What limits the population and distribution of vinagaroons?
Justin O. Schmidt, email@example.com, Southwestern Biological Control Institiue, 1961 Brichta Drive, Tucson, AZ
Vinegaroons, Mastigoproctus giganteus, are the top arthropod predators in some desert grassland and riparian areas. The typically are considered rare or uncommon by most biologists, a mistaken impression based mainly on infrequent encounters with them. In my study site in Cochise Co., Arizona, their populations reach a density of 66,000/km2. Climatic, soil, predator-prey, food resource, livestock grazing, and catastrophic event factors affect or potentially affect their distribution and populations.
Species 1: Arachnida Theliphonidae Mastigoproctusgiganteus (vinegaroon) Keywords: predator-prey interaction
From Karin, student, community college, August 11, 2005 What is the furthest south-western region vinegaroons are found?? Would any of these areas include the mojave desert??
From the author(s),August 18, 2005 Hi Karin,
The exact factors that limit the south-western distribution, or for that matter the distribution in general, are unclear. It appears that soil moisture, humidity, and temperatures at the depths of their cells is an important factor. During unfavorable seasons vinegaroons reside in their underground cells constructed at the ends of their burrows. They cannot withstand freezing, extreme dryness at high temperature, or extreme temperatures. If the climate in a region produces any of these, vinegaroons are unlikely to be able to survive there.
To answer your specific question, vinegaroons are found in eastern Pima county of Arizona as far west as the Santa Rita Mountain range (South of Tucson)and possibly into the mountainous areas just west of the Santa Cruz river. I am aware of no confirmed records from the Babaquivari mountains, but would not be entirely surprised if they exist there. The range of vinegaroons does not extend into any of the majave desert. I suspect the reasons are twofold: 1) the soil would be too hot and dry in their cells during the summer; and, more importantly, 2) vinegaroons require a warm moist period (=summer season) for their above ground foraging and mating activities. The Mojave desert is characterized in part by the lack of consistent or good summer rains. Thus, vinegaroons would lack a time of the year when they could complete their necessary activities.
Justin Schmidt, Southwestern Biol. Institute
From Brandy, May 31, 2006 Why did you tell her that they dont live in the mojave desert? They do i just saw one yesterday.
From Rose VanTassel, June 21, 2006 I saw a vinegaroon in Las Vegas at one time. It was hiding in a bag of charcoal. And now I live in Utah and they also have them here.
From Kat Harrison, July 11, 2006 Victorville, CA is on the edge of the Mojave and we most definitely have Vinegaroons. Anyone who lives in the high desert can verify that. This is common knowledge so please check your facts before handing out "theories".
From Gayla, Study insects, CSN, July 12, 2007 Your information on Vinagaroons is incorrect for Las Vegas. They are all over here! Hot or mild weather, they are here. Extreme heat does not seam to effect them as they are like a scorpion or other nocturnal insects or predators and they stay put until night or the heat subsides. If you do not get your home sprayed for insects and pests, you will have Vinagaroons in and outside your home.
Please, please do better research. Especially for people who are thinking of moving here..
From Aaron, September 3, 2007 You people are morons, you are seeing solpugids (Eremobates sp.) NOT vinegaroons (Mastigoproctus giganteus)
Pick up a book or something before sounding off on subjects that you know nothing about.
I agree with Mr. Schmidt
From Joe, March 4, 2009 Ummm no i can verify they ARE in the mojave desert. I just killed one and compared it to the pictures. It IS a vinagaroon. They are actually very common here. During hot summers if you go outside and look down they are everywhere! (certain area in the high desert) I remeber as a kid seeing them running around me on the street at night. We had the worse infestation of these bugs at my childhood home. I mean they where EVERYWHERE in the house, outside, in the garage, in the dog house!. My dad figured out that they liked to eat crickets and we had alot of crickets around our house. So he had our house sprayed really good for crickets and we got rid of the vinagaroons for a little while ( about 2 summers) then they came back in full force. So dont tell me we dont have them i know better then most!
From Marla Brown, Wildlife Artist, June 13, 2011 I've lived all my life in Mojave Desert's Summit Valley and the creatures found here, I believe, are not actual vinegaroons, but a species or sub-species of the solpugids. They do not look like any picture of vinegaroons I've researched. The bugs I see here are smaller, their bodies are a clear, flesh-color and are more round-shape (like a crab) and most obvious different feature is they have only one front claw-leg, not two. Most on the right side, however, I have seen a few with a left-claw. Most are not much longer than one inch. Having encountered many of these, once unearthing a hugh nest underground, never have I smelled or tasted vinegar or been biten or pinched by one; despite local folklore calling theme vinegaroons.
From Crystal, September 26, 2011 I was told that the high desert (Victorville) has vinagaroons and I swear I caught one in my house....until someone showed me a picture of one, what I had in my house was a Sun Spider, but everyone up here calls the Sun Spider Vinagaroons. I have never seen what I know now is the actual vinagaroon.