Texas national park warns of acid-spraying ‘whip scorpions’

Big Bend National Park in Texas is warning of acid-spraying “whip scorpions.”

In a Facebook post, the park said the summer rains bring “vinegaroons” out of their burrows “in search for food and love.”

Vinegaroons are about three inches long, are nocturnal and can’t see very well. The critters are “relatively benign unless you happen to annoy them,” the park said.

The scorpions can pinch with their heavy mouthparts and can shoot a spray made up of 85 percent acetic acid, a primary component in vinegar, from the base of their “whip” to protect themselves.

The arachnids hunt millipedes, scorpions, crickets, cockroaches and other invertebrates by sensing vibrations with their front legs.

Vinegaroons are more commonly seen in the dessert. The park shared a photograph of a vinegaroon that was seen at the Chisos Basin campground at the park.

A female vinegaroons can be seen “carrying her hatchlings on her back.”


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