Help me ID new scorp that is WAY bigger than my Northern Scorpion

samantha

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Jul 21, 2007
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So I went back out to go camping in the eastern foothills of the central washington cascades and thought I'd pick up some substrate for the tiny, neat little scorpion I caught there earlier this year. Sure enough, I caught a WAY bigger one that flouresces all over (while my tiny northern scorpion doesn't flouress on its sides). This scorpion is easily more than three inches long!!!!!

I was thinking, is this too big to be a northern scorpion? So I typed in "washington state scorpions" and found this artice:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/getaways/116658_critters10_copy.shtml

which states:

"Scorpions live in Washington, including a rare big brown one that reaches 2 1/2 inches in length and resides in the southern part of the state, including west of the Cascades. But their sting is no worse than a bee's and is said to fade faster. Scorpions occasionally are found by campers in Eastern Washington -- my other son brought one home in a jar from a trip to the Potholes -- but really are not a problem."

Of course it would help if I had a pic up here but I won't till later when I have access to camera.
 

skinheaddave

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According to Kari McWest on his site (http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/scorpiones/states.html) you can count on P.boreus and U.mordax living in your state. There are also a few possible other species, though I imagine that those are limited to the Southern part of the state if confirmed. The most likely candidate is U.mordax (http://www.ub.ntnu.no/scorpion-files/u_mordax3.jpg) which can get to a relatively good size.

It should be noticed that the reason your one scorpion will fluoresce everywhere and the other does not has nothing to do with the species, but instead with how full it is. The membrane between the tergites (the plates on the back) and sternites (plates on the belly) is flexible to accomodate food or babies. It does not fluoresce. So when the scorpion is low on food, the plates can actually touch, concealing the membrane on the sides. When the scorpion is gravid (pregnant, but without an amniotic connection) or "fat" then it will show the membrane and thus appear not to fluoresce everywhere.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Mr. Mordax

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Samantha, does it look like this, but bigger?


That's a baby U. mordax. I hope to catch some more camping in a few weeks, but I don't know if they live at elevations as high as I'm going (around 3200').
 

samantha

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What specific parts should I compare? I can't tell the difference!

By the way, how big a deal is water (IE do they get enough moisture from the crickets they eat?), and must it be distilled?

Thanks!
 

Mr. Mordax

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What specific parts should I compare? I can't tell the difference!
I don't really know -- I've never seen your boreus or the new one you caught. I kinda IDed this one myself and had it confirmed on here. It was caught near Eugene and is supposed to have a decent range in the NW.

As for the water, I keep mine kinda damp but she doesn't have a water dish. The water doesn't need to be distilled or anything unless you have really crappy city water, and then a regular brita-type filter should be fine. I've been giving my inverts Corvallis water for years without any problems.
 

samantha

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Jul 21, 2007
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It should be noticed that the reason your one scorpion will fluoresce everywhere and the other does not has nothing to do with the species, but instead with how full it is. The membrane between the tergites (the plates on the back) and sternites (plates on the belly) is flexible to accomodate food or babies. It does not fluoresce. So when the scorpion is low on food, the plates can actually touch, concealing the membrane on the sides. When the scorpion is gravid (pregnant, but without an amniotic connection) or "fat" then it will show the membrane and thus appear not to fluoresce everywhere.
Good call! My bigger scorp just ate four(!) crickets in 24 hours (how it fit them in I have no idea), and sure enough its sides no longer flouresce!

The remaining questions for me now are:

What else should I give my scorps to round out their diets, and:

Can I put them together? I REALLY don't want the little one eaten by the big one.

Sure wish I had a camera here.

I don't really know -- I've never seen your boreus or the new one you caught. I kinda IDed this one myself and had it confirmed on here. It was caught near Eugene and is supposed to have a decent range in the NW.
What I mean is what features distinguish one species from another, when intra-species variation from specimen to specimen seems as clear to the eye as any differences between species?

As for the water, I keep mine kinda damp but she doesn't have a water dish. The water doesn't need to be distilled or anything unless you have really crappy city water, and then a regular brita-type filter should be fine. I've been giving my inverts Corvallis water for years without any problems.
Whew! OK, feeling better. I am starting to love these little things! I still can't get over the fact that I found them so close to Seattle and that they glow so brightly in the blacklight! They are a TRIP to watch!

Anyone know of any other arthropods that flouresce this way?

Thanks for your answers guys!
 
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Mr. Mordax

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To the best of my knowledge, only scorpions fluoresce like that.

As for ID, the best I can offer you is pictures of each species and leave the rest up to you (I'm sure others on this forum can go a step further).

Scroll down to P. boreus (3 pics):
http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/scorpiones/paruroctonus.html
Scroll down to U. mordax (at very bottom, also 3 pics):
http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/scorpiones/vaejovidae.html

From what I can tell, U. mordax is mostly an overall brown, while P. boreus is more yellow with a light band on the posterior edge of each tergite. I hope this helps. :)
 
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drapion

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Samantha, does it look like this, but bigger?


That's a baby U. mordax. I hope to catch some more camping in a few weeks, but I don't know if they live at elevations as high as I'm going (around 3200').
Heart,

U.mordax are located as high as you will be camping!!!The ones in the higher elevations tend to be bigger and fewer in numbers..So don't plan on finding to many of them but the ones you will find should be pretty good sized!! Enjoy
 

Mr. Mordax

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Re: Drapion

SWEET!!! My new blacklight flashlight of awesomeness came in the mail a few days ago, so I'm all set. {D

Re: Samantha

I noticed a few things in your post that we didn't address earlier. As for rounding out their diets, crickets are a good all-around food source for the majority of invert predators. Make sure they're well-fed before feeding them off (either gutloading cricket food or a variety of fruits and veggies). If you want to vary the diet of your scorps, you can try mealworms and a variety of cockroach species.

I wouldn't keep them together -- unless it's a communal species cannibalism is a very real risk and it's even greater with interspecies communities (just search for how many people have regretted putting an emp in with a cavimanus or an H. spinifer :().

Any luck with pictures? Maybe someone will take a few for you and email them your way.
 
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