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The P. Dictator

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Deolok, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Advertisement
    I see... Well judging by the picture the P. Dictator and P. Imperator are very relative in size (though I would like to believe that the Dictator dwarfs the Imperator). Buts lets take a look at some qualities that make the P. Dictator an interesting specimen.

    • Overall Size
    • Location of Habitat
    • Behavior?
    • Life Span
    • Mating Rituals

    Some of these things are what might make the Dictator substantial among the rest of the Pandinius. But at an estimate (and anyone else's estimate would be appreciated), but how much do you think these Scorpions are worth in the pet trade? I would like to start them at $300. Is that reasonable or extremly blown out of proportion? I say that much because someone obviously must have risked their lives to retrieve one/some...
     
  2. For all of those I would say they would be the same as P. imperator. and i'm not sure about the demand and price, i can't comment.
     
  3. Well shoot, even habitat even? I guess if you could find dictators you'd find imperators. Anyways, sudden thought of idea, who gave the Dictator its name?

    With some further research (and hoping that I read it correctly)

    http://www.internationalwildlifelaw.org/singapore1.pdf

    On page 28, the Dictator is listed, along with the Imperator, which is odd.

    The Dictator is listed in the trade, but is considered an endangered species. Odd enough though someone can be fined, but not exceeding $2000, for retrieving one without a license. Seems a bit harsh, no?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  4. pandinus

    pandinus Arachnoking Old Timer

    P. imperator is considered endangered (if by endangered you mean it is on the CITES II list), but it is in the trade as well. The habitat you find dictators in is almost identical to where you find imperators, the difference is the range. To be honest, i might pay as much for a dictator as i would a P. cavimanus. The only allure of the dictator would be the novelty of having it, other than that 90% of us probably couldnt tell the difference between them and an imperator, as the only true difference is a slight difference in trichobothria.
    The good news is that if you dont feel ready for the more hot spp, or you just dont share the fascination of them with people like me and brian, there are many other scorpions that are unusual in their behavior and size and color. here is just a small sampling of some of these scorpions from the scorpionidae family:

    -Heterometrus cyaneus: as mentioned before, this spp. is only slightly smaller than an emp, is very active/aggressive, and gives off a nice faint blue sheen.
    pic

    -Opistothalmus spp: these scorpions go by the names of hissing, tri-color, and burrowing scorpions. They are large, colorful, feisty, and typically available in the hobby.
    O. carinatus O. glabifrons

    -Diplocentrus whitei: a rare sp. from the southwestern US. Diplocentrus is the only genus of Scorpionidae found in the US. a larger scorpion by US standards, it looks like a shrunken emperor. Secretive but active little guys that have been described by some as having a faint purple sheen in the right light.
    pic

    -Heterometrus longimanus: another asian heterometrus sp. This species is one of the more unusual of the common heterometruses. Like all of them, it grows large, and is very active/agressive. The features of this scorpion that make it appealing are the blue-black sheen it gives off, as well as the incredibly long pedipalps that are present in the mature males of this species which, in some instances can be as long as the entire mesosoma.
    pic

    -Scorpio maurus: another of the slightly smaller scorpionids, this sp. has several subspecies all of which vary greatly in color. The most common in the states is S. m. palmatus. The scorpion is very colorful as well as agressive. The availability of this scorpion varies, being easy to find sometimes, almost impossible at other times. They are a highly coveted and exemplerary captive and make great specimens because of their active lifestyle.
    S. maurus S. m. palmatus

    -Pandinus cavimanus: A slightly smaller emperor with double the attitude. The colors of this spp. can vary greatly but they are usually brown with red claws. The males of this sp. have dents in their claws that aid in holding the female's claws during courtship.
    pic

    So you see, even if the dictator turned out to be a bust, that doesnt mean that this family doesnt hold tons of other fascinating spp. many of which are comonly available in the trade. and remember, just because a scorpion is common doesnt mean it isnt fun!

    John
     
  5. P.jasonius

    P.jasonius Arachnobaron

    There are a couple of papers, which I don't have access to, that may be of help in this topic. If anyone has access to these, and would like to share, please pm me.


    Systematics and biogeography of the family Scorpionidae (Chelicerata : Scorpiones), with a discussion on phylogenetic methods
    authors: Lorenzo Prendini, Timothy M. Crowe and Ward C. Wheeler
    journal: Invertebrate Systematics vol 17


    Recognition and distribution of the scorpions of the genus Pandinus Thorell, 1876 accorded protection by the Washington convention
    authors: LOURENCO W. R., CLOUDSLEY-THOMPSON J. L.
    journal: Biogeographica vol 72

    [edit]Someone was kind enough to send me a copy of "Systematics..."; Thanks.

    and sorry about the pics that got the thread off topic, sometimes I just can't help myself...
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  6. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Neither of these documents is going to be of much use. The former deals primarily with taxonomy at the genus level and contains none of the things people are looking for. The later paper provided the image that was posted by Oliver a few posts back.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  7. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    The name that appears after the species name is the person who described it. Sometimes this is even followed by the date of the paper in which it was described. In other words, your question can be answered by looking at any paper in a peer-reviewed journal that mentiones the species. Or, you could go to the scorpion files and find out. Or just put "Pandinus dictator" in google and find out. Pocock. 1888.

    A child marvels at the moon. He has heard that it is a big piece of cheese. His father explains that it is a satelite circling the earth. He draws a diagram to explain its rotation. Then he cuts out paper and, using a desk lamp, illustrates how shadowing creates the lunar cycle. Better yet, he is an educated man. He explains the history of lunar exploration and sumarizes all the data we have to date. He discusses composition, theories of origin, the effects of the moon on earth, the role of the moon in human culture throughout the ages.

    "Wow," says the child, "we sure don't know much about the moon. Must be a big piece of cheese." Needless to say, the kid is not on his way to becoming an astronaut.

    I don't know what is more disturbing. This whole thread or the fact that nobody who comes across it in a later search is going to read past the first page.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     


  8. Well thats a tad bit insulting... I posted this thread awhile back in hopes of finding more information about these "rare" scorpions and no that I have not gotten information, but I also have taken on plenty of "stupid ideas" and "This scorpion is nothing." Everyone on this forum, including myself, make big deals about identifing species and what makes them different from one another, yet when it comes to the Dictator it seems like people really dont care about it or its characteristics... Kinda disappointing ya'know?

    And I have herd plenty of information skinheaddave, and I have taken all of it in very well. It does not change the fact that something about the P. Dictator is incredibly interesting...
     
  9. I thought so too, if you go back through this thread you'll see some lighthearted banter and some fluff by all of us, but out of Dave's 13 posts the first reply he says (1) "you gotta know what you are doing to collect these" then he (2) comments on a pictures origins, then (3-7) 5 off topic posts about buthids, then (8-10) tear downs of a couple of 'posters', then (11) comments on a picture, then (12) rip on someones genuine attempt to locate some papers, and then (13) blasts everyone here with his last comment.

    Sure I agree anyone with lack of interest searching for the P dictator info, coming across this thread will stop early on due to fluff, but my interest kept me going through the first pages and to the end. I then posted some info on this subject as did others who made it through the fluff. All in all the one who did not post any useful info on the subject is 'Dave' interesting...

    Thaedion
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  10. Crono

    Crono Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I would say pointing out dead ends before anyone goes to the time and trouble of reaching them is very useful.
    But then again that's the guy with 5 term papers to write speaking;)
     
  11. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    You really consider this a "rip?" Telling someone that neither document is going to be of much use? I've read both -- neither has a speck of information that has not already been sumarized in this thread. I've gotten my hands on many papers in my time and the most frustrating thing has always been going to some effort to get a paper that doesn't have the info I wanted. I understand how my last post in this thread can be seen as insulting -- it was meant to be -- but if you consider the post in question here to be insulting then you have some serious issues in your quest for knowledge.

    Not everyone. Just a select group of people here and on every other message board on the 'net.

    Yeah. Very interesting. Do you know why? Because Dave does not want to contribute speculation. Dave does not care enough to spend the money and time to get the few papers he doesn't already have. Dave does not want to hastle his personal contacts or the two people who have been shown through this thread to have personal contact with P.dictator in the wild. I do not want to hastle them over some half-baked fantasy of getting a bug for the sake of the money. Granted, I should have done what Oliver did and post the range map sooner. I was sort of hoping that someone asking the questions might be enterprising enough to garner that information themselves. Other than that, I don't see why I, or anyone else, should be required to spoon-feed an audience without enough genuine interest in the matter to even do a bit of background reading.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  12. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    You've been given distribution and physical characters used to distinguish it from its closest relatives.

    You've been given at least two potential contacts for further information.

    You've been given some citations and even spoon-fed information from one of them.

    You've been given a hint of what would be involved to go into the field. You've been given enough leads that you can follow up on preserved specimens as well.

    Yet all we hear is that this is a mysterious scorpion and inquiries as to how much $$$ can be made.

    Does anyone see how this is frustrating to me?

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  13. P.jasonius

    P.jasonius Arachnobaron

    Just a follow up; I didn't find this to be a "rip" at all. Dave has helped me find and acquire papers in the past and it is appreciated. If he tells me that it isn't worth reading, it probably isn't. I wished to find some publications containing a Pandinus ID key, and thought that was it.
    Oh, and if you expect a skinhead not to insult from time to time, friend, acquaintance, or otherwise, then you've never known a skin.
    Oi!
     
  14. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Just to clarify, the Prendini paper is definitely worth reading. It has nothing of real importance regarding P.dictator, but for what it is -- a discussion of genus -- it is well worth a read.

    Incidentally, the paper in question can be found at http://scorpion.amnh.org/index.html along with a whole bunch of other good ones.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  15. P.jasonius

    P.jasonius Arachnobaron

    Yes, that's what I wanted it for. Thanks for the link.
     
  16. Well I only ask the money question because it is always in the back of someones mind. I can honestly say that I really just want this scorpion for the sake of having it and to observe it. Deep in the back of my mind I wonder to myself very much as to what makes it so amazing. Possibly it is my own speculation that makes it so amazing, but hell! Who knows? According to Dave I must be rather ignorant. Anyways....

    I search for new infromation about twice a week on the P. Dictator just because I am curious, I know some of you may view that as stupid or as pointless, but it is no different than looking up information for other scorpions. Why do people visit this forum? To find infromation about scorpions, and it just so happens I am trying to find information about the Dictator. I can't do it alone, I am to young, not smart enough, don't have the financial support, nor the education to go out and start exploring for them. I thank you for all your information that you have given to me...

    I would still like to continue this thread, but if all you are going to do is cut down the theory and thoughts behind locating, breeding, information, and/or etc. of the Dictator please dont bother saying it...Chances are...We have already herd it.
     
  17. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    The search itself isn't stupid or pointless, per se, but the way you are approaching it is. To expect the answers to just pop up online is about as ridiculous as expecting people to become as obsessed as you and spoon-feed you the information. You may not be able to do it alone, but you are definitely going to have to put in some effort of your own -- and not just effort in terms of hours spent, but directed effort in terms of generating a plan to actually acquire the information and then pursuing that plan. The first step in the plan ought to be writing down everything you KNOW to date. And I don't mean things that you or others have speculated about, but hard facts with supporting evidence.

    This is only a hinderance if you are too impatient as well. I see this as a positive for you. You are naive, to be sure, but you have plenty of time to change that. Notice that the problem with the kid in the moon analogy was not that he was ignorant of the moon, but that he made no genuine effort to change that. Oh, and wishing isn't genuine effort.

    Nonsense. I know plenty of people of average intelligence who worked hard and got somewhere truly fantastic. There are plenty of people who I've seen refered to as "geniuses" that have learning disabilities or other such things but have still risen to prominent roles in the arachnological community. Admittedly, I've met some truly dim people in my life. For the most part, however, the "not smart enough" thing is just a cop-out.

    You're in high school. Once again, it is a matter of patience. Not having any money in high school is pretty standard.

    You're in high school. By definition you are relatively uneducated. That being said, you have resources available to you and a perfect excuse to educate yourself.

    My advice to you is to table the P.dictator thing for now, but to keep it in the back of your mind. Instead, try to build up the background you will need to properly interpret the results of a later search. I could give you a list of citations out of the Catalogue of Scorpions of the World, but it has become apparent that it wouldn't do you a bit of good right now. You need to pick up some background knowledge. Fortunately, due to its generalized nature, a lot of this stuff can be picked up online -- at least as an overview. Wikipedia is actually a pretty neat resource. I had a question the other day about viscosity and I ended up reading about superfluids. You will need to know about taxonomy and classifications, citations etc. to eventually be able to navigate the papers. You may also want to start reading journal articles you can find online. The key here is that you will hit a LOT of terms and concepts you do not understand. Every time you hit one, take the time to do some background research and really delve into the topic. It may take you a month to read and re-read a single paper that way, but you will have learned a lot in that time.

    I think if you are genuinely interested in P.dictator for more than the money and whatnot, it is worth your while doing some background work. I strongly suspect that doing that work will demystify a lot of things and you will come to see P.dictator as indistinct. Who knows, though, you might hold onto whatever obsession you have now, in which case you will have a direction for study in a few years when you are ready for it.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  18. Well Dave you pull a 180 on me and turn into Mr Positive :} . Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. When I said I am not smart enough, I simply meant I do not have a degree in any sort of field such entomology (SP) or anything. I know plenty about arachnids, but not enough for anyone to give me a job or send me on an expedition. Of course I have no money... I am in highschool. The thread has somewhat strayed from what I originally meant it for.

    I just wanted people to post their rumors, information, and/or ideas about the P. Dictator. In my own mind this will always be a legendary scorpion, but to others it will just be another not-to-common Pandinus spp.

    If you have ever watched on Discovery channel, "Expedition: Borneo," this somewhat relates to my idea for the search for the Pandinus Dictator. Anyways, lets just try and keep this thread alive and the flamming to a minimum.
     
  19. HackoDis

    HackoDis Arachnosquire

    The P.Imperator Will Pawn the Dictactor



    Kidding

    So what is the big difference between Imperator and Dictator ??
     
  20. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    I didn't pull a 180 at all. I'm still saying the exact same thing. It is also still abundantly clear that you are quite happy to leave the moon as a piece of cheese. At least nobody can say I didn't try.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
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