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Vinegaroons: A Review of the May Meeting

By Holly Carter

If you missed the May Herpetological meeting on May 15, you lost out on an exceptional learning opportunity. HHS member Bailey Russell presented a power point on Vinegarroons.

It’s an arachnid many people have no idea what they are. Bailey proceeded to show pictures as well as live examples of these creatures, many of whom do not even have a species name as they have not been studied hardly at all. She said these animals are not venomous and they do not whip with their tails as had been alleged in books.

She showed fossils from millions of years ago and they showed that this animal’s anatomy did not change as most of the other animals had to adapt to the earth’s changing processes.

She showed food preferences and predators, and showed how they react to these challenges. They have a unique way of spraying an acetic acid at predators to repel them, and a way of raking with their claws to get food to their mouth. Their claws are not pinchers like a scorpion, but they can burrow with these sometimes to a depth of about two feet. Females are able to mate and have an attached egg sack for their young. After hatching the babies ride on mom’s back until they molt. Mom will even bring food back to the young to eat. The babies have to molt their entire body and they about double their size until their final molt.

Showing other arachnids that are related to vinegaroons

Bailey has been able to breed the Giant vinegarroon and grew up some of the babies, she plans on getting more of the genera to do further research and breeding. And maybe be able to someday find a way to work on finding out their species as well. She has been able to show this program to other nature outlets and her passion shows in these exhibits. Bailey has done a great deal of research on her own, but even with the internet, the studies have not been reported. I am sure Bailey will someday find a way to bring these creatures to their rightful place in nature books. Some of our herpers have been apprehensive about a HHS program that’s not about reptiles and amphibians, but some of our members believe the herp society is an outlet for frustrated arachnid owners as many members enjoy having these creatures as pets also.

Asian forest scorpion glowing under UV light


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