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 Wild scorpions in Sheerness.

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jaySteel
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PostSubject: Wild scorpions in Sheerness.   2/13/2012, 10:27 am

Hi everyone.
I've introduced myself in to the introductions section of the forum. I'm an amateur wildlife photographer with an interest in photographing these scorpions found at Sheerness.

After initially reading the threads started by 'Bex' on these Sheerness scorpions I've learnt as much as I can on the subject. I thank Bex and others for sharing information on these scorpions.
Thankfully I've come in contact with a guy who lives in the Sheerness area who has a close friend who works in the docks. I'm now hoping to be able to collect a couple of these scorpions from inside of the docks to photograph. If this guy can't get me a pass into the docks personally then he's kindly going to collect a couple of scorpions himself for me to photograph. Thanks Roger! (I know you're reading this forum too!)
From reading all the previous accounts from others on this forum that have collected specimens themselves from Sheerness that those scorpions found inside of the docks seem to be larger than those found on the outside of the wall. We've come to the conclusion that this is likely to be because of a more plentiful and varied source of prey for the scorpions found living in the docks. Is this the likely reason for the difference in size or can anyone on here suggest another good explanation for it?
Having never seen a live scorpion in the wild myself can anyone tell me how active these critters are likely to be and whether they are likely to sit still and pose for my photographs? I look forward to being able to share my photographs with you all when I take them.

Jason
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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: Wild scorpions in Sheerness.   2/13/2012, 11:03 am

Hello,

I've never heard that the scorpions vary in size depending on where they are found in the docks. It would be interesting if they do in the tiny area they are found though.

I haven't actually been to Sheerness but I do have a few E. flavicaudis that were collected for me from there. Given the cold weather we have been having I doubt any would be active but I have heard of people still finding the odd one during the winter.

As for taking pictures of them, going by how mine act, I'd say they are one of the easiest species to photograph. If your very quiet, don't breathe on them and keep your movements slow they will normally sit perfectly still i.e. I'm not moving so you can't see me haha. If you were trying to manipulate them into a good pose for a photograph though, they will more than likely bolt for the nearest cover.

I love them, they are a really attractive little scorpion and are so mellow, I've never seen an adult use its sting. I'm desperate to go down to Sheerness and have a look for them but it's such a long drive for me.

I hope you get your pass into the docks. It would be great to see some pics of them in their (kind of) natural habitat.
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jaySteel
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PostSubject: Re: Wild scorpions in Sheerness.   2/13/2012, 12:16 pm

Hi Callum. I'm assuming you're the same Callum B from the RFUK?
I've been to Sheerness during the daytime just to find the wall so I'll know where to look in the warmer weather if I can't get inside the docks. Preferably though I'd much rather see where they live inside the docks and find 2" specimens to photograph. The larger they are the better the photos will be.
I'm fortunate that the docks are only about 45 minutes away from me so it's not too much of a trek to get there. Roger who is trying to organise this trip for me tells of how he used to collect these scorpions back in the 1960's where they were most commonly found in the railway sleepers and rotting timber in the docks. As of now most adult examples he found inside the docks then seemed to be around the 2" mark.

Thanks for answering my question on photographing them. I just hope they are willing models for me. I'd like to also photograph one under UV light so that'll mean setting up a tripod and using a slow shutter speed so they better sit still for me.

Jason
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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: Wild scorpions in Sheerness.   2/13/2012, 12:25 pm

Have you been stalking me haha?

No worries.

Also, with you having a friend who works in the docks, have you heard anything regarding the wall where the scorpions are found being destroyed? I have heard that there has been talk of it for quite a while but as far as I know it has not started yet.
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jaySteel
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PostSubject: Re: Wild scorpions in Sheerness.   2/13/2012, 12:43 pm

No, not a stalker. Just a fellow reptile enthusiast from the same forum.

My new acquaintance / friend Roger doesn't work in the docks. He just grew up there. His close friend works in the docks. The wall is apparently classed as a Grade 2 listed structure so it is fully protected from demolition. I saw a representative from the docks on TV once saying that they had no problems with the scorpions being in the docks and no intentions of removing them. Besides, I'm informed that the residential building work that is going on there is not in the area where the scorpions live.
It seems the dock workers are almost proud of their unique little scorpion population.

I don't want to come across as though I know what I'm talking about on this subject though. Almost everything I know about scorpions especially the Sheerness population is information that I have learned about in the last week from researching the subject.

Jason
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