Other Animals

Black-sting Scorpion – Judah

Whilst out looking for owls at night near Juadh we came across three scorpions, and although I am not an expert on scorpions they resemble Black-sting Scorpion Buthacus yotvatensis nigroacleatus. They were found by using an ultraviolet light that’s shows them glowing in the light, with the photos taken with strong flash showing off their colours. The Black-sting Scorpion Buthacus yotvatensis nigroacleatus is a small very poisionous scorpion.

They are golden brown to greenish yellow coloured with a black sting. Thin elongated pincer-like pedipalps, jointed abdomen which ends in a swollen black sting. Antennae absent and the mouthparts are formed by small pincer-like chelicerae (fangs). There is a pair of dorsal eyes and two to five smaller pairs of lateral eyes. There are four pairs of walking legs. The legs are hair-covered and end in hooks which are used to hold on to vegatation.

They are not often seen as they hide by day and emerge at night, when they feed on other invertebrates. Their poison or venom is used to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture and is sometimes fatal to humans. They arefoundmostly in rocky areas and gravel plains but also occur in sandy areas and make their burrow under bushes.

Scorpions are known to glow when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light, such as that produced by a blacklight, due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in the cuticle. The principal fluorescent component is now known to be beta-carboline. A hand-held UV lamp has long been a standard tool for nocturnal field surveys of these animals. However, a glow will only be produced in adult specimens as the substances in the skin required to produce the glow are not found in adolescents.

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Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

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