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I AM a scorpion…

But a very, very, VERY tiny one.

This morning we rescued this young scorpion from the pool, where it was stuck limbs akimbo to the surface tension of the water, sending out tiny struggling ripples. Since little scorpions look just like big scorpions except small, a close-up like this one doesn’t provide any clue to scale. So, know that the blue mesh it’s sitting on is the pool skimmer net, and each of the mesh squares is 1/20 of an inch, making the body of this Dinky Dude of the Desert about a quarter inch long, or less than 1/2 inch from head to tail tip (which, you can just see in the photo, is quite capably armed with a tiny but sharply barbed telson).

It’s most likely a Vaejovis spinigerous, the Stripe-tailed scorpion, our most common and not especially venomous species. (Click here for more info about AZ scorpions, and excellent drawings.) I put it over the fence; I don’t have the heart to crush them, even the grown ones. I’ll let the geckos or foxes or thrashers take care of it, or not. Seems only fair to let it try to make its way — after all, it’s only very, very small.

Here’s one of E’s photos:

If you can enlarge the top image twice, do — the photo isn’t perfectly sharp, but you can see the lil sensory hairs on its limbs, all the better to find dinner with, since the eyes aren’t so sensitive. (Upper photo A.Shock, lower E.Shock.)

Here’s a post-script from the subject of the previous post, which, despite its mildly peevish tone, I’ve included at the author’s request:

Ah yes, that’s my ground-bound, tail-dragging cousin, much less economically armed than us pseudoscorpions, with all that extra apparatus dangling off the rear. I’d like to see one of them hitch a ride on a bird or a wasp; the image is grotesque. And, really, is it absolutely necessary to have such unpleasantly potent venom? — it strikes me as strident, and certainly doesn’t win you any friends. Still, I suppose it works for them — they’ve been around since the Silurian.

Posted by Allison on Jul 6th 2012 09:17 am | No Comments yet
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