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 Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)

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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/2/2009, 3:26 am

After showing a professor of mine a U. mordax and letting him hold it, he got excited enough to want to go catch some. On top of that, his youngest daughter is a budding bugoholic and also got excited at the prospect of finding scorpions. So, tonight we headed off to my favorite scorpion-hunting site in Oregon -- myself, my professor, his wife, and their three kids.

I directed them to a pile of old plywood that I'd found a male / female pair under the previous fall. While chatting about how to find them, lifting up the second piece of plywood yielded our first specimen: an adult female. I couldn't believe how excited everyone was, but it's always fun the first time you see a scorpion just sitting out there in the wild, glowing under your blacklight. I handed off the BL to my prof. and moved the scorpion to a vial.

In the same pile of plywood, a few minutes later, we turned up another female. Everyone was understandably excited, finding two so close together. We had now tied this pile's yield compared to prior expeditions.

Nearly finished with this pile, we flipped over one long piece to discover not one, but TWO females hiding beneath! After much shuffling of vials, we caught both of them, only to discover another female hanging out between the two others. The count so far: five adult females, one for each vial I'd brought.

The pile was exhausted so we headed up the hill to check a couple other spots I'd found scorpions at before. We packed a few napkins around those we'd already collected in case we had to double up on vials. After much rock-flipping and log-turning I eventually located a feisty juvenile under a piece of bark on the side of a hill. My professor's daughters thought it was cute for being so much smaller.

Climbing back down a hill a few minutes later I happened to sweep my light in the path I was about to step and found ANOTHER, out in the open! This one was a little smaller, possibly a subadult. My prof's family had already headed back to the truck with the vials, so he held onto her while we walked down. As luck would have it, randomly sweeping my light across the hill beside the road as I walked by revealed a glint of bright green. Yet another scorpion, this time a male hanging out in his burrow. I kept watch as I waited for someone to return with a vial.

Before tonight, the total number of scorpions I'd found here was six. Tonight's collection alone totaled EIGHT!

Final count: five adult females (all of them fat enough to suggest they're gravid), one adult male, one unsexed juvenile, and one male subadult.

One adult female and the male went to my prof's daughter to keep. If his other daughters still want one after the novelty wears off, they might get another one or two.

Pics up soon, hopefully. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/2/2009, 12:01 pm

Forgot to mention, after the hunt we stopped at the McDonald's drive-through. The girl at the window was rather surprised to hear (and see) that we'd just returned from a scorpion-hunt so close by.

She brought one of her coworkers to see and he was equally impressed. Very Happy

I just wish I hadn't said "this girl is FAT -- I bet she's pregnant!" while she was still in earshot. Embarassed

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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/2/2009, 1:00 pm

Pics!

I'm almost embarrassed to post these . . . we need to get our DSLR fixed. No

The four females I kept, along with the baby male:


The subadult male . . . he's got a real attitude!



Three of the ladies. You can see that they're pretty fat in this pic.


And a shot of "junior." Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/2/2009, 1:04 pm

Very cool...can't wait til mine get that big!
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/2/2009, 1:37 pm

that's pretty awesome dude!
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/3/2009, 2:42 pm

I had to share this update -- my professor sent me this picture this morning.



I think his daughter likes her new pet! Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/3/2009, 7:34 pm

wow she looks very happy. wicked it's great to see young kids getting involved in the hobby Very Happy

they do bare a colour resemblance to the Euscorpius flavicaudis I have, with the yellowish legs and red-tipped claws. it's one of my little gems in my collection, so I can see why you love these little scorps so much Smile
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Venom
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/3/2009, 9:18 pm

Wow, a little kid into scorpions, and a female at that.

That sounds like an awesome time. Wish I could do that around here.
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/3/2009, 11:50 pm

All the kids loved it, Venom. It was pretty cool to see that enthusiasm -- by the end of it, they were a little disappointed that they were only getting two scorpions between the three of them. Razz


LadyRiotControl wrote:
they do bare a colour resemblance to the Euscorpius flavicaudis I have, with the yellowish legs and red-tipped claws. it's one of my little gems in my collection, so I can see why you love these little scorps so much Smile

Euscorpis, Uroctonus, and some of Australia's Urodacus all look very similar. IIRC, all of these genera display the glossy female / matte male characteristic.

Check out these pics Jeroen posted on VL:
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/4/2009, 12:27 am

Yeah, kids love all animals... they haven't had a chance to be brainwashed into thinking they're nasty.
lol
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/5/2009, 8:35 am

are mordax common in easten washington i live by lake rosavelt and have seen P.borenus but thats it so far
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PostSubject: Re: Botkin Road, Revisited (Mordax, Ahoy!)   5/5/2009, 12:01 pm

No, only in three SW Washington counties. The eastern parts of both our states are home mostly to P. boreus.

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