ECTOTHERM MONDAY – SCORPION

A (not so) friendly neighbor at the door!

The presence of *Scorpions* is one of the reasons why one should never walk around barefoot or with open shoes and never without light at night.

These small, but fierce creatures, can defend themselves by administering a painful – and in some cases deadly – sting. Any reaction usually lasts up to 10 days. For most scorpions these are usually minor and go away without complications. Severe stings can cause more pain, fever, and muscle aches for a few days.

The genus Parabuthus contains some deadly scorpions. There are a few species that are potentially life threatening and all the others will ruin your week.

If a Scorpion has a thin tail compared to its pincers then it is usually fairly harmless. If it has a thick tail and small pictures (like Patabuthus) then it is usually highly venomous.

So the one in this picture, which sat in front of my room, looks more fierce then it is 😊

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

The Small Things!

20131101 - Collage 1155 - E - SIG

It is not all about the Big Five. A game drive on Thanda is much more than just looking at the “famous grand creatures” of the bush.

Enjoying the presentation of a Scorpion by Bheki, one of the experienced Thanda trackers, spotting a male Southern Tree Agama in its “ready for mating” coloration or viewing a African Blood Lily growing in a burned area after the first rains of the season are just some of the special sightings of “Small Things” which make every day in the African bush very special.

Scorpions, Lions … and more rain!

Heavy rains and thunderstorms – again! This year is starting as wet as the last one has ended.

In the morning we showed our guests a Scorpion (in the few hours without rain). This is a picture collage of me presenting one of the large Scorpion species to our group of Swedish guests at our morning coffee stop. Bheki found this impressive specimen under a stone. After the presentation he returned “our performer” back to its stony home 🙂

20130118 - Collage 2015 - SIG

On the evening game drive we were lucky to find a Lioness with her two cubs just before the skies opened and before the rains drove us back to the Tented Camp.

20130118 - CS2_8051 - E - SIG

PS: The picture with me and the Scorpion were taken by one of our guests – Thanks a lot!

About Scorpions:

Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger. Scorpions range in size from 9 mm to 20 cm.

All known scorpion species possess venom and use it primarily to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten. In general, it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture. It is also used as a defense against predators. Of the 1000+ known species of scorpion, only 25 have venom that is deadly to humans; most of those belong to the family Buthidae. However, all scorpions are able to penetrate human skin and deliver sharp, unpleasant stings, most of which usually leave redness around the stung area.

Getting close!

This Scorpion came very close when I was trying to take a picture (lying flat on the ground). The good thing is that he is of the harmless kind. This species (Opistophthalmus glabrifrons of the family Scorpionidae) is large and has very impressive pedipalps, but only very weak venom in his tail sting.

Ross, one of my colleagues on the course picked him up and held him in place for a portrait shot 🙂