Vinegaroon novice

uscpsycho

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
16
I was at a reptile show this past weekend when I discovered vinegaroons for the first time. I have never seen one at a show before but there were several vendors selling them at this show. I couldn't resist.

I'm doing some research on these critters but what little information is out there is totally contradictory. And most of the people who provide info seem to have gotten it all from the same contradictory sources. If possible, please respond to this from personal experience rather than things you have read. I'm a first time poster here, I just joined to ask these questions.

1) Will these guys bite and/or pinch a human handler? The most authoritative sources I have found contradict. They either say vinegearoons can inflict a painful bite. Or they say vinegaroons are incapable of biting humans.

2) How often should they be fed? I've read one prey item per day and I've read one prey item once every 7-10 days. That's a huge difference.

3) At the reptile show one of the vendors said that if you are sprayed by a vinegaroon the liquid will bleach your clothes. Knowing your clothes could be ruined in an instant sucks. Is that true?

4) How important is it to provide a deep enough substrate for burrowing? It's a desert species so I have about 3/4" of reptile sand in there and he's very active. I put one of those arc shaped hides made out of tree bark in his cage. At first he dug under the side to get into the hide (instead of going in the easy way through the opening) but since then he just walks around the cage and spends a considerable amount of time sitting on top of the hide instead of under the hide. And when he's on top of the hide I've seen him try to climb the glass up rather than dig down. So he doesn't seem to care about burrowing. Is there any harm in not providing a substrate he can fully burrow into? If he burrowed all the way down I'd miss watching him troll around his pad!

I probably have other questions which I just can't think of right now.

I've had lots of reptiles in the past and this guy is one of the most fascinating creatures I've ever owned. I know guests will also be fascinated and want to hold him but before allowing them to I want to know if there's a possibility of a bite or clothes getting bleached.

TIA
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,177
I have kept vinegaroons for about 5 or 6 years now. I don't take mine out and handle them often because I don't want to stress them out, but I do handle them several times a year for classroom demonstrations. I have never been bitten or pinched by one. Yes, they could pinch and it might be painful but it wouldn't be serious. I suppose a bite is theoretically possible too, just because anything with a mouth can bite, but again, it would not be serious.Their chelicerae are really tiny and they are not venomous, so a bite would be a pinprick at worst.

I've seldom had mine spray - maybe once or twice ever - but when they did, all I noticed was a faint vinegary smell. There was no damage to skin or clothing. If one got you directly in the eyes it would burn a bit - but a quick flush with water should take care of it. Bleaching your clothes sound ridiculous. When I was in high school - before faded jeans became popular - we used to wash our jeans in vinegar when they were new to prevent fading and keep that deep indigo look.

As far as burrowing goes, I've never had one that seemed too interested in that. I keep them on a substrate of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of coconut fiber (Eco Earth) and mist the enclosure several times a week. I also provide a shallow water dish that I keep filled and a hide. They tend to stay in the hide quite a bit during the daytime but are active at night. I feed them a couple of crickets roughly once a week.
 

uscpsycho

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
16
Thank you for that info!

Do you ever see your vinegaroons drink out of the water dish? One of the vendors at the show told me to put a wet, wadded up piece of paper for water in the enclosure and the other told me to mist a corner of the inclosure twice a week. I've left a wet wad of paper in there but I don't think it stays wet all that long so I might try a water dish. He seems to enjoy moving the wad around so maybe I'll leave it in there for him to play with.

How often do you change the substrate? Doesn't seem like it needs to be changed all that frequently. Are droppings visible?
 
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