I am not what you think

“Hey is this a spider?”asked by one of my friend, pointing out to an organism which resembled somewhat like spider while we walked down on the tar road .

My reply to above question was “no,its not”.

These organisms resemble somewhat like both spider and scorpions,belonging to the order Thelyphonida. They are known as whip scorpions or vinegarroons. The name vinegarroons is based on their ability to produce a liquid when threatened; it contains acetic acid and hence smell like vinegar. They can grow up to the size of 85mm.

While they are mostly nocturnal(come out at night) and carnivouroys , so feed on small insects like ants , millipedes and even small scorpions. They don’t possess any kind of venom gland.

They are quite common in peninsular India and can be found in shrublands and beside streams. During my 1.5 years stay in Pondicherry I had encountered more than 100 individuals. Still lot of things are unknown about this beautiful creature.

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