One of the more unusual members of the scorpion family is the whip scorpion which is completely different than other scorpions that we discussed earlier and in other segments in that this one lacks a stinger entirely, therefore there's never any danger of this animal stinging you. In replace of its stinger, it's got this elongated tail which it uses as a feeler. We find them oftentimes, I've been in Belize, I've seen them in caves, very dark areas. Very, very poor eyesight though they do have eyes. They use that long tail to guide them through the darkness. He's got his very powerful claws which are currently clamping into my finger, by the way, as a method of grabbing onto its prey.
They are powerful enough to subdue prey and rip it apart. They'll break it down into little pieces and feed it into their mouth much like a lobster or a crab. It looks like a defenseless animal other than those claws, and the fact that it has no stinger, what's it going to do to harm anybody? Well, like most animals in nature it's got a way to defend itself, and this one is very unusual. They call it also the vinegaroon scorpion because from its hind quarters there, I won't say from exactly where, but the hind quarters it can shoot and spray acetic acid into the eyes of a potential predator. And acetic acid basically is vinegar. So if you've ever got vinegar in your eye you know what that stings like. It's not a very pleasant thing to have happen to you. Certainly stinks from a mile away if you smell if whenever he does it to us. Fortunately I've never got one in my eye, but that's the way he defends himself.
The vinegaroon has acetic acid launching out of his hind parts and that's a very effective way now to stop a predator but then allows him time to escape because the animal is pretty much temporarily blinded by the vinegar. Excellent terrarium pet to keep. They live five, seven years or so. Another animal who likes to hide a lot. We put a piece of cork flat against the glass or flat on the ground. That's where you'll usually find the vinegaroon hiding. And as long as you don't startle him and come up behind him and scare him, you're not going to get that big whiff of acetic acid like a predator might. The more and more you handle him like I'm doing now, the less likely he is to excrete that. So it's got the wow factor of a scorpion without any of the potential danger of a scorpion sting. But it's a scorpion for all intents and purposes. The vinegaroon, very interesting animal from Central America.