Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Scary Looking? Yes. Ugly? Yes. Harmless? Yes.

Here is a creature from your nightmares, but like a bad dream, this creature is actually quite harmless.

This is a whip scorpion.Those are my fingers. If it were anywhere near as creepy, bitey, stingy as it fingers would not be in the picture. The only defense this little nightmare has is to excrete acetic acid. Be rude to a whip scorpion and you will get to smell this vinegar-like defense mechanism.

I was not rude to this one by the way...we got along just fine.

What's curious to me, is that I grew up outside in Florida, a hundred miles from where I now live and never once in a childhood of catching EVERYTHING, did I ever lift up a board and find one of these. Yet, they seem to be as common as sandspurs in the small community I work in.

Grownups bring them to me. Kids bring them to me. Around here, they call them a "Grampus"...which I think is some corruption of "Grampa Scorpion" because of their size. "Vinegaroon" is another name that stems from the acetic acid defense.

I did a little GOOGLE search to learn more about them and found a neat article by a guy that keeps them as pets.

My search results also turned up a dominatrix lady down in Orlando, named Lady Scorpion who swings a Whip. can find that link yourself!


thingfish23 said...

AW - I've GOT to get me one of these!

The wife'll flip.

Floridacracker said...

Got another one today!

Rexroth's Daughter said...

That's a great looking critter. I wouldn't want to find one in the house, but anywhere outside would be very cool.

roger said...

looks kinda like a lobster. are those really pincer claws? what an interesting defense.

Floridacracker said...

I agree, definitely not something I want skittering across the bed at night!

Same phylum of course. They use their claws in much the same way, grabbing and holding prey.
Not as appetizing tho.....

Anonymous said...

mister powers this is tyler agian and i was out side feeding the fish in the water troth and i pick up this board and ther was a big one and a little one and i tuched it whith a stick and like it smelled after that

Floridacracker said...

Hey Tyler!
Smelled like vinegar didn't it. They are pretty scary looking, but the little brown real scorpions are the ones to watch out for.

tony g said...

Great pics, great critter!

You should submit this to Aydin Orstan at Snail's Tales for the next edition of Circus of the Spineless.

The first edition is all done and you would miss the traffic.

all my best,
tony g