Saturday, 8 October 2011

Whip Scorpion

Found a dead Whip Scorpion at Permai Rainforest Resort. First time seeing one!

Thelyphonida is an arachnid order comprising invertebrates commonly known as vinegaroons (or vinegarroons).
They are often called uropygids in the scientific community after the former order Uropygi (which originally also included the order Schizomida). They are also known as whip scorpions because of their resemblance to true scorpions and because of their whiplike tails.

Vinegarroons are carnivorous, nocturnal hunters feeding mostly on insects and millipedes, but sometimes on worms and slugs. The prey is crushed between special teeth on the inside of the trochanters (the second segment of the leg) of the front legs. They are valuable in controlling the population of roaches and crickets.

Males secrete a sperm sac, which is transferred to the female. Up to 35 eggs are laid in a burrow, within a mucous membrane that preserves moisture. Mothers stay with the eggs and do not eat. The white young that hatch from the eggs climb onto their mother's back and attach themselves there with special suckers. After the first molt they look like miniature vinegarroons, and leave the burrow; the mother dies soon after. The young grow slowly, going through three molts in about three years before reaching adulthood. They live for up to another four years.

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