Urodacus novaehollanidae

Mark Newton

Arachnobaron
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Mar 9, 2007
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Some environmental notes and a couple of individuals.

Dug out a couple of U novaehollanidae today. First 2 shots show the burrow entrance under some rotten wood. Soil is a shell grit soil as this is very close to the beach and only about 7m elevation above sea level. I took burrow depth measurements and soil temperature readings. I also took soil samples to calculate soil water content, but havent made those calculations as yet.

Moderately warm day at about 30C air temp.
Ground surface temp was 47C
Burrows had terminal chambers between 32cm and 40cm below the surface.
Terminal chamber soil temperature was between 23-27C...perfect conditions for a scorpion.

Both individuals appear to be female, one is definitely adult female, the other is a penultimate female instar I'd say at a guess.


SOIL water content measurements.
For nearing the end of the hot/dry season the measurements are quite high. The soil has a large organic content nearer the surface which diminishes farther down. Darker near the surface anmd much lighter in the inorganic shell grit section.

The scorpion located at 32cm was in the highly organic dark soil. This has a water content of about 6.5%. The scorpion located at 40cm was in light coloured inorganic soil. This had a water content of about 8.5%, quite a bit higher, which surprised me, although it is deeper down, so in many respects not surprising. I was expecting the organic layer to have more water. With particles in the soil being large the matric tension of the soil will be low meaning the burrow should show a high humidity.










 
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