Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wellesley's where the wild things are: another scorpion sighted

Another scorpion in Wellesley? Yup. I found one this afternoon, on the trail that runs behind Town Hall and between the Duck Pond and the train tracks. Usually, the only wild things I see there are a bunch of tweener boys hanging out by the culvert.

But today, I smelled something...sniffed...and Dad yanked me away. Mom, being an ocean person, thought, "tiny lobster?" Dad, being from California, realized it was a kind of scorpion. And my sister, owner of every field guide known to man, identified it as a kind of whipscorpion, properly called a Vinegarone. Its usual hangout includes the southern U.S., so what it was doing here, I have no idea.
This Vinegarone photo comes from the wildlife files at

The creature was about 3 to 3.5 inches long, dark brown, and it was tough to spot its tail. Turns out the whipscorpion doesn't have a stinger and isn't venomous, unless you swoon at the scent of vinegar, because it releases that scent when annoyed. Unfortunately, no photo, because I not only swooned, I didn't have a camera.

This might or might not be a good time to point out that, upon closer scrutiny, the Morsie Monster turns out to be...a floating piece of deadwood.