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Canabalism

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
So I woke up this morning to find an unpleasant surprise in my communal Heterometrus spinnifer enclosure. One of my females was busy eating my other female (while my male hid in the back corner, natch). Lighting up the enclosure to take a pic scared her off, though, so I now have retreived the dead scorpion long enough to take pics. I may return her to the tank so the others can feed.

I must say I am a little intrigued by the whole event. There are still crickets visible in the tank, so it isn't likely to be a hunger-driven event. Tamara also noted that Madame Hortense (the canibal) was quite fat yesterday -- meaning she was either fed or I'm getting somewhere with this captive breeding endevour.

The last thing of note is that the very tip (<=2mm) of Isabella's sting was broken off. I would be very interested to know how that came about. Did MH break it off? Did she sting the glass or rock and have it break off? Very interesting, indeed.

Anyways, just thought I'd share the experience with people. If anyone has any questions about relevent factors I will try to answer them as best I can.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
I can only comment based on my experience with Pandinus, but since they're very simmilar...

I've had groups together that seemed to do fine for long periods, when suddenly someone goes postal and kills and/or eats annother scorpion. Why is hard to say, but since I never hesitate to pose a totally unscientific theories, here goes mine:

I suspect that gravid females, as the time for birth draws near, become increasingly territorial. This makes sense, for while a female may not eat her own offspring, others may not be so kind. She may feel the need to get other scorps away, and since there's no where for them to go, she ends up killing them.

Just a thought.

Wade
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
4,343
Your theory sounds very plausable and certainly goes along with some anecdotal evidence provided by other people both on other forums and who I've talked to in person. As for the time of birthing drawing near, she is not nearly fat enough at this time. She's already given me a litter and she was HUGE before dropping those.

One thing I will say -- comparing some Pandinus comunities I know of to my own H.spinnifer community -- the H.spinnifer fight a LOT more. Not a lot, but more than the Pandinus. In fact, when Tank (my male) goes on the prowl for a mate, there is usualy a fight or two. Most of them are completely harmless, and rarely is there stinging involved. I have, however, lost two scorpions to canabalism. The first was predated after moulting. The second last night. Still, not bad for a few years.

So far my communal C.exilicauda enclosure has shown no canabalism, but it is relatively new.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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