Scorpions

ramonmercado

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Anew species of scorpion, aargh!

An elusive new scorpion species from California lives underground
http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-elu ... round.html
March 23rd, 2012 in Biology / Plants & Animals

This is a scorpion glowing under ultraviolet light. This specimen is a Northern Scorpion, a broadly distributed species that was also found in the Inyo Mountains. Credit: Michael Webber

Even in places as seemly well-studied as the national parks of North America, new species are still being discovered. Using ultraviolet light that cause scorpions to fluoresce a ghostly glow, researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) have discovered an intriguing new scorpion in Death Valley National Park. They named the species Wernerius inyoensis, after the Inyo Mountains where it was found. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

This new species is small, only 16 mm in length. "We almost overlooked this one during the survey" said Matthew Graham, a PhD Candidate with the School of Life Sciences at UNLV. Matt discovered the scorpion along with his father who was volunteering that night. "Only a single male individual was found, but the physical uniqueness was enough to identify it as a new species", said Michael Webber, another PhD Candidate from UNLV who described the specimen. This new scorpion appears to be closely related to two other species found over 400 kilometers away at Joshua Tree National Park and along the lower Colorado River. This group of scorpions is most easily identified by the presence of a conspicuous spine at the base of the stinger, the function of which, if any, is unknown.

The previously known species are also rarely observed in the wild, and this elusive nature has led to speculation that these scorpions occur at very low densities or have only sporadic surface activity. However, the rocky terrain in which the previous species were found and the discovery of the new species at the base of a talus slope, hint at the possibility that these scorpions are subterrestrial, spending their lives deep in rock crevices or in the interstitial spaces among piles of loose rock.

This is a drawing of the tail segment of Wernerius inyoensis, displaying the unique spine above the stinger. Credit: Michael Webber

Scorpions are quite common within arid regions where they can comprise a large component of biological diversity. The new species was discovered during field surveys funded by the National Park Service as part of efforts to develop better inventories for all organisms occurring within the parks.

"In North America, inventories for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are pretty well developed, and we have a good handle on higher-order plants, but for many groups of smaller organisms taxonomic inventories will no doubt lead to numerous new discoveries" said Dr. Jef Jaeger, a Research Assistant Professor at UNLV who initiated and oversaw the scorpion surveys.
In the face of regional environmental changes brought about by human actions and the potential for larger changes that global warming may bring, many scientists and resource managers place new importance on efforts to document and catalog species diversity.

More information: Webber MM, Graham MR, Jaeger JR (2012) Wernerius inyoensis, an elusive new scorpion from the Inyo Mountains of California (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae). ZooKeys 177: 1-13. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.177.2562

Provided by Pensoft Publishers
 

Krepostnoi

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(Transplanted from the "Rats! Rats! Rats!" thread ... )

Certain things need killing IMO (at least when they are around people). Rats and mice are amongst them as are scorpions (they are responsible for millions of deaths annually). Let the predators have at them including us.
Wait, what? Scorpions are responsible for millions of deaths annually? Do you mean human deaths? If so, where are you getting your information?
 
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Krepostnoi

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Thank you.

I'm reading that to suggest over a million people get stung annually, but very few of them die as a result:

The estimated annual number of scorpion stings is 1.2 million leading to 3250 deaths (0.27%).
That seems to chime better with my expectations - if scorpions were killing upwards of a million people every year, I would have thought they would be more demonised.

But even if the 3250 figure is right, I'm surprised. My frame of reference was a different arachnid. How many people die each year from tarantula bites?
There has never been a documented case of someone dying from a tarantula bite. There are a few species whose bite will apparently make you wish it was fatal, mind.
 

Jim

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Thank you.

I'm reading that to suggest over a million people get stung annually, but very few of them die as a result:



That seems to chime better with my expectations - if scorpions were killing upwards of a million people every year, I would have thought they would be more demonised.

But even if the 3250 figure is right, I'm surprised. My frame of reference was a different arachnid. How many people die each year from tarantula bites?
There has never been a documented case of someone dying from a tarantula bite. There are a few species whose bite will apparently make you wish it was fatal, mind.
I believe the Tarantula's bite is painful but rarely if ever results in a fatality. Now the Funnel web, black widow or the Brazilian wandering spiders are another story.
 

EnolaGaia

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These scorpions can jettison their tails when endangered, but it only dooms them to die full of shit ...

There is at least one creature that can save its own arse by letting go of it. This South American scorpion species (Ananteris balzani) has an anus right up near the poisonous stabby bit on its tail.

If attacked, the scorpion has the ability to drop its tail, much like some lizards can - severing your own body part in this way is called an autotomy. Except, unlike lizards whose anuses are more sensibly positioned closer to their hindlegs, these scorpions also drop their butts along with their tails, in exchange for slightly prolonging their life.

It is typically only the adult males that will make this sacrifice, as the price is high. Once the tail and butt segments are gone, the wound heals over leaving no opening for their waste to escape.

While it may buy the scorpions a little more time to mate, they can never poop again. The scorpions will keep hunting (small prey only, because they can no longer take down a big meal without their stinger) and stuffing food into themselves, swelling their abdomens with trapped excrement.

Researchers have observed some of these scorpions lost further segments of their tails when the pressure of the built up waste got too much.

Ultimately, these little guys will suffer death by slow internal poop-splosion, as waste fills their innards. ...
SOURCE: https://www.sciencealert.com/these-...tts-are-the-distraction-we-all-need-right-now
 
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EnolaGaia

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New research (documentation in the preprint phase) demonstrates a scorpion population explosion in southern Australia resulted from the loss of certain mammals.

Release the bilbies! Unleash the bettongs!
Scorpions Are Running Rampant in Australia, And We Might Finally Know Why

During a hot summer night in the Australian state of New South Wales, ecologist Heloise Gibb and her team were hunting for scorpions in some arid scrubland.

Using special UV-proof glasses and UV flashlights, they were looking for a flicker of fluorescence indicating a scorpion, which have become abundant in the damaged, sandy deserts of Australia. ...

Although this exercise sounds like it could be in an episode of a strange reality TV show, there's a good reason to be measuring scorpions – the protection of biodiversity.

Australian native scorpion species can grow up to 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long. Many of them thrive in the arid regions of Australia; in fact, Gibbs found up to 600 scorpion burrows per hectare, pockmarking the landscape.

But we don't know if scorpions were always so abundant, or if drastic damage to the landscape by European colonisers - especially with introduced animals and the eradication of native species - has accidentally helped the scorpions to thrive. ...

Thanks to five years of experiments by the team from La Trobe University, the University of New South Wales, and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, we now know that the lack of native mammals – particularly digging species such as bilbies (Macrotis lagotis), has helped scorpion populations to run wild, and that's not necessarily a good thing. ...

The researchers went to two predator protected wildlife sanctuaries – Arid Recovery in northern South Australia, and Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in south-western New South Wales. ...

Within these sanctuaries, the researchers set up areas where the native mammals could travel through, as well as small fenced areas where the animals wouldn't be able to get into.

The team found that in the areas where digging animals could roam, there was more plant cover, and fewer scorpion nests. The team also notes that the mammals - such as bilbies and bettongs - were eating the scorpions, which also significantly lowered the numbers. ...
FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencealert.com/scorpi...-but-that-might-not-have-always-been-the-case

PREPRINT ARTICLE (Abstract):
https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.3191
 

Jim

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New research (documentation in the preprint phase) demonstrates a scorpion population explosion in southern Australia resulted from the loss of certain mammals.

Release the bilbies! Unleash the bettongs!


FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencealert.com/scorpi...-but-that-might-not-have-always-been-the-case

PREPRINT ARTICLE (Abstract):
https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.3191
Having seen a few of these ugly critters in the south west USA, i wounder why anyone would intentionally want to locate them (LOL).
 
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