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Scorpion Trip

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Topic Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:50 pm

I had the chance to help South Africa's top scorpion researcher(Ian Engelbrecht) in the field with collecting samples for studies and for photos as well of course Smile The photos are also contributed to the ScorpionMap project which helps with identifying the distribution range of species in South Africa.
It was a six day trip through parts of the Klein Karoo area in the Western Cape in South Africa. We saw many species throughout the trip and I will divide the posts into each day I was out there so that I don't overload the topic at the start.
Hope you guys like it Smile
The first three species were collected before I joined up with the researcher.
First up is a scorpion I regularly see.
Opisthacanthus capensis:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1508_zps4c63a70a

Second was Uroplectes lineatus:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1558_zps172f1673

Scorpion Trip DSCF1557_zpsa1147df2

Then lastly a very scarce species, a first for me.
Male Opistophthalmus chaperi:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1511_zpsd23d6a62

Female O.chaperi:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1515_zpsd053a5c9

The first day we only started late so we were only looking for one species, Opistophthalmus karooensis.

Male O.karooensis:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1497_zps095c7e29

Scorpion Trip DSCF1501_zps24159f46


Chela of O.karooensis male:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1505_zps3458c41d

Female O.karooensis:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1491_zps096ff536

Chela of O.karooensis female:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1494_zpsa226cc0c

O.karooensis habitat:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1518_zps797c0dd0


I will add the rest of the photos in the next few days.


Last edited by Shadowfoot on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:05 pm

I'm very exited to see more of this trip and what you found.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:17 pm

Some very special scorpions to come James. Hopefully I won't disappoint Very Happy
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:21 pm

You never disappoint me Paul!
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by ShredderEmp on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:33 pm

Very cool. I wish I could do that.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:41 am

Don't worry shreddy you don't disappoint me either.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:46 am

Lol. It's really heating up here now that Summer is arriving and some days the temps got perfect for scorpions, usually about 32-35 degrees Celsius(89-95F) but nighttime drops were still big, ranging from 7-16 Celsius(44-60F) so they weren't as active at night as we hoped except the Uroplectes, which were everywhere.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by ShredderEmp on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:04 pm

Thanks Yames!

So where are pictures, huh? Where are they?
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:21 pm

Lol. Hold your horses, they coming later Smile
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:24 pm

Day 2&3
These two days we were in the Oudtshoorn area, our main focus being Opistophthalmus pictus.
Day 2 we didn't have any luck but we found a few other things that were quite interesting.

Opisthacanthus diremptus:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1540_zps04f404f0

Here you can see how flat they are because of the places where they decide to hide:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1546_zps065b5ec7

This is the kind of place where they hide, very much similar to Hadogenes habitat.

Scorpion Trip DSCF1588_zpsef03d188

Typical Male Uroplectes carinatus:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1555_zpsabdd0edf

Then we also found the pale form of U.carinatus as well:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1549_zps8c15382e


Parabuthus planicauda:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1520_zps3adc3c18

Some habitat shots of where you find U.carinatus, P.planicauda and O.karooensis as well:



Scorpion Trip DSCF1517_zps7d90c6c5

Scorpion Trip DSCF1521_zps53530a72

On day 3 we finally managed to find some Opistophthalmus pictus after bad luck on day 2.

Female O.pictus:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1525_zpsb8858d97

Male and female O.pictus next to each other.Female top and male bottom:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1536_zps6247eaf8

Ventral shot:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1535_zpsc5bf68a0

O.pictus burrow:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1530_zps7c92adf0

And their habitat:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1524_zps16189f58

Scorpion Trip DSCF1523_zpsf91900da
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:13 pm

From the underside it looks like O.pictus can be sexed by the shape of the genital opening much like an emp at early instars provided the right camera?


And if that's your hand Paul we finally have a picture of your to put up in the members faces forum! errr sorta.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:23 pm

With these you can yes, I don't know about earlier instars because I have never checked.
I'm on facebook, just look for Paul Bester.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:06 pm

Day 4
We mostly spent day 4 making our way to the top of the Swartberg mountain range. We found the usual suspects on our way to the top, O.karooensis, U.carinatus and Opisthacanthus diremptus.
We also found a few of these special guys all along the way.
Uroplectes marlothi:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1538_zps58ee3b03

Habitat shots of the top of the mountain range.

Scorpion Trip DSCF1563_zpsf20c182d

Scorpion Trip DSCF1561_zpse1414105


Last edited by Shadowfoot on Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:52 pm

Very fascinating. I don't suppose you can keep any and breed them in your care? I'm so jealous/excited that you get a chance to be on these trips with real scientists.

Keep up the terrific picture posts!
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:17 pm

Unfortunately not Sad I would love to try and breed some of the species we found on the trip but not the more rare ones like the Opistophthalmus I just posted because there is so little data regarding how abundant they are.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:52 pm

Day 5&6
Probably the best part of the trip. We were a town called Prince Albert on this day and you could definitely call it scorpion heaven. We were also joined by 4 Nature Conservation students that came to help out in the field, it made looking for scorpions a lot easier Smile
First up was a undescribed Opistophthalmus species, either O.crassimanus or part of the O.pictus group.
This was was the only male we found and looks like he came back from a war, missing aculeus, tarsus and a piece of his claw.

Scorpion Trip DSCF1581_zps025f19cd

Female:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1579_zps336571df

Scorpion Trip DSCF1578_zps95953dc0

Burrow:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1574_zpseddce769

Habitat:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1573_zps1dea4617

Scorpion Trip DSCF1572_zps50fc0b5e


Then came the UV lighting and we hit the jackpot Smile

A weird little Uroplectes sp we believe to be U.schlechteri:

Female U.schlechteri:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1590_zps1805b268

Scorpion Trip DSCF1589_zps9e9e8fc8

Male U.schlechteri, notice the elongated metasomal segments, a characteristic of U.schlechteri:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1597_zps0b2fb176

Scorpion Trip DSCF1600_zpsee83022e

Then my first Hadogenes, uknown species, probably H.trachyurus.

Scorpion Trip 1391520_10201992187827961_673682172_n_zps5c058274

I will end of with two awesome species.

Female Parabuthus capensis:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1594_zps48b6829e

Scorpion Trip DSCF1593_zpsaf609538

Female Parabuthus schlechteri:

Scorpion Trip DSCF1596_zps41c9916a

Hope you guys liked the photos Smile


Last edited by Shadowfoot on Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by ShredderEmp on Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:58 pm

That Parabuthus capensis looks exactly like my P. liosoma. Are they closely related?
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:24 pm

Mmm, I think DNA sequencing will have to be done to know for sure but I don't think they are. Species that look the same aren't always closely related.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by ShredderEmp on Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:04 am

Uh. Oh well. Both are nice species. How did you know it was Parabuthus capensis?

Edit: Know that I look at it, Nefertiti has none of the fading color on the tail, and the tergites are darker without that yellowing too. At least that is what she looked like under the light I had.
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by voldemort on Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:51 am

Shadowfoot wrote:Unfortunately not :(I would love to try and breed some of the species we found on the trip but not the more rare ones like the Opistophthalmus I just posted because there is so little data regarding how abundant they are.
I envy your self control:evil:

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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by Shadowfoot on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:16 am

ShredderEmp wrote:Uh. Oh well. Both are nice species. How did you know it was Parabuthus capensis?
Going by distribution, size, granulation of the tail and so forth but from first glance it doesn't look like the normal P.capensis because their 2 last caudal segments and telson aren't that dark but that's just polymorphism taking place.

voldemort wrote:
Shadowfoot wrote:Unfortunately not :(I would love to try and breed some of the species we found on the trip but not the more rare ones like the Opistophthalmus I just posted because there is so little data regarding how abundant they are.
I envy your self control:evil:
Lol. You don't even know ;P
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Topic Re: Scorpion Trip

Post by yames on Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:08 pm

I had something typed out and then deleted it all and felt proud that I'm growing up.
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