Ecdysial Cocoon

Mark Newton

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It can be quite an achievement getting some of our scorpions through ecdysis. I have discovered putting them into small sealed containers will often do the trick, at least for obligate burrowing rock dwellers.

This one is Urodacus elongatus ,an obligate rock dwelling burrower from South Australia. A strongly sexually dimorphic species with incredibly aggressive females. I tend to think the aggression has evolved due to limited rock space, common amongst non-communal rock dwellers.






 

Brian S

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It can be quite an achievement getting some of our scorpions through ecdysis. I have discovered putting them into small sealed containers will often do the trick, at least for obligate burrowing rock dwellers.
Now that is extremely interesting. Doesnt look like there would be enough room in the vial. So tell me, how did you figure that little trick out?
 

Mark Newton

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Now that is extremely interesting. Doesnt look like there would be enough room in the vial. So tell me, how did you figure that little trick out?
I replicated what they do in the wild. They create a sealed off cocoon underground in a very short burrow. This occurs over summer when most other scorpions are active. I spend a lot of time looking at scorpions in the wild, its my main passion and teaches me a lot about improving husbandry.
 

Crono

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This is making me wonder if other species kept elsewhere would benefit from this approach.
Thanks for sharing
Dave Mc
 

EAD063

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Mark, I assume the vile is showing for documentations sake, but this would normally be covered with substrate correct? Also, for air, do you put air holes in the plastic top of the vile and leave that pertruding out from your hand made cocoon?

Ed
 

Rigelus

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Yes, that looks very interesting Mark.
Any idea what the problem is that's inhibiting them from making such a cocoon in captivity.?
/Bryan
 

fusion121

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Really interesting idea, husbandry of species like Hadrurus could really benefit from this method, they generally refuse to moult under normal conditions.

Its likely a problem with substrate consistency and moisture gradients that stop them doing this normally in captivity.
 

Mark Newton

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Mark, I assume the vile is showing for documentations sake, but this would normally be covered with substrate correct? Also, for air, do you put air holes in the plastic top of the vile and leave that pertruding out from your hand made cocoon?

Ed

Normally I just have the vile under a piece of bark to keep the direct light off it. I dont bury it, no point. No air holes. If there were air holes the scorpion would die. In the wild the scorpion make a small sealed off cocoon underground that has no air.
 

Mark Newton

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Yes, that looks very interesting Mark.
Any idea what the problem is that's inhibiting them from making such a cocoon in captivity.?
/Bryan
I have had them do this in captivity. They just need to be kept in a tank with deep enough substrate. Because I have so many scorpions I keep them in small containers stacked on top of each other so their normal behaviour is somewhat restricted. When I see signs of a pending ecdysis I'll pop the scorp into one of these vials and presto, works a treat.
 

EAD063

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Normally I just have the vile under a piece of bark to keep the direct light off it. I dont bury it, no point. No air holes. If there were air holes the scorpion would die. In the wild the scorpion make a small sealed off cocoon underground that has no air.
Wow, then they must absorb O2 through from the air very well. Keeping it out of direct light was what I was more curious about. :) Thanks.
 

Mark Newton

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Wow, then they must absorb O2 through from the air very well. Keeping it out of direct light was what I was more curious about. :) Thanks.
Scorpions have such incredibly low metabolic rates they can survive inside small air tight places for a long time. I keep all my obligate burrowers in sealed containers, otherwise death is inevitable. Its the desert scropions that are most vulnerable to water loss.....believe it or not.
 

EAD063

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Yes, for the most part. Is that a general statment of the assuie desert type scorpions? I know the H hottentotta family consumes a somewhat abnormal amount of water, but on the other hand hadrudrus seem to excel at excreting small amounts of water.

We here at AB know VERY litte about Aussie scorps unfortunately.
 

Mark Newton

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We here at AB know VERY litte about Aussie scorps unfortunately.
:D Not much is known over her either.

Our obligate burrowers are sit and wait predators which means they dont spend much time above ground. Only for short periods if they really need to, as in males searching for a partner and for removing soil. They wait for prey at the base of the mouth of the burrow. The burrow mouth is actually a trap such as ant lions build. They otherwise spend their whole lives in a subterranean environment which has temps around 15-25C and high humidity due to the soils low matric tension and water content. Some species do NOT drink free water, but derive water via osmosis. Those burrowers that live under rocks are far more water loss tolerant due to being exposed to a greater range of climatic variables.
 

Mark Newton

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dont only u.yashcenkoi drink by osmosis?
well....they are certainly the species I know for sure that does, but I would be pretty sure other arid adapted species might, such as Urodacus armatus, Urodacus centralis etc....if I had some of these in captivity I could run some tests. I do want to do some testing on U armatus as they are found sympatrically with U yaschenkoi, but occupy a silt like clay soil that yaschenkoi wont occupy. The matric tension of the clay will of course be much higher and so I'm assuming they dont use osmosis....but they still might be capable at lower soil tensions. I cant imagine osmosis being restricted to one species.
 
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