Giant Whip Scorpion

Every few months or so I get calls about a strange creature, found on their property. I ask for a photo or to bring in a sample for identification into the Extension office. It is called the Giant Whip Scorpion, it is an arachnid that has neither a venom-filled stinger found in scorpions nor the venomous bite found in some spiders.

In W.H. Kern’s Giant Whip Scorpion article http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in890

Whip scorpions are nocturnal predators of other arthropods. During the day they remain out of sight in burrows they dig with their pedipalps. They can often be found under logs, boards, rotting wood, rocks, and other natural dark places. Most whip scorpions occur in moist or seasonally moist forested habitats in tropical or subtropical environments. Mastigoproctus giganteus occur in more arid habitats with well drained soil. They spend the driest periods underground and become active on the surface during Florida’s rainy season (May/June-November).

The primary prey of Mastigoproctus giganteus are soft bodied insects like termites, cockroaches, and crickets. One of the common prey of adults in Florida is the Florida woods roach, Eurycotis floridensis. Live food such as crickets and roaches are crushed between special teeth on the inside of the second segment of the pedipalps.

So, if you see it on your property let it be.

 

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