Pity The Pregnant Scorpion — From A Distance

By Mark Moran
Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 2:58pm
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(Courtesy of Jillian Cowles)
Centruroides sculpturatus under ultraviolet light.
(Courtesy of Jillian Cowles)
Centruroides sculpturatus mother and babies one week after birth. The babies are almost ready to molt.

Pity the poor scorpion. Wait … pity? … the scorpion? 

In Arizona, we shriek and stomp and kill them when they slither into our kitchens or bathrooms. 

Well, how would you feel if you spent 80 percent of your life pregnant? The female striped bark scorpion spends almost 300 days pregnant, according to a new study in the Public Library of Science. That makes female scorpions slow to react, and more likely to bite.

Jillian Cowles is a microbiologist and scorpion expert in Tucson.

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