Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two Scorpions in 10 hours

I recently had some time in the desert to watch scorpions. The first was expected: Scorpius, a favorite constellation of the summer sky. This time of year, Scorpius rises in a upright position. By midnight, you can see all but part of its tail.

The next morning I was blessed with the visitor that inspired this constellation:

Scorpion with size 12 shoe

This is the first scorpion I've ever seen. Online searches for "California Dune Scorpion" reveal a lot of photos showing a very similar creature.

A close up of my visitor whom I believe to be Smeringurus Mesaensis,
the California Dune Scorpion

Scorpion enthusiasts report this as a very fast moving scorpion, that is, quick to scurry away. They also describe it as a bit passive, more likely to hide than sting. This one was in no hurry. Instead, it kept a slow and steady march toward my car. I suspect that it took refuge under my vehicle and felt exposed when I pulled out of my campsite. It appeared to be trying to return to the vehicle's shade. I was able to get my photos and persuade it to choose a different direction, so that I could leave without worrying about driving over it.

Scorpius reinterpreted thanks to my campsite visitor


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