Big Bend National Park shared a photo of a gnarly-looking bug called the whip scorpion that shoots acid at its opponent to defend itself.
“If you’re lucky enough to see one, look closely. If it’s a female, she may be carrying her hatchlings on her,” Big Bend National Park wrote on Facebook.
Their scientific name is Thelyphonida, but they also go by the name whip scorpions and vinegaroons. The name “whip scorpion” comes from their resemblance to scorpions but also possessing a whiplike tail.
According to Big Bend National Park’s post, the bugs are venturing out of their burrows in search for food and “love” (meaning, another bug to mate with). The creepy crawlers can grow up to three inches long and are relatively gentle and kind unless their life is threatened.
“They can pinch with their heavy mouthparts (pedipalps) and shoot a well-aimed spray of 85% acetic acid (vinegar) from the base of their “whip” to protect themselves,” Big Bend National Park wrote.
The park is located in Texas where the bugs are well known to be nocturnal hunters that feed mostly on insects like millipedes, scorpions, and terrestrial isopods, and sometimes on worms and slugs.
“Vinegaroons are nocturnal and can’t see very well. They hunt by sensing vibrations with their long, thin front legs. Most commonly seen in the desert, this vinegaroon was taking a stroll around the Chisos Basin campground,” Big Bend National Park wrote.