scorplings making jerky movements

mstalcup

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Oct 11, 2015
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A couple (or maybe three) out of my new brood of H. arizonensis is acting very strange. They are moving in a jerky, uncoordinated way sort of like something is stuck to their legs. They won't eat. They won't dig. All the others are doing fine. What's happening? Edit: I looked more carefully and it seems that only two are acting strange.
I'm wondering if it could be from chemical exposure, but I can't figure out how that could have happened. I'm wondering about the cleanness of the gravel I bought in the landscaping department at Home Depot. I used it as part of my false bottom strategy. The scorplings dug down to that bottom in no time and they were hauling up the pieces of gravel and placing them outside their burrows. I have the sand/excavator clay about three inches deep, which to me seemed like a good amount for such a tiny (2nd-instar) creature. Another thing I thought of is that a friend is dealing with a bedbug infestation and I may have had a trace amount of pesticides on my body, but I wouldn't just touch them without at least washing my hands. I'm hoping I can do something to help these two juvenile scorps. Up until the last week they were eating and behaving normally. I'm afraid they might be really sick.
 
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pannaking22

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Did you wash off the gravel really well before putting it in? You probably will want to try to get them to molt quickly, so I'd bump up the temp and see if they eat more after that.
 

mstalcup

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Oct 11, 2015
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Did you wash off the gravel really well before putting it in? You probably will want to try to get them to molt quickly, so I'd bump up the temp and see if they eat more after that.
Thank you very much for your suggestions. I rinsed the gravel first. The gravel was sold as "decorative pea pebbles." I've got the temperature high during the day. I'm thinking of starting all over with rehousing and using new sterilized substrate, and this time I'll thoroughly rinse the pebbles with boiling water. I have 28 to rehouse.
 

mstalcup

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Oct 11, 2015
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Unfortunately one of my scorplings got worse and started writhing, twisting its metasoma, and had drawn up its legs on one side and was unable to walk. I am new to all of this, but I assume that this is not a normal sign of molting to third instar. Have any of you had this kind of experience? There is another one displaying similar signs, but not as much. I'm in sort of a panic. Any suggestions?
 

pannaking22

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Probably best to start from scratch then.

That definitely doesn't sound like normal behavior to me. How does it look today? If it's still acting like that it might be best to put it in the freezer and end it. I haven't had that happen with any of my scorps before and I'll admit scorps aren't my focus so I don't know quite as much about them
 

_scorpio_

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Apr 11, 2008
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Sounds similar to DKS in tarantulas but it isnt something i have seen in scorpions before. Does sound like poisoning of some kind though so i would definitely rehouse the unaffected ones first.
I have seen this caused in a collection of tarantulas before by use of a mite removal spray in an adjacent room which caused the death of 30+ tarantulas overnight, so i wouldnt rule out the bedbug pesticide as a possibility.
H. arizonensis in my experience do their best to molt in their burrows, so its probably not that.
 

mstalcup

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Probably best to start from scratch then.

That definitely doesn't sound like normal behavior to me. How does it look today? If it's still acting like that it might be best to put it in the freezer and end it. I haven't had that happen with any of my scorps before and I'll admit scorps aren't my focus so I don't know quite as much about them
Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this. Unfortunately, the one I described above was in such bad shape that I froze it last night. It looks like I have two more that have the same sickness. It looks like everybody else in the brood is still doing fine.
 

mstalcup

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Oct 11, 2015
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Sounds similar to DKS in tarantulas but it isnt something i have seen in scorpions before. Does sound like poisoning of some kind though so i would definitely rehouse the unaffected ones first.
I have seen this caused in a collection of tarantulas before by use of a mite removal spray in an adjacent room which caused the death of 30+ tarantulas overnight, so i wouldnt rule out the bedbug pesticide as a possibility.
H. arizonensis in my experience do their best to molt in their burrows, so its probably not that.
Thank you very much. I have seen people's posts about DKS in tarantulas and even watched videos of the symptoms. My scorps are acting exactly that way. I have had to freeze two of them and probably will have to freeze a third. As far as the cause goes, I suspect the pesticide on my hands or clothes. Two days ago I put an air purifier with a HEPA filter in the room. I am about to clean every surface in the room. I will also start rehousing the remainder of the brood. I really appreciate your input.
 

gromgrom

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No idea, but i could easily assume it. Any word of pesticides is a good guess.
 

mstalcup

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Oct 11, 2015
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No idea, but i could easily assume it. Any word of pesticides is a good guess.
Thank you. As of now, no other scorpion in the brood looks sick, so I'm optimistic that these are isolated incidences of illness (poisoning perhaps). Each of the scorplings is housed in its own enclosure, completely separated from the others.
 

Scorpionluva

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Definitely sounds like a chemical exposure of some type Some of the decorative pea gravel can be colored or altered and would not make a great addition to your tanks Might want to try a few with no pea gravel at all with sterilized substrate also incase the gravel turns out to be the culprit. This could potentially rule it out also. Best of luck with your babies and keep us posted :)
 

mstalcup

Arachnopeon
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Oct 11, 2015
Messages
28
Definitely sounds like a chemical exposure of some type Some of the decorative pea gravel can be colored or altered and would not make a great addition to your tanks Might want to try a few with no pea gravel at all with sterilized substrate also incase the gravel turns out to be the culprit. This could potentially rule it out also. Best of luck with your babies and keep us posted :)
Thank you for the tips. I wasn't using colored gravel; they look like ordinary river stones. Everything is looking better now. I think most of them are doing great.
 
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