Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas is alerting visitors that summer rains are bringing arachnids called vinegaroons “out of their burrows in search of food and love.”
The critters sound frightening and have inspired sensational headlines about “acid-shooting land lobsters.”
But the vinegaroons, which are nocturnal and can’t see very well, are “relatively benign unless you annoy them,” the park says.
The park says they hunt millipedes, scorpions, crickets and other invertebrates by sensing vibrations with their front legs.
While they may be unsettling to look at, don’t panic if you come across one. Vinegaroons are not poisonous.
In fact, Big Bend seems to be encouraging people to look closer at the strange, insect-like creatures. The park notes that if you spot a female, she may be carrying hatchlings on her back.