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 Grosphus ankarana Brood Report

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Den
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PostSubject: Grosphus ankarana Brood Report   11/22/2013, 9:27 am

These past few months have been a bit of a roller coaster with regards to Grosphus ankarana. I've made a few mistakes, drawn incorrect assumptions and created difficulties where none really existed.
So instead of trying to correct earlier posts i'll start a fresh one, concentrating on what i now believe to be usable information.
Ok, first the basics.

Adult couple housed together on 2nd April
Brood noticed 11th July .. Gestation period approx 100 days (i'm thinking they had probably been born a day or 3 before i noticed them)
Departure from mother 20th July
Amount 38 .. zero mortality
First 2i moult to 3i .. 10th September ... 62 days after birth
Last 2i moult to 3i .. 3rd November ... 55 days from 1st to last
First 3i moult to 4i .. 7th November ... 120 days after birth
Initial environmental parameters for parents .. Parents hot (28-33c) with dry substrate. Occasional water bowl and mistings. No specific regime.
Birthing period .. Moderate (24-27c) no water bowl + no misting.

It seems the young will moult through a variety of temperature and humidity ranges. Higher temps tend to increase the speed of development while lower temps have the opposite affect. The temperature range for a problem free moult lays between 24c and 34c. I had one casualty that died in moult at low temps (21c). I don't know if the low temps where the cause but in lieu of any other explanation i'll stick with it. No scorps moulted at temps higher than 33c although that of course doesn't mean that they couldn't.
Moderate temps are easier to maintain than higher temps so in balance i'm thinking temps around 25-28c with occasional spikes and drops should be ideal for this specie.

Likewise i've had young moult under varying degrees of humidity however here there is a much clearer defined range of preference. Moults have been sporadic and only after long long periods of premoult at lower humidity's (<50%) while humidity around the 65-75% mark sees quicker periods of premoult and less duration between moulting siblings. This degree of humidity is not necessary all the time with dry periods between moults being most probably a normal natural occurrence although it seems to be clearly preferable (and beneficial) during premoult and just after.

With regards to moulting i've observed young moult in the open on the ground and hanging from vertical surfaces. I've also discovered young that have dug scrapes under surface objects, sealed themselves in and then moulted. So here they exhibit quite a varied range of behaviours although it seems moulting on the ground is the dominant form.....Most have moulted during the dark but i've caught a few moulting during the day.

I've also noticed that Grosphus ankarana will eat well for short periods and then fast for longer periods. Premoult can be a lengthy affair even at lower instars and young that you are sure are about to moult can often start eating again if offered..There is also differences between siblings with some eating and developing faster than others although this is true of many, if not all scorpion species to one degree or another...It just seems more pronounced in Grosphus ankarana than it does in many of the other species i've bred..

Sexing Grosphus ankarana is very simple and can be done with a decent loupe already at 2i. Females have the so called Basal Middle Lammelae which is just an oversized, sometimes misformed pectine tooth as the first tooth on the organ.
Instead of stressing the young scorp though i've waited until they moult and then examine the excuvia for gender recognition. The BML can easily be seen on a 2i to 3i excuvia.

So far my young are now tipping 4i. I started with 38 and now have 35. Of the 3 that have died, one died in moult at low temp conditions, one died for no apparent reason and the last died shortly after moult probably because of dehydration.
With their "on/off" approach to moulting you also have to be a bit careful about leaving prey in with them overnight. Here i've erred to the side of caution and will only leave prey in for a few hours if i think they are close to moult. If it's not eaten quickly, it's out again and i'll wait 2 or 3 days before trying again.

Here's a few pictures...

This is a picture of a male / female 2i to 3i excuvia. With a 10x loupe you can easily see the BML if it is there. At  a 3i to 4i excuvia you can see the BML without the aid of a loupe (perhaps you youngsters can see it at 2i without a loupe as well Wink).



Here's a pre moult 2i together with a freshly moulted 3i. These guys were kept communal up until they had all reached 3i without any incident of cannibalism whatsoever. At 3i though they have all been moved over into individual enclosures because i had a notion that some kind of proximity pressure from the other scorps was holding back their development.



And lastly here's a 4i female that moulted 2 days prior to this picture being taken. She still looks as if she's only just crawled out of her old excuvia.

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~Abyss~
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PostSubject: Re: Grosphus ankarana Brood Report   11/22/2013, 12:40 pm

cheers 
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shaneshac
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PostSubject: Re: Grosphus ankarana Brood Report   12/3/2013, 5:08 pm

I had not seen this report. Thanks a lot for sharing. Very informative Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Grosphus ankarana Brood Report   3/3/2014, 7:46 am

Update:
First 4i to moult to 5i .. 27th December ... 170 days after birth.
Half the brood is now 5i with a single specimen close to 6i although there's still a couple of die-hards that have yet to moult to 4i. The large duration between moulting siblings only focus's on and reinforces the fact that each scorpion is an individual entity...vastly different moulting times, varied habitat preference, varied moulting technique's.

I've been using the tackle box setup with these guys and it's worked very well. Each compartment is 10cmL x 8cmW x 8cmH.


Apart from the initial 3 fatalities (2 at 2i and 1 immediately after moulting to 3i) there's been no more deaths. Gender ratio stands at 19 males, 16 females, so quite an even match. Most of the most advanced 5i's are male, likewise the 4i's, although there are a few 4 and 5i's females that go against this norm such as that i can't really conclude that males develop faster than females....Based on this one brood though, the percentages do lean up to that conclusion.

As with the lower instars, increased warmth and humidity up to moult does seem to help facilitate a lesser pre-moult duration. The actual pre-moult period from 4 to 5i has ranged from around 2 or 3 weeks right up to a little over 3 months so again quite varied time values. However i still have 4i's that have yet to moult to 5i and a few of those have now been in pre-moult (understood by an aged, plump scorpion constantly basking in the warmth of it's enclosures warmest spot that refuses any food items) for over 2 months. So that just over 3 month limit (at this instar) could be extended yet.

As the weather gets better i going to start trying to sell these scorps off which in turn means my brood observations will probably end.
So to evaluate i'd say that this species exhibits a broad range of habitat preferences and is hardy through fluctuating environmental conditions having a broad window of preferences.
Many of the brood specimens have had a slightly annoying on/off approach to moulting and i can see why some people have been left scratching their heads trying to find optimal conditions......however.......i don't think they are to be found. Grosphus ankarana doesn't really have optimal condition preferences, it accepts acceptable conditions and develops at the rate it's particular physiology allows. So what works for one individual won't necessarily work for another.

My previous experiences with this species and mycosis have made me err to the side of caution with regards to water. They have all had a water bowl which has been filled sporadically. A two squirt misting around the water bowl and sides of the enclosure followed a water bowl fill.....90% of the time their substrate has been dry..one corner has only been slightly dampened in connection with filling their water bowls. I've checked excuvia after moult and haven't found any with signs of mycosis. Likewise, whether their water bowls have been filled or they have been misted, doesn't really reflect on moulting times. Many have moulted when their enclosures have been dry with just the ambient RH for moisture.

Here's a 5i female.


And just to finish off i'll include a G.ankarana sting report. I know it's in the wrong section but i like the idea of keeping specie information central without having to search through different sub sections to find what you want.

Stung on the right forefinger. Immediate pain similar to bee sting. Progressed rapidly to a cold tingling numbing sensation that throbbed similar to if you've hit your finger with a hammer. Pain increased in tact with the throbbing over 30 minutes and spread to the back of my hand and along the inside of my forearm. By this time it was extremely painful so i decided to put my hand under a cold tap. Mistake!. The cold water made my hand felt as if it had been stripped of skin and submerged in salt water. It took 5 minutes for the pain to decrease back to extremely painful after i removed it from the cold water.
1 hour later pain now moved up to armpit and radiating out across the right side of my chest. I laid down with a quilt over me and tried to relax. Discovered the warmth of being under the quilt helped with the pain. Stayed there the rest of the evening and took a sleeping tablet 5 hours after being stung. Slept for a further 5 hours and then woke repeatedly the next 3 or 4 hours before getting up.
Pain now gone throughout body although my finger is still cold, numb and stiff. Throbbing subsided and my finger is not painful to the touch.
It's now early afternoon on day 2 (stung yesterday afternoon) and the cold numbing stiffness has subsided slightly since this morning so i'm hoping there's no permanent nerve damage although right now i still have no feeling in the last third of my forefinger.....3 days after the sting all remnants of pain and numbness had gone.

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