Funny Pet story

Wonka22
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Funny Pet story

Post by Wonka22 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:11 pm

I was outside smoking last night and my dog was with me. Along comes what I will call a "fake" scorpion, neighbor kids have called it a Vinegram??

Anyhow, I was warned they can emit a vinegar smelling spray if messed with, so I called the dog off the first time he approached it. The second time tho....I let the dog get close, and heard this "POP". I've never seen the dog run as fast away from something as he ran from this creature....What makes this especially funny, is that two or 3 nights ago there was a toad on my porch and the dog saw it as he was leaving the house..and hightailed it back into the house and refused to come out for an hour. The dog is deathly afraid of a little toad..but will walk right up to a creature that looks like a huge scorpion.

Then later on...I guess nature was trying to get back to me...I was still on the porch and felt a bug on me. I was about to brush it off and looked down. About jumped out of my chair, it was a fairly large stick insect. Startled the hell out of me.

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reptilist
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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by reptilist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 am

haaha! Welcome to the desert! Toads give of a noxious secretion that can make predators (including dogs) sick.

Vinegaroons are really neat animals!
Here's an article (w/pic) that I wrote for our local paper:

Image

What’s a Vinegaroon? If you ask me, I’d say that it’s one of the biggest and scariest looking bugs I’ve ever seen! Black and spiny with big claws, long probing legs, and a sinister looking tail; they are dreadful!
A coworker brought one to me in a jar. I knew what it was, and I had a vague, albeit unconfirmed notion that they were not actually dangerous. I summoned my courage and gingerly dumped the creature out of the jar and into my hand...Coworker winced....I winced....It was unnerving to behold, and much more so to be holding!
Vinegaroons, also known as “Whip Scorpions”, are non-venomous arachnids (related to spiders and scorpions). Sometimes called “Uropygids” among the scientific community, they live primarily in tropical and subtropical environments worldwide, including Mexico and the Southwestern United States. They inhabit humid, dark, subterranean microhabitats and are nocturnally active.
They eat millipedes and insects using their pincers, which are actually heavy duty mouth parts called “pedipalps”. Vinegaroons hunt their prey largely by feeling vibrations through the ground. They have eight legs just like spiders do, but their two front legs look like and function as feelers, or antennae. Their long whip-like tail is also a feeler; it is not a stinger.
Although they can pinch if handled, their primary defense from predation is an ability to spray a mist of concentrated acetic acid from their back end, hence the vinegar smell that gives them their name. The acetic acid is a potent deterrent causing severe irritation to the eyes of any predator.
Adults of the Mastigoproctus genus, the variety that is found in our area, can grow to be about six inches long from end to end, and they are truly some impressive looking animals! Despite their fearsome appearance, Vinegaroons are quite docile, they do well in captivity, and they are very popular as pets among arachnophiles (People who have an affinity for spiders, scorpions, etc...).
I’m Reptilist, this is Rep’s Nature Series, and you are always welcome to visit my website: www.reptilist.com
Rep’s Nature Series, vol. 1, article 2. Copyright 2009 by Terry A. Johnson. Clifton, Az.

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by Wonka22 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:28 am

Nice article and AWESOME pic....

Do ALL toads secrete?? I thought in the USA only a toad that was an invasive species in florida and maybe some other extremely southeastern stats that made dogs sick......or is it Hawaii? I just woke up....I'm confused. LOL Good morning

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by reptilist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:39 am

They all do, but some more than others, and some more toxic than others. The Sonoran Desert Toad being the most famous for the trait since they are very large, have big bulbous glands, and their voluminous secretions have been used as a psychotropic drug. Gag....

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by blackturtle.us » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:55 pm

I've never actually seen a vinegaroon, but living in the desert I've heard about them. Another interesting creature I see every now and then is a sun spider. I've seen a couple get up to about five inches long. I usually smash them when I see them, especially if they're in my house!

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by reptilist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:10 pm

Sun spiders are very fast moving insectivores.....Completely harmless to humans....Unless you find one in the 6' range.

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by Plays In The Dirt » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:15 pm

Reptilist, I was under the impression, (don't know where I heard it), that if a Vinegaroon bit (or stung) you that you would have a vinegar taste in your mouth. I'm assuming that this is an old wives tale based on what you've written about them.

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by reptilist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:32 pm

Vinegaroons don't bite or sting...They can pinch though....The acetic acid (vinegar) comes out as a defensive chemical spray from the base of the tail. So yes, what you heard is a myth.

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by Wonka22 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:29 pm

blackturtle.us wrote:I've never actually seen a vinegaroon, but living in the desert I've heard about them. Another interesting creature I see every now and then is a sun spider. I've seen a couple get up to about five inches long. I usually smash them when I see them, especially if they're in my house!

Oh, come to Hobbs if you must see one, they are definitely not a rare creature around my house....I'll bet I see one per week.

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Re: Funny Pet story

Post by Apache Devil » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:48 am

Pacific treefrogs have a rather nasty secretion. Never touch your eyes after handling one. I found out the hard way. It burned so bad that I thought I would have to go to the hospital. The burning subsides and goes away after a while but is very uncomfortable.

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