Are vinegaroons centipede specialists?

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I'm only asking this because it seems a popular idea that the claws of a vinegaroon are especially effective on centipedes. I recently watched a Monster Bug Wars episode where a vinegaroon killed a stripe-tailed centipede (Scolopocryptops melanostomus) of similar length. In the comments, there was heated debate about whether the vinegaroon would have been able to beat the much larger "desert centipede" (Ethmostigmus rubripes, the "tiger" variant) which featured earlier in the show and earned itself a lot of hate after killing a scorpion. Some didn't believe so, as E. rubripes is over 10 times the size of S. melanostomus, while others maintained that vinegaroons were well-known predators of centipedes, and would be able to prey on any centipede, even Scolopendra gigantea. I did not find a shred of info to support the latter proposition, save a video from one of those Japanese bug fights in which a Mastigoproctus giganteus killed a S. dehaani. However, as those fights are in extremely unnatural conditions, and centipedes in particular seem to care more about getting out of the box than fighting, I am still looking for more evidence. I'm not being a centipede fanboy here, though I will admit that they are my favourite inverts, but I simply cannot imagine a 7cm M. giganteus being able to withstrain and prey on a pede as large as an Ethmostigmus rubripes (which can get to 25cm), let alone a Gigantea. Does anyone know if vinegaroons are actually centipede specialists?
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
Well, in order to use the term "specialist" for any sort of prey, it would have to be verified first. One would have to find some way to make the argument that a vinegaroon is somehow adapted to prey on centipedes. But of course, one must also be cautious about using the term "adaptation" in a scientific context as well. An adaptation is actually very difficult to justify.

I'd really consider vinegaroons to be opportunistic. If I put tongs in her face, she tries to eat those too!
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I'm only quoting what the commenters were saying. What I presume is that they think that the claws of a vinegaroon are particularly effective on centipedes, though they still prey on other inverts and don't necessarily have a preference for centipedes.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,086
There's little to no chance a vinegaroon could eat an adult species of the larger scolopendra. They're huge in comparison and the pede would be able to out muscle the vinegaroon and walk off with it.

The only 2 ways I could see a vinegaroon getting the better of a large scolopendra is 1) it coming across a moulting/freshly moulted pede or 2) the vinegaroon somehow managing to crush the head of the pede right at the start.
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I agree. Personally, I think it was just a case of butthurt centipede haters trying to add credibility to their case. I wonder what their average IQ was...given their spelling, I'll say that double figures would be a bit of a stretch.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,285
There have been surveys of what Mastigoproctus eat and it is much more scorpions than centipedes (at least in the southwest). There are a number of different vinegaroons and the diets may be entirely different on certain islands or forests as much as between species.
 

Nephila Edulis

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
201
I wouldn't call them specialists because they will take just about anything that walks in front of them. It's probably more like a case of centipedes are the most common prey, and they have evolved to deal with centipedes very well but they aren't so evolved to catch centipedes that they can't feed on anything else. They are opportunistic like most inverts
 

Nephila Edulis

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
201
I'm only asking this because it seems a popular idea that the claws of a vinegaroon are especially effective on centipedes. I recently watched a Monster Bug Wars episode where a vinegaroon killed a stripe-tailed centipede (Scolopocryptops melanostomus) of similar length. In the comments, there was heated debate about whether the vinegaroon would have been able to beat the much larger "desert centipede" (Ethmostigmus rubripes, the "tiger" variant) which featured earlier in the show and earned itself a lot of hate after killing a scorpion. Some didn't believe so, as E. rubripes is over 10 times the size of S. melanostomus, while others maintained that vinegaroons were well-known predators of centipedes, and would be able to prey on any centipede, even Scolopendra gigantea. I did not find a shred of info to support the latter proposition, save a video from one of those Japanese bug fights in which a Mastigoproctus giganteus killed a S. dehaani. However, as those fights are in extremely unnatural conditions, and centipedes in particular seem to care more about getting out of the box than fighting, I am still looking for more evidence. I'm not being a centipede fanboy here, though I will admit that they are my favourite inverts, but I simply cannot imagine a 7cm M. giganteus being able to withstrain and prey on a pede as large as an Ethmostigmus rubripes (which can get to 25cm), let alone a Gigantea. Does anyone know if vinegaroons are actually centipede specialists?
I don't see any way that a vinegaroon could kill an adult ethmostigmus rubripes or large scolopendra. Large centipedes can evict funnel web spiders from their burrows and even hunt them so I doubt a vinegaroon would be much of a challenge
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
Just realised right now that you are a fellow denizen from Down Under. So I guess you know more than most of how formidable those E. rubripes are.

Anyway, for reference to you guys, here are the 2 videos I was referring to.

This is the Scolopocryptops melanostomus vs vinegaroon fight

And here's the Scolopendra dehaani vs Mastigoproctus giganetus fight that most of the centipede haters on the previous video seemed to refer to. However, after watching some other Japanese bug fights where centipedes participated, it seems centipedes generally seem to be more focused on getting out of the box than fighting (even then, they have a good win rate).

Anyway, feel free to post your thoughts.
 

Staehilomyces

Arachnoprince
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
1,447
I think the results would be different under natural circumstances. In those Japanese bug fights, centipedes usually are just trying to get out of the box. Even then they still have a pretty high win rate. That was the purpose of this thread to be honest; to judge whether or not the results would have been the same in a natural scenario. Personally, I cannot see a vinegaroon being able to hold off a hungry, determined, giant centipede for long.
 

Scolopendra1989

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
53
There's little to no chance a vinegaroon could eat an adult species of the larger scolopendra. They're huge in comparison and the pede would be able to out muscle the vinegaroon and walk off with it.

The only 2 ways I could see a vinegaroon getting the better of a large scolopendra is 1) it coming across a moulting/freshly moulted pede or 2) the vinegaroon somehow managing to crush the head of the pede right at the start.
I agree, assuming a vinegaroon could even crush the head of a Gigantea in the first place. Smaller pedes is one thing but the amount of venom, strategy, and vicious muscle on a larger species of Scolopendra is insane. Something that can take rodents, reptiles, and pick bats off the ceilings of caves is not going to lose to a vinegaroon. Or maybe Im a little biased judging by name lol
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
It is possible that Mastigoproctus gigantea could inflict a fatal wound that would eventually kill a large centipede but it is hard to say what would happen in natural surroundings. I've heard of people running across smaller inverts like tarantulas eating large S. heros in the wild even though they are a more formidable predator than Aphonopelma chalcodes. It probably has a lot to do with who has the initiative. If M. gigantea saw a large centipede as prey and they had the initiative there is a chance. A vinegaroon has a tendency to get aggressive when cornered or trapped and they will pinch anything no matter how large, and most centipedes will try to escape in this same scenario. I doubt that a vinegaroon would see something that much larger than itself as a prey item in the wild so a prowling centipede would probably win, just a guess. Anyone feel like wasting a perfectly good centipede?
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,086
It is possible that Mastigoproctus gigantea could inflict a fatal wound that would eventually kill a large centipede but it is hard to say what would happen in natural surroundings. I've heard of people running across smaller inverts like tarantulas eating large S. heros in the wild even though they are a more formidable predator than Aphonopelma chalcodes. It probably has a lot to do with who has the initiative. If M. gigantea saw a large centipede as prey and they had the initiative there is a chance. A vinegaroon has a tendency to get aggressive when cornered or trapped and they will pinch anything no matter how large, and most centipedes will try to escape in this same scenario. I doubt that a vinegaroon would see something that much larger than itself as a prey item in the wild so a prowling centipede would probably win, just a guess. Anyone feel like wasting a perfectly good centipede?
It'd be a waste of a beautiful vinegaroon. Honestly what chance does one have against a pede like this? (My Hispanola giant red now sold. Stupid, stupid, stupid Basin)

 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
It'd be a waste of a beautiful vinegaroon. Honestly what chance does one have against a pede like this? (My Hispanola giant red now sold. Stupid, stupid, stupid Basin)

I thought that too. I never watch the bug wars videos because I consider it a waste of good life for entertainment. But I am guilty of doing that kind of stuff with inverts that I caught when I was a teenager. That is how I learned to love centipedes in the first place. The centipede always won.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,086
I thought that too. I never watch the bug wars videos because I consider it a waste of good life for entertainment. But I am guilty of doing that kind of stuff with inverts that I caught when I was a teenager. That is how I learned to love centipedes in the first place. The centipede always won.
Centipedes are absolutely ridiculous predators. They're fast, strong and have a potent venom. I love my vinegaroon but she's a different kind of predator.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,984
Years ago I put a Texas Banded gecko in with a vinegaroon thinking they would ignore each other. In less than a minute the vinegaroon grabbed the gecko, just another meal. Because of the ability to spray, I think they have few predators. They are very defensive in the wild.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,765
I think if you use the term specialist that the Vinegaroon would need to be equipped anatomy wise with the tools needed to specifically prey on centipedes. I'm sure if given the opportunity they would feed on smaller centipedes. By design, what would a Vinegaroon have adapted for preying specifically on centipedes? Crushing jaws? Yes to that. Armor and immunity to centipede venom? Maybe. I'd be curious to see diet studies to see what percentage of their diet is centipedes.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
I think if you use the term specialist that the Vinegaroon would need to be equipped anatomy wise with the tools needed to specifically prey on centipedes. I'm sure if given the opportunity they would feed on smaller centipedes. By design, what would a Vinegaroon have adapted for preying specifically on centipedes? Crushing jaws? Yes to that. Armor and immunity to centipede venom? Maybe. I'd be curious to see diet studies to see what percentage of their diet is centipedes.
Or if they exclusively fed on centipedes. As far as I know vinegaroons have a reputation for preying on spiders.
 
Top