Arthropod

Vinegaroon

Area: 
Southern United States
Habitat: 
Deserts and scrublands
Food: 
Slugs, worms, and insects
Size: 
about 3 inches long
Babies: 
Hatch from eggs and ride on female’s back until their first molt.
The darker a place is, the better a vinegaroon likes it!
Stay away from the spray!

 

Have you ever smelled vinegar? That liquid is how this spiderA small, cold-blooded animal with eight legs. A spider's body is made up of two parts. It has no wings and no backbone. Many spiders spin webs to catch insects for food. got its name! When a vinegaroon is threatened, it sprays a stinging mist from an opening under its tail. The mist is the same kind of acid that gives vinegar its taste and smell. It hurts the eyes of a predatorAn animal that hunts and kills other animals for its food. and gives the vinegaroon a chance to scamper away.

 

Despite its pinchers and body shape, a vinegaroon is not a scorpion. It is its own unique type of arachnid. Vinegaroons dig burrows under logs, rocks, or even just in the ground. They like dark places—the better to hide in!

  

The vinegaroon is nocturnalAwake and active during the night, asleep during the day. and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as are its two front legs, which are not used for walking. The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, a vinegaroon can certainly defend itself if provoked.