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The little scorpion survived!

Saturday, July 7, 2007 | 2 comments

Yesterday, in the night, just before I went to the bed, I checked on a small scorpion I captured during a hike near Tenextepec. The scorpion had made a nice burrow in the sand in its terrarium some time ago and I expected it to drop off its exoskeleton any day now.

Small scorpion molting in its burrow.
Small scorpion molting in its burrow.

And I was lucky, when I checked on the little scorpion it was just doing that, struggling out of its old exoskeleton (molting). I moved the little plastic container I keep the scorpion in to my desk, and tried to make a few photos.

Because the plastic of the container was not very transparant and quite thick it was very hard to make a photo of the scorpion getting out of its exoskeleton. The above photo is the best out of a series I made. The burrow is clearly visible though.

After the photo session I picked up the small container and, somehow accidentally, almost dropped the container, causing a minor earthquake which caused the burrow to collapse completely. So I opened the container again, and carefully shaked it to move the sand away from the collapsed burrow. With a small brush I removed more of the sand, until I uncovered the tiny scorpion, still struggling to get out of its exoskeleton. Since molting is a very critical process, and a lot can go wrong (including humans collapsing burrows), I was afraid that the little scorpion wouldn't make it. I carefully sprayed a little water on the sand close to the scorpion hoping that it would provide a similar moisture level as the original burrow provided to the scorpion and hoped for the best.

The small scorpion a few hours after molting.
The small scorpion a few hours after molting.

So one of the first things I did this morning was checking the container of the small scorpion, and it survived! I couldn't see any damage to it, and the tiny scorpion looked like nothing had happened to it besides the molting.

The small scorpion a few hours after molting.
The small scorpion a few hours after molting.

In the above photos the scorpion has a very light color which is a tell-tale sign of a recent molt. Over the next days the new exoskeleton will harden out and get more dark. In the mean time the scorpion is a bit more vunerable, but I have the feeling that if it could survive my clumsy handling of its terrarium, it will survive the next days without any problems.

The cast off exoskeleton (exuvia) of the tiny scorpion resting on the sand.
The cast off exoskeleton (exuvia) of the tiny scorpion resting on the sand.

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