New emperor help

NickW

Arachnopeon
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Sep 8, 2016
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Hi,

I purchased this girl yesterday. I was told she was a wild caught Pandinus imperator and that she may be gravid. I also noticed that there is a big dent on the top of her telson and the tip of the stinger is missing. Is there a sure fire way to tell if she is gravid? Is the damaged stinger/telson going to cause any issues?

Thank you!

-Nick
 

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Tleilaxu

Arachnoprince
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She currently does not look gravid, but feed her up and make sure she has a Small water dish and a comfortable place to hide. I would not be overly concerned with her telson emperor's rely more on their claws to get prey. In the eight years I have kept the species I have never once seen them use their stinger.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Tleilaxu/media/Picture_046.jpg.html?sort=3&o=322

Here is my gravid female emperor for comparison.
 
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darkness975

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That is a large size female P. imperator. The damage to the telson unfortunately will not go away given that it appears to be a fully matured specimen. However, this species does not really rely on their venom for feeding so you should not see too much of an issue there as long as you feed it the appropriate sized prey. She will use her chela and chelicerae to break up her food.
 

Galapoheros

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Congrats, that is a sought after scorpion, Pandinus dictator, and yeah it could be gravid. I can tell it's dictator by the very granulated carapace, more "spikey" looking metasoma and they have a more elongated look to them than most imperators. They also lack a strong triangular feature imperators typically have behind the eyes. They tend to lengthen more when gravid or when they fatten up than imperators do so, good luck with it. I don't think an import is going to happen with those again any time soon. Apparently that last one wasn't exactly legal but I don't know the details.
 

NickW

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Thank you all for the replies!

Galapoheros, do you know of a guide for differentiating between dictator and imperator? I don't mean to doubt your knowlage in any way, some type of guide with pictures would just be helpful to someone new such as myself. I would like to see if I can confirm ,without a doubt, the true species in case she is gravid. I can also post more pictures as well. A misidentification from the shop would be dissapointing but maybe not so much in this instance. Thank you so much for the information!
 

Galapoheros

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I understand that, you need proof. Unfortunately I haven’t found any real good imperator vs. dictator diagrams or pictures on the internet. Stuff is out there but I just haven’t seen real good comparisons. Mine came from a more exotic pet store and they were labeled dictator, I heard some of the story about their arrival. I sent pics to somebody that specializes in the genus and he basically said he wanted one and that yes he ‘thought’ they were dictator, still not hard proof though. Then I saw pics of an import seizure of scorpions that were identified as dictator, it’s probably still on the internet. I looked as close as I could and could barely see the carapace features I’ve noticed compared to imperator. Too bad, I know that is still not scientific documented proof you’re looking for. But what I can do is take pics of my imperators compared to dictators I have and post them. I’m convinced that some people would have paid $500 or more for a dictator 5 to 10 years ago, they were impossible to get, but then apparently people kind of forgot about them. Then dictator recently showed up in the US in an import and people are like, “What, what are these things?”
 

Collin Clary

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There is a guide for differentiating P. dictator from other species, unfortunately it requires looking at the trichobothria on the ventral side of the chela, which is best done with dead specimens or shed exoskeletons.

That being said, P. dictator does have other distinguishing features, such as the shape of the chela and amount of granulation on the carapace and tergites. So, if you could get clear pics of those areas, it would be helpful.
 

Galapoheros

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Better more practical way here imo, or at least more practical, this may help some others too, been wanting to post it for a while now, imperator on the left, dictator on the right in fist pic.











Pandinus imperator tends to have larger pectines than Pandinus dictator whether male or female.

 
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NickW

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Wow incredibly helpful pictures! I've spent all day reading posts and trying to track down scientific wrintings. These are by far the best comparison pictures out there. Are they your scorpions? I did see a few articles reguarding the trichobothria. Counting those sounds like quite the task haha. As soon as I'm home from class I'll take some better pictures.
 

Galapoheros

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Yeah these scorpions are over here at the shack, I have many of each, I’ve been building up breeding stock. I have big imperators I’ve been working on with breeding. I’ve always had a problem with some formal science documentation where they don’t display pictures. Instead they have somebody meticulously draw a diagram showing identifying features. No, I want to see pictures of the features up close, maybe with diagrams supplementing the pictures, or visa-versa, either way, in my opinion, pictures are best, not drawings.
 

NickW

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Here are a few pictures. I'm not a photographer by any means and I was having trouble with getting the proper lighting. If there are any areas I missed or any unclear pictures I'll try again. 20160920_191149.jpg 20160920_191213.jpg 20160920_191344.jpg 20160920_191651.jpg 20160920_190456.jpg

The picture of the pectines is horrible now that I look at. The last one was to show how plump she is. I do see a lot of simalarities to your dictator.

Thanks again!
 

Galapoheros

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100% imo, what is being called dictator here and on the internet in general, so far. Yeah good odds it's gravid also but sexing these out has been a little difficult for me, there isn't as much sexual dimorphism as there is with imperator.
 

Collin Clary

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@Galapoheros Excellent photos! I will point out that many of the new papers actually do have pictures now though.

@NickW It certainly is quite tedious to count trichobothria. Your scorpion does indeed appear to be a P. dictator.

I'm going to give descriptions of both species based on my research of the scientific literature, and my own examination of specimens.

Description of Pandinus imperator: Length 120-220 mm. Base color uniformly brown to reddish black, vesicle of telson usually lighter and often red in adults and lighter in juveniles. Prosoma with carapace almost smooth with fine punctae. Mesosoma with tergites weakly granulated, particularly in the posterior and lateral areas; sternites smooth; pectine teeth number 15-19. Spiniform formula of tarsomere II on legs I-IV = 4/3: 4-5/3: 4-5/2-3: 4-5/2-3. Tarsomere II with 2 spines on inclined anteroventral surface. Pedipalps with dorsal surface of chela granulated, chela with 3 internal trichobothria and 9-14 ventral trichobothria. Length to depth ratio of 4th metasomal segment greater than 2.

Description of Pandinopsis dictator: Length 100-180 mm. Base color uniformly blackish brown to black, vesicle of telson usually lighter and often red in adults and lighter in juveniles. Prosoma with carapace well granulated. Mesosoma with tergites granulated, particularly in the posterior and lateral areas; sternites smooth, except the last one, which is granulated; pectine teeth number 12-15. Pedipalps with dorsal surface of chela strongly granulated, chela with 2 internal and 4 ventral trichobothria.

Note: I have yet to examine the spiniform formulas of tarsomere II for this species, and I cannot find this information in the literature I currently have access to. Once one of my specimens molts, I will be able to look at the exoskeleton under a microscope and determine this.

The attached image is from page 5 of this PDF: http://www.european-arachnology.org/wdp/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AM49_47-54_Rossi.pdf
 

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Galapoheros

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I think it has to do with getting over old habits, "because we've always done it that way" mentality. Diagrams have their place of course but photography and images offer more, the tech is there now. I do see that it's trending more. Strange to me that it has taken so long. I've seen that pdf and pics but to me they are inadequate, they don't show enough differentiation imo. I feel they should zoom in and point to features on the pictures, maybe supplemented by diagrams. Well, I felt bad saying "inadequate", it works but imo it could be made easier and better in a more simple way imo with macro pics and labeling.
 
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NickW

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Awesome! That is good to hear. Now I guess the tricky part is going to be finding her/him a mate after we find out the sex.

@Scorpion1998100 thank you for that guide. Very helpful.

Thank you both for your extensive knowlage and taking the time to share and help me with this.

I'll update with any new action.
 

Galapoheros

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Because of the bloated look and seeing the prolific nature of these in the store here, I'd bet that it is female and that it is gravid. imo, there's a good chance you could see babies in 1 to 6 months. Who needs a man?! hahaha. A lady that cut my hair said that one time. I have some babies that came out of the store here, many of the imports had babies.
 
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