Summer rains send vinegaroons scurrying from their burrows in the desert
In the West Texas desert, summer rains usually cause wildflowers to sprout and cacti blooms to burst forth.
They also result in the emergence of “land lobsters from hell,” reports Abigail Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle. More commonly known as vinegaroons, this unusual creature isn’t a actually crustacean—it’s an arachnid. The eight-legged critter has a nasty bite and sprays a vinegar-like acid from its tail. According to a Big Bend National Park Facebook post, summer rains bring the amorous arachnids out of their burrows in search of love and food.
Found in Texas, Arizona and Florida, the creature sprays attackers with a solution of 85 percent acetic acid to protect themselves. It may also pinch a finger that gets too close, reports Jenna Romaine of Changing America.
Vinegaroons have a long whip tail at the base of their abdomens. The arachnids are often called “whipscorpions,” though they are not related to scorpions and don’t have stingers.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, the vinegaroon in North America is actually seven different species. Recent research reveals more variety in this creature, which can be found in tropic locations around the world.