Uropygi

These are the whip-scorpions and vinegaroons. They are 25-120 mm long (including the caudal extension) and have an unsegmented cephalothorax, which bears eight eyes, and a flattened abdomen of 11 or 12 segments. The chelicerae are simple and two-segmented; the pedipalps are strong and six-segmented. In many species the last two segments of the pedi-palps are modified to form pincers, which are used to seize prey. The first pair of legs is used only as tactile organs and they have modified tarsi. The organs for respiration are two pairs of book-lungs on the venter of abdominal segment 2

and 3. The last three segments of the abdomen are small and annular, forming a pygidium, which bears a long, slender telson from which the name whip-scorpion is derived. There are two glands that open one each side of the anus and discharge a fluid when the animal is disturbed. This fluid has the odor of vinegar (acetic acid), from which the name vinega-roon is derived (from the Spanish word vinegare). These non-poisonous arthropods are nocturnal and prey on insects such as cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, termites, and other arthropods. They live primarily in damp habitats in the tropics of the world, although a few species are found in arid regions. The genus Hypoctonus occurs in Malaysia, Typopeltis in Japan and northern China, Thelyphonus in southern Asia and Indonesia, and Mastigoproctus in southern USA and perhaps northern Mexico.

Vinegaroon, whip-scorpion, Mastigoproctus giganteus (Fig. 18.9a) Adults are about 65 mm long and brown to reddish brown. The caudal extension may be twice the length of the body proper. This species occurs in southern USA, nearly from coast to coast. It hunts at night, and moves slowly with its large pedipalps extended and open, and the first pair of legs touching objects in front and to the side. Prey is carried to a burrow for further mastication and eating. These arthropods are greatly feared because of their supposedly venomous bite, but they have no poison glands and they are not aggressive.

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