Scorpions underwater.

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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This is my first scorion post so I thought that would start off with a strange story that peaked my scientific curiosity.

During my college days I was traping craw fish in a local canal. I pulled up my trap and there were about fifty craw fish in the trap and one Veajovis sp. scorpion. To my suprize it was alive. I kept it for some time because it was the scorpion that I had caugh while fishing.

That same year when the same canal was shut down I found a water hole full of catfish. I saved one of the young fish to raise in an aquarium. I couldn't get the fish to eat anything as it didn't appriciate the clear water and the light. I remembered the veajovis sp. that had survived underwater and decided to try to feed the fish one of my many Centruroides sculpturatus, that I had collected for my first venom reserch project, hoping the catfish would sight hunt his prey. The scorpion wouldn't stay submerged because it was incased in a thin layer of air so I put a brick at the bottom and placed the scorpion on the brick. It held on and began crawling all over the brick because it had nothing else to hold onto. I turned off the lights and let it stay down there all night. In the morning it was still there crawling around on the brick. Days passed and it was still there just crawling around. I decided to leave him there and see how long it would go on. After I had given up trying different foods for the fish I decided to end the experiment with the scorpion and release the fish. I jotted down a few notes on the time the scorpion had spent underwater and removed it still alive. It seemed like a novel experiment for the future but I was too busy at the time.

I never got back to doing an experiment on how long C. sculpturatus could live underwater. When I thought about sharing this story with everyone it occured to me that people would say that I was full of it so I looked it up. It is well documented that a scorpion can live for up to 48 hours underwater, just on the air that it stores in it's book lungs, but mine lived underwater for much longer, I want to say over a week (I wish I still had that note book). The thin layer of air around the scorion never dissapeared (so it wasn't just surviving on the air in it's book lungs). This may be because it was able to crawl around on the brick with ease instead of thrashing around in the water dissipating the layer of air until it sank. It could also be that it was able to reach the bubbler. I thought back to an early excursion where I had rushed out after a monsoon had inundated the flood plane eager to find everything that had fled their flooded burrows only to come up empty handed. Were they just still down there calmly breathing a thin layer of air that encased their bodies? Thoughts.

Here is someone else's video of submerging a Babycurus gigas. Notice at 1:30 the scorpion emerges and goes back down encased in a thin layer of air.
 
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DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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This person found his AFS purposely going into the water and spending time under

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/seen-my-afs-dive-underwater-is-it-normal.286252/
That is something I have wondered about but never observed.

Did the Veajovis enter the water deliberately or did I just catch it in my trap as it was helplessly swept along the bottom? If it was deliberate was it atracted to the bait in the trap or was it just a one in a million chance that I caught it when the sides of the trap were drawn shut? How well can a scorpion latch onto bottom mud? Is this a natural behavior that is more common than we would imagine?
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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Having an abundance of C. sculpturatus outside I feel kind of bligated to run a few experiments in the future.
 

ArachnoDrew

Arachnoprince
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Most of the comments in the AFS post are people skeptic on wether in purposely wanted to swim or was it being drawn down by the bubbles from the pump. But never got a test out of the video owner to see if it would still dive with it off. Crazy to see how they can adapt
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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Now I really am wondering if the Veajovis was scavenging underwater and found the bait in the trap.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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Most of the comments in the AFS post are people skeptic on wether in purposely wanted to swim or was it being drawn down by the bubbles from the pump. But never got a test out of the video owner to see if it would still dive with it off. Crazy to see how they can adapt
Someone posted another video on that thread of a scorpion entering the water on it's own. I asked if he had ever tried to kill a fish and see if his scorpion scavenged under water.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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I suspect the Vaejovis simply fell in the water. Can probably survive quite awhile underwater like their 400 million years ago ancestors. Who knows?
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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I suspect the Vaejovis simply fell in the water. Can probably survive quite awhile underwater like their 400 million years ago ancestors. Who knows?
That is what I had originally thought. I'm not so sure anymore. I'm not saying that it did because I didn't observe it, but I am thinking of setting up some enclosures where they have the option to dive and see what happens. Being a desert species I would first assume that underwater survival is a way to survive monsoon flooding. There is another possibility though. Spadefoot's lay their eggs in every pool of water available after a summer rain. Puddles and ponds are teaming with tadpoles all summer. As they dry up there are more tadpoles than water in the end. This could be a great food rescource to any invert that could access it. Canals and stock ponds are man made and are not as full of food as the water sonoran species would naturally encounter. The scorpion either had to fall off of something above the water or it crawled in. Veajovis aren't very avid climbers so it could have just tumbled down the bank. It is a curiosity.
 

darkness975

dream reaper
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To me it sounds like extreme luck that it ended up there. It probably got trapped. I doubt it submerged on its own. They are not aquatic swimming hunters.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
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As of yet no one has observed a scorpion hunt or feed underwater. People have observed some species enter the water deliberately in captivity. I'm considering setting up the conditions in a terrarium for desert species to enter shallow water 1-6" to hunt tadpoles. Just out of curiosity.
 
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