Spiders are strange animals in that their appearance is excessively unique. After all, how many other animals can you think of that possess more than four legs? Probably none, and you certainly cannot name any other type of animal that possesses eight legs along with four separate sets of eyes. If all of these features are not odd enough, many arachnids also possess fangs for injecting venom into the unfortunate animals that fall victim to their predatory attacks. Considering these otherworldly features, nobody can blame an arachnophobe for fearing all arachnid species that exist on earth. For those who do count themselves as arachnophobes, then learning about the existence of a group of tailed arachnids that possess pincers may be therapeutic, as all other arachnids will seem comparatively cute and cuddly from now on. These tailed arachnids are known by many names, such as whip scorpions and vinegaroons. They look similar to scorpions, but their long tail and oversized pincers may be more reminiscent of a lobster crossed with a particularly ugly rat. These creepy-crawly arthropods belong to the Thelyphonida order of arachnids, and unfortunately, the species with the largest body size dwells right here in America.
Like all other arachnids, whip scorpions possess eight legs, but their front set of legs serve as a sensory organ, similar to an insect’s antennae. Although these arachnids closely resemble scorpions, they do not transmit venom to their prey through either bites or stings; instead, these arachnids spray a concentrated acetic acid from the base of their tails. Luckily this acid is not harmful to humans, but you would never assume these creatures to be benign after spotting one in the wild. The giant whip scorpion is the only whip scorpion species that exists in America, but recent research has demonstrated that 7 subspecies dwell in the US and other parts of North America. This particular arachnid can grow to the relatively large size of 5 centimeters. The giant whip scorpion and its seven subspecies can be found in Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and in Mexico.
Have you ever spotted a tailed scorpion species before?