Saturday, June 13, 2009

Desert Hairy Scorpion

Hey, I didn't name it, they did. The Latin (scientific) name, hadrurus arizonensis, means "belonging to Arizona" but these predatory, and dangerous, creepy crawlers inhabit the California deserts as well--and they come out at night!

The photo above is not enhanced; I took it at 10:30 PM in the East Mojave with a black light. That's right, scorpions glow in the dark using a simple, hand-held UV flash light.

Under a canopy of a million stars, our group searched the balmy desert floor searching for the turquoise glow of the scorpion. As we held the black light close to this particular specimen, insects attracted to the purple light provided a feast for the scorpion. During this viewing, a curious moth flew near the scorpion, and it snatched the moth with it's pincer, aimed his tail-stinger at the moth and injected it with a lethal dose of venom, paralyzing it. Then we watched the scorpion enjoy its meal in fascination.

6 comments:

nebel said...

Great photo and fascinating story!

Hilda said...

Eek. Fantastic photo, though, and fascinating description.

Leif Hagen said...

Look scary and maybe radioactive! Cool photo! Regards from EAGAN daily photo

B Squared said...

We have them here as well. The claim they aren't poisonous, I won't take a chance to find out.

Lenora Regan said...

Very cool!

Amber said...

Wow. You didn't tell me the whole part about the scorpion consuming it's moth-prey. Very interesting. Would have loved to have seen that. =0)