Common Name: Whiptail Scorpion
Latin Name: Mastigoproctus giganteus
Common Family Name: Whip scorpions
Latin Family Name: Uropygi
Other Names: Whip scorpion, vinegarroon, vinegarone
Origin: Several native species occur in North America in two principal genera, primarily along the warmer southern states from coast to coast.
Biology: Whiptail scorpions are so named due to the long, thin tail that extends from the tip of the abdomen. Their alternate name of vinegarroon or vinegarone comes from the ability of this animal to defend itself with an accurate spray of acetic acid, or vinegar, from the tail end. Other than this they are considered harmless and beneficial, having no venom and no ability to bite. These are predators that feed primarily on insects, working at night and hiding in the daylight hours.
Identification: Species of whip scorpions range from small, light colored kinds about 3 or 4 mm long to the huge, black M. giganteus that may be almost 3 inches long. Their abdomen is distinctly separated from the cephalothorax and the thin tail appendage, called a flagellum, extends out from the anal area. In front of the head the pair of palps is modified as very large grasping devices.
Characteristics Important in Control: Control is best accomplished by removal of habitat around structures. Whip scorpions are nocturnal, and spend their daylight hours hidden under debris or wood piles on the soil, or within clutter in storage areas of structures.