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Vinegaroon eating a superworm

Sunday, June 18, 2006 | 3 comments

Today I fed my vinegaroon (uropygid) a larva of the darkling beetle (Zophobas morio). I had fed it a larvae earlier on, but this time I managed to see the animal capture and eat it. On the earlier occasion, the vinegaroon noticed the vibrations the dropping of the superworm caused, and started to feel around with its first pair of legs, which are highly specialized sensory organs. Or like Esme said: like a blind man using his stick.

But the superworm managed to hide from view, which wasn't a problem for the vinegaroon, which was able to find it very fast, but the catching and eating was hidden from view as well.

Vinegaroon eating a superworm.
Vinegaroon eating a superworm.

But this time I dropped the larva close to the vinegaroon, which just grabbed it, and started to eat the "worm". What amazed me was that the larva didn't move like crazy like when it had been captured by a tarantula spider for example. Maybe the vinegaroon just had a firmer grip.

In the above picture you can see a small part of the bottle cap that I use to provide the vinegaroon with a water source. It had turned it upside down earlier that day. Also visible in the picture is a scorpion that is housed in the terrarium to the left of the one housing the vinegaroon.

Vinegaroon eating a superworm.
Vinegaroon eating a superworm.

I decided to carefully remove the bottle cap before taking more pictures. In the above picture you can clearly see the two specialized legs. They are longer and thinner then the other 3 pair. Both pictures were taken with the lowest flash setting of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-S600.

Vinegaroon eating a superworm.
Vinegaroon eating a superworm.

The above picture was made with flash off and ISO was set to a value of 100. A small flashlight was used to provide some lighting.

Also today

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