What Issue #29, time sure does fly you're a) having fun or b) relegated to using public transport. Last week the prancing Patas Monkey was in the spotlight. This week we have a request from @scorpion2501, the clue to this issue is in the name, need I say more.
Issue #29 - Yellow Tailed Scorpion
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Arthropoda
Class – Arachnida
Order – Scorpiones
Family – Euscorpidae
Genus – Euscorpius
Species – flavicus
Related Species - The Yellow Tailed Scorpion is one of 19 species within the genus Euscorpius (1)
Range - Yellow Tailed Scorpions are naturally found in Southern Europe and North Africa. In addition introduced populations can be found in countries as far apart as Uruguay and the United Kingdom
Friendly Neighbourhood Scorpion
Yellow Tailed Scorpions are small black scorpions that reach a length of four centimetres and can be distinguished by its yellow stinger tip. Like other members of the genus Euscorpius, the Yellow Tailed Scorpion is described as a fossorial species, meaning that it prefers to live in burrows or under stones rather than out in the open (2). Like other scorpions it has poor vision, relying instead on vibrations detected through its feet and sensory hairs on the claws to navigate.
Largely insectivorous, the Yellow Tailed Scorpion will hunt and consume any prey item it can overpower with its large claws or the venom pumped from the stinger on its tail. Despite being a skilled predator Yellow Tailed Scorpions are prey for larger animals such as lizards, rodents and amphibians as well as larger scorpions. The venom itself is designed to immobilise insects and has little effect on larger mammals, with the effects being described as being akin to a bee sting. After factoring in the species placid nature and reluctance to sting in defence, the species is not considered a major health risk within its range.
Scorpion reproduction is a complex affair; first the male will catch a prey item and present it to the female. If she accepts he will sting her while she eats, with the venom making her placid and easier to manipulate. With claws locked the male ‘waltzes’ her over to a packet of sperm deposited earlier by the male until she is fertilized. After that he leaves, with the female giving birth to around thirty live young over a year later (3). The female will protect the young and even carry them on her back until their first moult, upon which time the juveniles instinctively leave to find territories of their own.
Five Fun Yellow Tailed Scorpion Facts
Like all Scorpions, when exposed to UV light the Yellow Tailed Scorpion glows green
While still relatively unknown, the British population of Yellow Tailed Scorpions is thought to have arrived from Italy around 200 years ago
Despite being an alien species, the Yellow Tailed Scorpion is not considered invasive outside its natural range, with calls by some in the UK to protect them (4)
On average the Yellow Tailed Scorpion will eat five meals a year due to its slow metabolism
In general Scorpions with larger pincers and thin tails are generally less venomous then those with smaller pincers and fat tails. Despite this it is not advised to pick up any scorpions you find.
1 - www.arkive.org
2 - http://www.amentsoc.org/insects/glossary/terms/fossorial
3 - Benton, T.G. (1993). Courtship behaviour of the scorpion, Euscorpius flavicaudis. Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc., vol. 9 (5), pp. 137-141
4 - http://animalwrites.hubpages.com/hub/UK-Invasive-Species-Spiders-Scorpions-and-Slugs
1 - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ph2Pa8yAGxA/TxWPoM_JksI/AAAAAAAABzE/I-XYfBqi0qg/s1600/Scorpion.jpg
2 - http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/0A/0A85D270-529C-42DA-87F5-DA26BA082D90/Presentation.Large/Common-wall-lizard-feeding-on-a-yellow-tailed-scorpion-Euscorpius-flavicaudis.jpg
3 - https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5175/5418365026_28c9c101db.jpg
Thanks for reading guys; I hope you enjoyed the exploration into the Yellow Tailed Scorpion. Next week the request of @darthaznable is addressed with the ever patient @dboyrules2011 animal the week after. As usual drop off some comments and check out past issues in Impurest’s Bestiary.