Mastigoproctus giganteus

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Mastigoproctus giganteus
Mastigoproctus giganteus 0004 L.D..jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Thelyphonida
Family: Thelyphonidae
Genus: Mastigoproctus
Species: M. giganteus
Binomial name
Mastigoproctus giganteus
(Lucas, 1835)[1]

Mastigoproctus giganteus, the giant whip scorpion, also called the giant vinegarroon or grampus,[2][3] is a species of whip scorpions in the family Thelyphonidae.

Description[edit]

This species can grow to be 40–60 millimetres (1.6–2.4 in) long, excluding the tail.[2][3] They have six legs used for movement, two long, thin front legs that they use to feel around for prey and detect vibrations, and two large pedipalps modified into claws that they use to crush their prey,[3] they have a long, thin, whip-like tail, the origin of the common name whipscorpion. From the base of this tail they can spray a substance composed of 85% acetic acid in order to defend themselves.[2] Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar, so the spray smells strongly of vinegar, leading to the common name "vinegarroon".[2][3]

Mastigoproctus giganteus have eight eyes: two in a pair on the front of the head and three on each side of the head.[3] These eyes are very weak, so Mastigoproctus giganteus navigates mostly by feeling with its long front legs, tail, and pedipalps.[3]

It lives in the southern US and in Mexico. Mastigoproctus giganteus preys on various insects, worms, and slugs.[4]

Mastigoproctus giganteus female with egg sac

Subspecies[edit]

  • Mastigoproctus giganteus giganteus (Lucas, 1835)
  • Mastigoproctus giganteus scabrosus (Pocock, 1902) — Mexico
  • Mastigoproctus giganteus mexicanus (Butler, 1872) — Mexico

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mastigoproctus giganteus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Miner, Angela. "Mastigoproctus giganteus". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Species Mastigoproctus giganteus - Giant Vinegaroon". BugGuide.Net. Retrieved 2010-07-30.