Photo Adventures with Curiosity and Learning

Sept 5, 2015: Scorpions and UV at Lower Pierce Nature trail

Larry and I set off to Lower Pierce Reservoir nature trail with Paul and BH. It had not rained in some time so probably there would be few spiders. So we focused on using our 365 nm torch to locate scorpions. We were not disappointed.

Face of a scorpion

sep 05 1631 scorpion face

Long tail of a scorpion

sep 05 1638 scorpion tail

Scorpions fluoresce in 365 nm UV light - here is a 1/10 sec exposure (f/8, ISO 400) of a scorpion resting on a leaf

sep 05 1646 scoprion claws

This was a big and pleasant surprise. A mama scorpion with kids hanging on all over her. She was perched under a leaf - and to the right you can see one of her open claws.

sep 05 1658 mom baby scoprions

Here she is bathed in 365 nm UV light - note that the kids don't fluoresce at all - and I think I read somewhere that 4 - 5 moults are required before the exoskeleton expresses whatever protein responsible for the fluorescent response

sep 05 1659 mom babies UV scorpion

Another view with flash illumination

sep 05 1671 mom baby scorpions

Predator and prey - which is which? A scorpion above a female huntsman (Thelcticopis sp.)

sep 05 1674 spider scoprion

Another view - better resolution of the huntsman below

sep 05 1678 scorpion big jaw spider

The scorpion fluoresces in 365 nm UV light - the huntsman does not

sep 05 1688 scorpion spider

Another view of the scorpion and the huntsman below (Thelcticopis)

sep 05 1692 scoprion spider

Combining flash with UV - you can see the dorsal aspect of the scorpion shows a dim bluish from the UV

sep 05 1693 2nd curtain flash UV

This is a better example. Note the huntsman (Thelcticopis sp. does not fluoresce

sep 05 1697 2nd curtain flash UV

Another view of the question of who is predator and who is prey

sep 05 1708 scorpion spider

Thelcticopis sp. Huntsman

sep 05 1715 crab-like spider

Thelcticopis sp. Huntsman

sep 05 1722 crab like spider

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C. Frank Starmer