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Dang It!

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by thesupermonkey, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. thesupermonkey

    thesupermonkey Arachnosquire Old Timer

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    Lost my 2nd smallest scorp today.
    I was asleep when my wife runs in an tells me she thinks Golith(Now know as the B*tch) was munching on one of the scorps. They've lived together with NO skirmishes what-so-ever for better than a month. I told her they are probably just courting but to make sure I go and check. Sure enough Golith was attempting to eat her. I've always known Golith was exceptionally strong(See Video) but today she proved it again. Golith had Afri by chelicercae. The amazing part was Afri was being held sideways and completely off the ground. As I said Afri is my second smallest scorp but she is by no means small! I poked and prodded Golith so she'd release her and finally she did. Afri was notably stressed and had a broken chelicercae. I placed her in a container of her own in a warm, dark place and waited. There was no other visible damage to her so I assume she died from a sting. I thought it best to separate Golith from the other 2 since my newest emp, Baby is very small! I placed a piece of cardboard in the middle of the tank thereby dividing it up into two 10 gal sections. Little did I know Golith's rampage wasn't over!
    As I watched a movie latter that night I heard an odd scratching sound. When I checked on the tank I found Golith hanging half out of the glass top. She had used the cardboard to try and escape. Needless to say, my wife was VERY unhappy about this. I've tried my best to partition the tank in a way that won't interfere with opening, closing, and cleaning and that won't give her a method to climb out. This is much harder than it sounds.
    I'm not sure why this happened. I've ALWAYS overfeed Golith so I don't think it's because she was hungry and if she was she could have gone for the smaller scorp. I'm not ENTIRELY upset at the end of all of this. As mad as I am at Golith I can't help but be impressed and maybe even a bit proud of what a predator she is. So it looks like she's going to be taken out of general population and get her own private cell. Live and learn I guess...

    For those wishing to pay last respects to Afri she can be found here.

    And here is a picture of all of them together, just days before the crime!
    scorps_all_01.jpg
     
  2. quiz

    quiz Arachnoprince

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    Is golith the one that loves mice?
     
  3. Fascination

    Fascination Arachnopeon

    I think that you Golith needs a time out ! lol {D I would put and keep him seperatly from now on. You wouldn't something like this to happen again. a scorp that size is more likely to attack the smaller ones if they plainly piss him off. i sure they have bad days too.
     
  4. darrelldlc

    darrelldlc Arachnobaron Old Timer

    There goes that sad but true saying "all scorpions are communal, until they aren't" You just never know, but those are the risks we take with keeping ANY scorpion communally.
     
  5. thesupermonkey

    thesupermonkey Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Ok this is exactly my point about this scorp...
    She just gets finished munchin on one o' my other scorps and when feeding day rolls around she acts like there is some kind of famine...

    gol_06.JPG
     
  6. Leon945

    Leon945 Arachnosquire

    Wow
    I have never seen so many crickets in a scorpion's mouth!
    I have an emperor which is pretty big.. and the most i've seen is two crickets.. one in each hand.. but that's just INSANE.. very cool though...
    Sorry about Afri..
    I have 4 emperors in one tank, and they ALL live under one burrow... hopefully they will live in peace.. it's a big tank.. 30 gallons i'd say.. so there really isnt a reason for them all to live there.. but they do :eek: hehe.. so hopefully, they're all friends!
     
  7. Curry

    Curry Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I didnt think that was at all possible. DAMN. I remember one day he ate 6 adult crix THEN he proceeded to eat his cage mates TAIL, there was two segments left i think after he was done.... terrible temper he has.
     
  8. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Supermonkey,

    Actually, what you observed and the results of your Goliath's behavior has nothing to do with food but simple agonistic behavior. For whatever reason, your Goliath challenged your Afri and instead of this behavior ending at the challenge stage, it advanced to the contest stage in which, a typical non-lethal bout advances and becomes a lethal bout in which, one contestant attempts to actually kill the other.
    Typically, agonistic behaviors are utilized by most species as a form of communication that may range from non-courtship related seismic signaling (juddering or swaying) directed interspecifically or intraspecifically to contest staging in which, two specimens engage in physical contact resulting in non-lethal contact in which, a winner and loser is established thereby; a dominance hierarchy is established among contestants or within a group.
    For example: emperors in a contest will typically engage in a non-lethal bout until one flees from the other or one dominates the other. Dominance is typically established when one specimen over-powers the other or one flips the other over. Once dominance is established between contestants or among a group, such contests are abandoned.
    However, in rare cases, for reasons unknown, one contestant becomes intensely aggressive and seeks to kill the other.

    Luc
     
  9. canadianscorp

    canadianscorp Arachnodemon

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    good explanation luc, you are quite a knowledgable guy!
     
  10. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Heya Steve,

    Nothin' I didn't learn from the master teachers - the scorps themselves. I'll keep this very brief:

    Actually, I first observed this behavior in a few wc adult specimens of P. gracilior. Paruroctonus gracilior is a solitary species that only engages in social interaction during courtship and mating. It is a notorious predator of conspecifics and heterospecifics.
    I noticed that when another scorpion was introduced into an enclosure containing a specimen of P. gracilior, the specimen (occupant) would begin behaviors commonly associated with courtship and termed "juddering" and "swaying". This "alert" stage was initiated by the occupant regardless of the sex or species introduced into the enclosure of the occupant. Basically, this stage is produced when the occupant detects vibratory or seismic signals through the substrate and becomes alert to the presence of another animal and seeks to establish the identity of the intruder as either a conspecific or heterospecific; possible predator or prey.
    Next is the "challenge" stage when a physical encounter occurs after the occupant identifies a con or heterospecific and the two specimens make initial physical contact.
    The next stage is the "contest" stage in which, behaviors may involve courtship, mating, aggression or predation. This stage usually involves behaviors such as agonistic non-lethal bouts to establish a dominance hierarchy, courtship and mating behaviors or aggressive lethal bouts leading to one of the combatants being killed and in some situations, consumed by the winner. However, consumption does not always occur.
    After some time, I began to note these and similar but modified same behaviors in other species. In emperors, the males typically spend more time in the contest stage while females spend more time in the alert and challenge stages. I do believe that in at least a few scorp species, the alert stage acts as a communication tool to establish either conspecific or heterospecific identity.
    Of course, it could all be fanciful acts of imagination but I believe it's at least deserving of further investigation.

    Luc
     
  11. thesupermonkey

    thesupermonkey Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Sry Quiz wasn't ignoring you... yup Golith is the 'mouse slayer'. She has on many occasions attempted to become the 'finger slayer' but I've been pretty good at reading her so far (I really need to invest in some forceps :p). Excluding her, I've long since ceased giving my scorps mice (too stressfull for the scorp and mouse). She is the only one capable of consistantly bringing a mouse down in a minute or less. Even then I only give her one every month or so.

    I am constantly in awe at her physical strength. In her recent escape attempt she was able to partially lift a SOLID GLASS tank cover. This is a glass tank cover for a 20 gallon tank!!! She got stuck half way thankfully... but it has to weigh at least 2 or 3 lbs!!! In the video I posted the mouse died(tail became lifeless so I assume died) in no more than 15 seconds from the end of the video, that's either claw pressure or the largest dose of the most well placed sting I've ever seen. That's not even mentioning how she held Afri(at least half of her size) off the ground with only her palps for several minutes.

    A few minutes ago she found a way to skirt around the barrier I had setup. I tailed her, attempting to put her back on her own side, and she effortlessly reached up and tried to pinch me. Luckily I had my trusty pencil to keep her from curling up enough to nip me.

    Here I was expecting my Desert Hairy to be the interesting one and as it turns out, he's the one I never even see. He's buried under severel inches of sand at the moment. If it wasn't for the sand constantly changing I wouldn't even know he was alive.

    Here is some video of Golith on her feeding frenzy...
     
  12. canadianscorp

    canadianscorp Arachnodemon

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    luc,

    great explanation. i have noticed this behavior also in my emps. but usually doesnt get past the initial physical stage. although once a dominant male i had, mutilated one of the pregnant females in the enclosure, didnt consume but just tore it apart. i did not understand why this had occured, but after listening to your explanation of the challenging, and battle for dominance it actually makes alot of sense.
     
  13. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Heya Steve,

    Typically, in most scorp species it rarely advances past the initial contact stage and only rarely results in death to one of the combatants. What is unique about emperors is that once a specimen targets another particular specimen or group member, it may take months but eventually, it will kill the other.
    In my communal groups of L. quinquestriatus, bouts are typically composed of two specimens making contact, a bit of chelal fencing and a few caudal clubbing attacks and the loser draws away from the winner and that's that.
    Multiple adult males of Diplocentrus lindo when placed into the enclosure of a female may engage in very active, determined, acrobatic physical bouts that involve caudal clubbing, chelal striking, chelal fencing, body elongation (intimidation by body size comparison?), one specimen flipping the other, which typically ends the bout with the flipped specimen the loser. The winner will then initiate courtship and mating with the female.
    In my H. spadix group (1 male/2 females), I observed two bouts between wc adult females that terminated when one fem (larger) grabbed the other (chelae-to-chelae) and repeatedly clubbed the other (smaller) adult fem. In both observations, the winner was always the larger fem.
    Based on such observations, I'm beginning to believe that many of the behaviors typically termed "aggressive" by researchers and keepers may be simple to complex agonistic behaviors evolved for communication and to establish a dominance hierarchy between conspecifics. Juddering and swaying may not only be used by males and FEMALES to signal conspecifity and a willingness to mate but may be used to identify con- and heterospecifics? Who knows? Could just be BS! LOL

    Take care,
    Luc
     
  14. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    What is funny about such behaviors is that I've yet to witness them to any degree in my communal groups of Androctonus spp. In my A. mauritanicus groups, the fems all live in common retreats and will not adopt single retreats!
    Not the behavior you'd expect from such a "notorious" group of "killers".
     
  15. canadianscorp

    canadianscorp Arachnodemon

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    luc,
    i noticed the same thing in the buthid species i keep. they more or less ignore the other's Ie: walk right over eachother, they dont seem to get defensive about anything. where as with the emps ive kept, or hadrurus, they seem to be alot more terratorial. it seems almost like the bigger the scorp , the more territorial and defensive. could be coincedence though.
    changing the subject, i am getting a few A. mauritanicus. are they easy to breed? do you have any info on them, like size, venom toxicity ect...
    im not to familiar with them, and i saw that you kept some.

    thanks buddy, steve
     
  16. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Heya Steve,

    Androctonus mauritanicus - great choice!

    Family: Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837.
    Genus: Ehrenberg, 1828.
    Species: mauritanicus (Pocock, 1902).
    Sub-species: None.

    Distribution Range: Mauritania and Morocco.
    Temperature Range: Day 29-32C (85-90F); Night 21-24C (70-75F).
    RH (Humidity) Range: <50%
    Habitat Type: Arid and semi-arid regions of Saharan North Africa. Areas with consolidated sand substrate with moderate to abundant rock cover.
    Misting: bi-weekly.
    Size: In excess of 10 cm in total length.
    Pectine Tooth Count (PTC): Males 25-30; Females 20-24.
    Sexual Dimorphism: PTC above. Males also possess a chelal gap on the proximal aspect of the fixed finger. The chelal gap is lacking in females.
    Differentiating characters: Ventral surface of telson moderately granular (A. bicolor: granulation sparse - smooth; A. crassicauda: 3 well defined rows of granules).
    Venom:Neurotrophic venom that may cause severe systemic effects and fatalities.
    Communality: Groups can be maintained without difficulty, with group members rarely exhibiting agonistic behaviors and specimens may share common retreats.
    Breeding Difficulty: Easy. Introduce male into the enclosure of the female(s). A male and female can be maintained together safely.
    Gestation Period: 118-220 days.
    Number Offspring: 40-75

    Lastly, let me make one statement contrary to much of the literature and species accounts:

    While ALL Androndroctonus spp. may become defensively-reactive during certain circumstances overall, they are NOT aggressive (a commonly used, inappropriate and inaccurate term) and A. mauritanicus tend to be reclusive and inoffensive unless provoked. During a disturbance, the majority of specimens will quickly flee into nearby retreats, remain immobile or attempt concealment to elude detection. Also, during defensive reactions, caudal attacks may include clubbing or pushing and are not always penetrative in nature.

    A. mauritanicus is a large, heavily-built scorpion that due to the toxicity of its potent neurotrophic venom, has become a victim of reported gross inaccuracies and erroneous reports of behaviors associated with defense, not aggression.

    Good luck!
    Luc
     
  17. canadianscorp

    canadianscorp Arachnodemon

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    luc,

    thanks alot man! great info . sounds like i am going to enjoy keeping this species. i didnt know they got that big as well, another bonus i guess. i hope i will be successful in my breeding attemps, but either way sounds like a great spp. to observe.

    thanks again, steve
     
  18. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Steve,

    No problemo!

    As for breeding - set-up the fem in appropriate housing and allow her a 1-2 week acclimation period. Make sure to have at least 1 flat rock for spermatophore deposition in the fem's enclosure. Keep her warm, dry and well fed. During the acclimation period, keep the male well fed. After the acclimation period, introduce the male into the fem's enclosure at the end opposite her retreat.
    The male will detect the female and begin typical courtship behaviors leading to spermatophore deposition by the male and genital uptake by the female.
    After mating, the male may flee a short distance or merely remain immobile. Typically, the fem will retire into her retreat. For the next few days, keep an eye on the interactions exhibited between the fem and male. While it is not common, it has been reported that females may kill and consume males after mating.
    In my groups, the males and fems have never expressed any observable agonistic behaviors aside from the occasional push with the cauda. All of mine share common retreats and get on very well together. Currently, I have 2 gravid fems (1 at 102 mm in length; 1 at 107 mm in length).
    Another thing I've observed in my groups is that group specimens appear to be more behaviorally stable and less unpredictable than specimens kept singularly.
    The only thing I would caution during enclosure maintenance is that like other Andros - if a mauri is resting just within a retreat with the metasoma toward the entrance and the retreat is suddenly touched, startling the occupant, it will lash out with the metasoma. I've never witnessed any such attack directed with the aculeus unfolded in a penetrating angle but it still warrants a bit of caution.
    Lastly, while Andros are terrestrial in lifestyle preference, all species including, A. mauritanicus are capable climbers so keep enclosure decorations less that 1/2 the height of the inner dimensions of the enclosure or less. They have very powerful metasomas and can extend themselves upon the telson and met seg V to almost their full outstretched length + the length of the extended pedipalps (roughly 11-14 cm in length!).

    Take care,
    Luc

    While amoreuxi (if you don't have at least 3 of these, you don't know what you're missin' - very personable and stunning in appearance - like the scorp was just dipped in caramel! LOL) is my favorite Andro, mauri's and bicolor's vie for second place, with crassi's and australis bringin' up the rear.
     
  19. canadianscorp

    canadianscorp Arachnodemon

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    awesome! cant wait to get these guys and try to breed them. sounds like they are pretty basic to breed. it will be interesting to see how andro's differ from other buthids in habits and activity.(will be my first andro) I would imagine with the very powerful metasoma, and more lethal venom, they must be a very predatory, and more powerful, compared to other buthids. with all your great info you have made me very anxious for their arrival!!

    thanks for the great info,
    steve
     
  20. Prymal

    Prymal Arachnoking Old Timer

    Steve,

    While they're placed into that nebulous category of sit-and-wait ambush predators, most will actively forage and all are very skilled hunters. They can also easily detect vibratory signals from beneath the substrate surface and will dig for prey (burrowing roaches, Byrsotria fumigata).
    In my experience, typical specimens in all 5 species are ravenous feeders and it's not uncommon to observe a specimen capture 2-3 prey items at a time. A few of my mauri fems will consume two adult Blaptica dubia per feeding and will feed weekly if allowed.
    When feeding adults, do not feed too frequently or you'll have a bunch of "porkers" on your hands. Keep it to a few prey items or a single large prey item every 10-15 days/bimonthly. Some, such as A. bicolor, even after a moderate feeding will become very robust (rotund! LOL) and appear to be in the later stages of gravidity!
    Amoreuxi tend not to "plump-up" to the extent of the other members of the genus, remaining streamlined and gracile; fast-moving and agile.
    How many mauri's are ya gettin'?

    Luc