This Lobster Like, Acid Shooting, Bug does a Lot of Good in Texas
Most people are not a big fan of bugs. They're ugly, they can carry diseases, they get into spaces we don't want them in. Bugs are a huge nuisance. Having said that, some bugs actually serve a greater purpose than to gross us out. Some help get rid of a nastier bug like the vinegaroon. What's a vinegaroon? It's a scary looking bug that can get rid of bugs that are much worse.
July 14, the folks at Big Bend National Park shared a picture of a vinegaroon. These bugs are about three inches long and are being forced out because of the heavy rains this season.
These guys look like a mini lobster. They have a set of pinchers up front and a long whip on it's tail. At the base of that whip, these bug can shoot out an acid. Shooting that acid isn't for malice, though, but for protection. You see, these scary looking bugs help get rid of bugs that can do a lot more damage.
Vinegaroons don't have good eyesight and mostly come out at night. Their long front legs help sense vibrations on the ground as they hunt for the likes of millipedes, scorpions, crickets, cockroaches and other invertebrate bugs. All of those bugs are either aggressive, annoying or spread diseases. That does some good in nature.
A vinegaroon will also not attack a human unless you agitate them. Their sting is basically harmless to humans but the acid they shoot out will feel about like pouring vinegar on an open wound.
You will not find these guys in East Texas. They are mostly found in the desert of West Texas. If you're camping in the Big Bend National Park area, you may see one or two of these guys. Just let 'em be because they could go after that scorpion sitting outside your tent.