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Asian forest scorpion

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Asian forest scorpion
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Heterometrus longimanus

Two Asian forest scorpions
Asian forest scorpion.jpg

The Asian forest scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus) are large black scorpions native to southern asia. It is often confused with a closely related species known as the Malaysian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer), and both species are collectively referred to as Asian forest scorpions in the pet trade.

Contents

Anatomy

Body of Asian Forest Scorpion

The Asian Forest Scorpion has a body that is divided into a cephalothorax and the abdomen. The abdomen is then split up into a mesosoma and a metasoma. Its cephalothorax, or prosoma, acts as the invertebrates head, which has its eyes, claws, mouthparts, and legs. The mesosoma in the abdomen has six segments. The first has its sexual organs. The second has its pectines, and the last four each have a pair of book lungs. For protection, this area of the body is covered in harmful chitinous plates. The tail of the scorpion also has six segments, that contain the stinger and anus. The exoskeleton of these scorpions is a thick body made of chitin that protects it from enemies.[1]

Reproduction

The female scorpion usually has a larger body than the male, although the male usually has larger pincers. Since these differences can sometimes be unclear, another of distinguishing the sex is by looking on the scorpion's underside. The pectines of females usually have fewer, shorter combs than the males do. To reproduce, the male takes hold of the female's pincers. It then begins a process called "juddering," which is a shaking action. Then the male puts onto the substrate a spermatophore (sperm packet). Then it has the female put herself over the sperm packet and lower herself to it. She picks it up with her abdomen and puts the sperm into her genital opening.[2]

Ecology

The Asian forest scorpion is viviparous, meaning the embryo develops inside the body of the mother scorpion, instead of outside in an egg. The mother gives birth to baby scorpions one at a time and has them stay on her back until ready to leave. While these animals grow, they shed their exoskeleton, a process called moulting. This happens usually about five to seven times while growing. When it first comes out of its old exoskeleton, its new exoskeleton is soft. Because its new outer shell is much less hard, the scorpion is at high risk of becoming injured or killed by another animal. While the exoskeleton becomes harder, the scorpion must regularly do stretches to make sure that the new exoskeleton will be able to flex in the ways that the scorpion moves. Asian forest scorpions are nocturnal, meaning they sleep at day and are active at night. During the day, they try to find cool areas to sleep, like inside of holes or under rocks or other areas in shade. During the night, they come out of their habitat to find food to eat. Generally, these scorpions like to live in areas where the temperature ranges from the high sixty degrees to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, although middle European scorpions have been known to live in environments with temperatures as cold as negative twenty five degrees celsius. Asian forest scorpion's main meal is arthropods and insects. To capture their prey, they use pincers to grab it. Once they have a hold on their meal, they either crush the being or they inject it with venom. Once it is dead from the venom, the scorpion then eats it. Animals that want these scorpions for their prey include birds, centipedes, lizards, mice, possums, and rats. [3]

Asian Forest Scorpion's Stinger

Venom

One thing about the Asian forest scorpion that separates it from other invertebrates is its use of venom. Their venom is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells. They use this as a killing strategy against enemies. They inject their venom into the prey until it is paralyzed or dead and then they eat it. These scorpions generally use this ability against other arthropods. They usually won't attack a human, unless they feel threatened with their life. If one of these scorpions bites a person, the worse that will happen is pain or swelling on the wound. Although some scorpions have been known to give humans pulmonary edema, which is like a severely swollen lung, this type's bite has about the same effect as a bee sting on a human.[4]

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