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Giant Whipscorpion (Mastigoproctus giganteus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Giant Whipscorpion.


 Updated: 12/4/2013; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Giant Whipscorpion  
Picture of Giant-Whipscorpion
Picture of Giant-Whipscorpion


The Giant Whipscorpion is not poisonous, but its arsenal of offensive and defensive weapons make it a creature best looked at and not touched..





The Giant Whipscorpion looks somewhat like a typical scorpion, but with a cord-like tail instead of a stinger. It lacks a stinger and uses its whip-like tail to alert potential predators it is about to defend itself. This is a major physical differentiation that makes it easy to distinguish a Whipscorpion from scorpions.

Though it does not produce poison, it can secrete a stinky chemical made of acetic acid, the same chemical that comprises vinegar, from the base of the tail. This vinegar secretion can cause mild burns to insect predators (or prey) as well as skin irritation and nausea to humans. For this reason, this type of Whipscorpion is also called a Vinegaroon.

If all else fails, a Giant Whipscorpion will use its huge pedipalps ('claws') to pinch would-be attackers. It is known to can a good deal of pain to human victims. These pincer-like pedipalps are also used to rip and tear apart prey, enabling the Giant Whipscorpion to consume its body fluids.

They are difficult to find because they are mostly nocturnal. During the day, they hide under logs, stone or other debris, or they burrow into loose soil or sand. During summer months in wooded areas, they are more active and may be seen in daylight.

Males have longer claw segments than females. In addition, males have a chela, a small projection at the tip of each claw. Males use the chela to push a sperm packet into the female during mating. The female will carry her eggs externally until they hatch. Once out of their eggs, the young whipscorpions rest on their mother's back while they molt (shed skin to grow and become harder).
Basic Information
Common Name: Giant Whipscorpion
Other Name(s): Vinegaroon, Grampus, Mule Killer
Scientific Name: Mastigoproctus giganteus
Category: Whipscorpion


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 80mm (0.78in to 3.12in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: black, brown
Additional Descriptors: tail, whip, scorpion-like, claws, pincers, harmful, smelly, vinegar, acid




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Chelicerata
Order: Uropygi
Family: Vinegarones
Genus: Mastigoproctus
Species: giganteus




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Giant Whipscorpion may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
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State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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