Mastigoproctus giganteus. Used with permission. (c) Bryan E. Reynolds.

Mastigoproctus giganteus Mastigoproctus giganteus. Used with permission. Copyright © 2005 Aaron Goodwin

    If you were to see a Mastigoproctus giganteus walking towards you, your first reaction would most likely be to think, “It’s a scorpion that will sting me, I’d better run!” However, you would be wrong. Although M. giganteus is an arachnid, like scorpions, and is often given the common name Whipscorpion, it does not sting, possess any venom, or even pinch (Schmidt 2009). The common name Whipscorpion comes from its long, whip-like flagellum.

       Its other common name, the Giant Vinegaroon, comes from its ability to spray a chemical mixture, composed primarily of acetic acid, when it is threatened. So if you do happen to get close to a M. giganteus, and it thinks you are a danger, you might notice a strong smell of vinegar. Be careful not to let it get to your eyes, the acid that the Vinegaroon releases is much stronger than household vinegar.    

Mastigoproctus giganteus on man's hand. Used with Permission. (c) Bryan E. Reynold    M. giganteus was unknown to scientists for a long time because of its strictly nocturnal lifestyle and its apparent similarities to true scorpions (Schmidt 2009). Today, because it does not present any danger, and yet has the added thrill of looking similar to a scorpion, M. giganteus is a fairly common choice for an arachnid pet.  


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