Scorpion...alcohol...suicide?

Jakob

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
May 11, 2003
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1,084
Alright,
so here in my dorm hall there is this board covered with "random useless facts" one of them stating the following:

"If you place a drop of alcohol on a scorpions body it will automatically go mad and sting itself to death"

Now I'm no expert on scorpions here...but this seems to be a bit of...I don't know...nonsense perhaps?

Fill me in,

thanks,

Jake
 

G. Carnell

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
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Oct 27, 2003
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3,611
not sure about the alcohol...

but i heard that when you surround them in flames, they dont actually try to sting themselves, but try to lasg out against the fire, and sting themselves due to the effect of the heat,

i have no idea whether this is true or not...


if you put the alcohol on the cuticle, i might assume that it doesnt even react, but inside the pleural membranes or other entrances to the body, i dunno
 

Gravy

Arachnosquire
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Joined
Jul 16, 2003
Messages
64
I can confirm this altho I don't know why, possibly some kind of reaction it has on their exo-skeleton or membrane.

Im not so sure about the flames either, i've heard they sting themselves to death though when surrounded by a ring of fire, not sure if its the heat or if they put themselves out of misery.

I can confirm this is what happens as when my Grandad found out I was keeping scorps he told me how in world war 2 they used to be found around the camps in africa, his mates used to do both of these things to scorps aswell as ocassionally keep them as pets.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Aug 15, 2002
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4,343
Nonsense -- the lot of it. I will address the fire one first. The fire one is probably the more common and ancient of the two. What actually happens is that the heat starts messing with them and they end up going into convulsions. You can see how it might be confused with suicide when you've got a stinger flailing about wildly. It is, in the end, the heat that gets them and not the sting.

As for alcohol, I'm not sure what effect it might have on them. I do know that you submerge them in alcohol for a quick kill and preservation when doing collection work for taxonomy or the likes. I don't know how much a drop would do, but I do imagine that there is a certain amount that could cause convulsions similar to those mentioned above.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Eurypterid

Arachnerd
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Nov 7, 2003
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492
I can't speak to the effects on scorpions, because I've never tried it, but I do sometimes use alcohol in a spray bottle as an insecticide (to avoid the toxic residues of more traditional poisons). It works very well (even more quickly than most commercial insecticides), and does indeed cause convulsions.

Gary
 
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