each molt and they may live for another three years as adults. In total their life span is roughly about seven years.