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Close up photos of a scorpion and its exuviae

Monday, July 4, 2005 | 4 comments

Today, at the end of the day we went out to buy a set of plastic boxes, sand and other stuff, so I could give one of my scorpions a bigger enclosure. I had moved it out of its terrarium made of glass because I needed a place for the tarantula spider I captured yesterday.

When Esme and I returned, I first set up the new terrarium. Then I took some pictures of the scorpion we had captured near the town of Buenavista.

Close up of the scorpion we found near the town of Buenavista.
Close up of the scorpion we found near the town of Buenavista.

Esme helped me by holding the little plastic enclosure near the light when I took the pictures. My more than outdated digital camera, a Philips ESP60, has quite a good macro mode, but a steady hand is needed, and a lot of tweaking with settings.

Close up of the scorpion's tail.
Close up of the scorpion's tail.

I also bought today black craft foam, which I wanted to use as a background for the cast-off exoskeletons of the scorpion.

Front view of the scorpion.
Front view of the scorpion.

Again Esme helped me, holding a book with a piece of black craft foam with the exuviae. We had to be very careful with our breathing because the exuviae weight next to nothing.

Scorpion exuviae, found near the town Buenavista, Veracruz.
Scorpion exuviae, found near the town Buenavista, Veracruz.

I also took several pictures of the exuviae under UV light (black light) with the UV scorpion detector I made. The exuviae glow green, but in the pictures it looks more like blue. Also, since the camera chip is sensitive to UV I had to play a lot with the settings, and Esme helped me with the lighting.

Scorpion exuviae under UV light.
Scorpion exuviae under UV light.

I used IrfanView to edit the colors of the above picture to closer resemble the actual emitted color.

Scorpion exuviae under UV light.
Scorpion exuviae under UV light.

Finally I measured the size of the exuviae, from head to the start of the first tail segment. I did the same with the scorpion found close to the exuviae. Based on the measurement I guessed to what instar each belonged, see table below:

InstarLength (cm)Growth factor
31.0-
41.21.2
51.51.3
61.81.2

Since the scorpion we captured glows under UV light (black light) it has not very recently molted.

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