Monday, July 18, 2011

Scorpions are weird.


Don't deny it. They are. They're totally weird. Especially when they carry their goofy little offspring on their back. That's....well, it's a little freaky, a little gross, and a little awesome, and a little bit cute. All at the same time.
This one (well, two different ones) is a Striped Bark Scorpion, pretty common in Texas. Apparently, these guys have some insane mating shebang, lasting up to 36 hours. (what the hell?) and the babies are born 5-12 months later. They're born in litte sacs and after they release themselves, they crawl onto mum's back and go along for the ride. They jump ship a couple weeks later. This is the only one I've ever seen with the babelets on her back.
I didn't really see many of these guys this season. Not sure if it had to do with the extra dry year or what, but usually I'd run into them most days. Whatever, I like 'em and there's no need to be freaked out by them. Though when some of us were camping one night, I was sitting on a rock and they started crawling out underneath us which may have alarmed me briefly... (most of these are point and shoot shots, so not totally sharp) Nature Notes

28 comments:

ksdoolittle said...

Jill, they're kind of creepy!! When I was teaching school in N. TX, the kids would immediately step on any scorpions that wandered into the building. But I wanted the opportunity to inspect one more closely, so when we found one in our classroom, I threatened the kids within an inch of their lives, grabbed the first jar in my cupboard, and encased it for scrutiny. Much to my dismay, I grabbed one of those many faceted pickle jars.....my view was quite distorted. Being a chicken, I had to ask the maintenance man to take over from there when we went to gym. Surprisingly enough, I didn't see many scorpions the 11 years I lived there. ~karen

Woody said...

I didn't know the moms carried the babies, it's a little freaky looking. Neat photos!

Laloofah said...

Oh wow, those are some photos! I LOL'ed at your "what the hell?" commentary on their marathon copulation duration. :-) And what's up with a 5-12 month gestation period? That's quite a span! (If it were me, I'd be wanting the 5-month option and would be totally peeved if I drew the short straw and ended up preggers for a year instead!) And count me as another who never knew that scorpion moms tote their babies around on their backs. Hey, my mom's a Scorpio and she never did that! I demand redress!

Speaking of which, when I first saw your post title on my dashboard early this morning, I thought it said, "Scorpios are weird," and I thought uh oh, darlin', that's one star sign you really don't want to piss off. LOL

Out on the prairie said...

A few spiders carry their young.Very interesting shots

Dominic Gendron said...

I had no idea that they tookj they offspring oin their back...i thinks its "cute"! Great shot's ;)

Seagull Steve said...

And I thought my mating shebang was insane. Zing!

Ms. Becky said...

no...this is creepy. last time I stayed in N.M. I found a dead one in the bathtub of the house I was renting. I brought it home and still have it in my dead things collection. that isn't creepy, but when they're alive...well yes, they are!!! really great shots though.

elvira pajarola said...

FABULOUSLY taken, Jill...actually so transparent and looking almost fragile....!

Oh, this is a big one; SUPERBE!!!

( ...I had a little one last week in my pan-board in the kitchen; actually in a pan.....obviously I didn't fry him...I let him go...!)

ciao ciao elvira

Ms. Bake-it said...

This post was too funny! Loved Laloofah's comment! Scorpions have somewhat fascinated me because of their prehistoric and somewhat creepy appearance. I have only seen one live scorpion. At first I was freaked about it but when I looked it up I discovered that it was a Hentz striped scorpion and that it ate cockroaches. I then had not one single problem with it! In Florida, that is a very good thing!

~ Tracy

clairz said...

Well, with me they would have been point, shoot, and run shots. You have done a wonderful job here, both with the photography and the description ("... a little freaky... and a little bit cute"). I've never seen a mama scorpion carrying her babies before. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a wild scorpion on the hoof, so to speak, although my friends tell me that they are plentiful in this area. Hopefully, just the fact that I have viewed your freaky photos will please the scorpion gods and I won't have to do any looking up close and personal.

Al said...

I've never been that close to a scorpion (at least not that I know). Nothing about them is what I'd call cute, but they are certainly weird and interesting in their own way! Nice shots - I've never seen them carrying their young like that.

SquirrelQueen said...

Kind of cool in a slightly creepy sort of way. This is one of those things I read about somewhere but I've never seen it.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I guess it is up to me to be different. I think they are cool. I've have been known to try to make "pets" out of them but they did not do well in captivity (my wife is so tolerant of me). My policy now when I find them is to let them be free. Babies on the back! You get all the great opportunties!

Janie said...

Wow, great photos of the scorpions. I'm amazed that you found one with the babies on board. Kinda cute, I think.

texwisgirl said...

i'm okay with them outside, but not in the house. they freak out my dogs too so i keep a flyswatter handy as they often appear out from under the TV area or couch. and carrying all those babies... yucko!

xinex said...

Great photos! I think I would be afraid to come near them...Christine

Esther Garvi said...

Ah... we have a funny relationsship to scorpions, that's for sure... they're not pretty, they're not charming, but they are definitively fascinating! Here's the only type I've seen in my part of the world:
http://esthergarvi.com/2010/09/06/meet-the-scorpion-at-the-field-station/
They're frequent during rainy season but in dry season, you really have to go look for them... which I don't... I just like when I happen to stumble upon them and they don't seem too bothered about it.
Warm greetings from West Africa!
Esther

Carver said...

Scorpions are weird. Great photos and interesting post.k

NatureFootstep said...

not my kind of animal but interesting none the less. I´m not sure I would have taken those shots. :)

Linda Makiej said...

extremely cool ahots!

Rambling Woods said...

Hi Jill...yeah...creepy and neat. How do they eat while on Mom's back.. Glad I didn't carry mine on my back..just on my wallet...Michelle

eileeninmd said...

Interesting post on the scorpions. They are kind of creepy. Great photos.

Jedediah said...

I love the tiny scorpions, already perfect copies of their parents.

Linda said...

OK...that creeped me out...aren't they really poisonous?

rosesandgargoyles said...

That's kinda like something out of a Stephen King story...
Jeanni

EG Wow said...

Oh my! The scorpion really does look weird carrying her kids on her back!

Arija said...

Fab shots Jill! So what's creepy about carrying babies on your back? Grebes do it and they are anything but creepy, tribal Indians used to do it in a papoose. I think they look great and what a good mom she is to be laden down with that huge pack!
Super post, I've never seen them do it although we have quite a few scorpions about.

Barb said...

Great pictures. I think it's cool to see the babies on board. Wolf spiders do that, too.