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Scorpion in the kitchen

Saturday, January 12, 2008 | 3 comments

Late in the night, Esme called me from the kitchen to come look at the wall. She had found something. I was already in the bed, undressed, and didn't bother to put something on when I went down to the kitchen. And when I looked at the wall, I was able to see what she had found, even without contacts, a scorpion!

Close-up of the adult female scorpion (species Centruroides flavopictus).
Close-up of the adult female scorpion (species Centruroides flavopictus).

So I got my Canon A640 to take a few photos of the scorpion resting on the wall. I climbed on the countertop, naked, and moved my camera as close to the scorpion as possible and took a few photos. The scorpion was resting near what looks like a crack in the wall, near to a wall fiting. I am not sure if the scorpion, being a nocturnal animal, used the crack during the day to rest, or that it had a better hiding place.

Close-up of the adult female scorpion (species Centruroides flavopictus).
Close-up of the adult female scorpion (species Centruroides flavopictus).

Since I am quite familiar with this scorpion species, Centruroides flavopictus, which now and then enter our apartment, I needed just one look to determine that this was an adult female. The oval shaped body, and the short and fat tail segments were a dead give away that this was a female, and the size of the animal made it clearly an adult.

I keep several scorpions of the same species as pets, and decided to add this adult female as well. I prefer not to kill scorpions, and since I've found this species only in and on our apartment in Xalapa, I've no idea where it occurs in the wild, and hence no idea where I could safely release it, other than on top of a house in Xalapa.

Kitchen wall. The scorpion was resting near the crack above the wall fitting.
Kitchen wall. The scorpion was resting near the crack above the wall fitting.

So I got a plastic cup, and an artist paint brush and climbed up the kitchen countertop again. I carefully tried to push the scorpion into the plastic cup, being very well aware that I still was undressed, and the scorpion losing its grip on the wall might result in an accident people would talk about for quite some time. But after several attempts the scorpion still was clinging to the wall, and not in the plastic cup. When another attempt made the scorpion move close to my hand holding the plastic cup I decided to let it walk on my hand instead. I have quite some experience handling this species, see for example A surprise in a towel, so I knew what I was doing. And indeed, this turned out to be the easiest (and scariest way) to get the scorpion off the wall. I got down from the countertop and Esme helped me to transfer the scorpion from my arm to the plastic cup.

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