Monday, December 03, 2007

Scorpion Surgery

While we were tucking our new (still nameless) pig into her pen Saturday, Junior spotted this scorpion crawling up a fence post.
There was a brief conversation:
"Dad, there's a scorpion."
"On that post next to you."
"Kill it." (Mrs. FC joins the conversation)
"No, get the razor utility knife out of the JEEP."

While Junior rustled around in the JEEP glove compartment, the scorpion made it to the bottom of the post and began ambling toward where I was kneeling in the sand. I picked up a grass stem and pinned the scorpion's tail to the ground.
He slipped out.
I did it again.
He slipped out.

"What are you DOING Survivor Man?" (Guess who said that?)
"I'm sending him to the detailing shop."
"You're going to get stung."
"No I'm not, ... hurry up with that knife dude."
"Got it!"

I pinned the scorpion one more time and unfolded his tail to the last joint with the razor knife.
A quick slice with the knife cleanly removed the stinger at the tip and Mr. Scorpion was now completely harmless.

(Before you get all PETA on me, Arthropods are designed to lose and replace parts ... it's part of the reason they dominate this planet. Besides ... it beats squishing him.)

Above: An absolutely defenseless scorpion. No icky scary fangs like spiders, tiny pincers that are too weak to pinch human skin, and a fairly soft lightly armored body ... why, he's almost likeable.
I said "almost".
The ONLY way this animal can hurt you is it's tail sting and even that is like a wasp sting. Not pleasant, but mostly a momentary irritation.

I offered to let my two helpers hold him, but there were no takers.

I let it crawl around on one arm while I one handed the camera with the other, so as you can imagine I deleted a bunch of out of focus pics. It really did not like arm hair which I suppose was like crawling through a tangly patch of vines for a scorpion.
The only place it would hold still was on the inside of my arm ... where the forest was thinner.

After a short photo session, I let it go in the woods.

And so ends my tail ... heehee.


Anonymous said...

Look at that weather-worn, leathery skin! And the scorpion's skin looks pretty tough too.


Anonymous said...

I once sat down on the carpet in front of the fireplace, and felt the sting just a moment later. OUCH!
You're braver than I am, I would have no desire to remove the stinger in order to give my readers an educational lesson, which is why I'd send everyone to Pure Florida instead. :)

BTW, I'm back and cruising through your previous posts, sorry about that. I've just been busy all week with the band and i'm a tired mom this morning. lol

What did you all decide to name the piglet? She is really cute and I especially liked the name Harley. Or what about Marley? My, what big ears she has...

Oh, I tried to comment on some of your other posts but I kept getting knocked off, so I hope it's ok to make a collective comment this morning. hope you're not getting comment spam.

And congrats to your kids on the well deserved trophy down there a few posts below! They had a good teacher, I'm sure of that!


Anonymous said...

Very cool. Did you keep it as a pet or set it free?

Will the stinger regrow in time?

Anonymous said...

Very nice. I've never seen a scoprion in Florida. All of my experiences have been in the desert- Califonia and Arizona. I've never even seen them in the tropics. Do you have more than one species in north FL?

DougT (apparently Blogger doesn't like me this morning, either)

Juli said...

PETA thought: How cruel of him to release a defenseless scorpion into the wild. It should have been given to a Scorpion Rescue facility so it could recover from its trauma.

My thought: Hey, that's cool.

Deb said...

Being completely scorpion free here in MNarctica, I have to ask: is the stinger completely a defense mechanism or do they use it to obtain food?

Arthropods rule. Really.

roger said...

it will have to eat tailless lizards for a while.

robin andrea said...

Yes, removing the stinger was definitely the better choice for this wonderful scorpion. I have never seen one, so I appreciated this lesson immensely.

Also, congrats on your team's success, and your new pig.

dani813 said...

Kept one of these in a critter cage for a couple days.Little one named it sherbert. I guess this was better than the seahorse named ziploc.

Thunder Dave said...

Nice Scorpion, Nice looking piggy too! Also congrats to you and your team of nerds, and good luck with the upcoming "David and Goliath" competition!

Oh, I noticed the name "Cracklin" hadn't been chosen by anyone yet. See what JR thinks of that one!

Anonymous said...

"...and then the younger one handed him a razor knife and he cut off my stinger. Man, no amount of therapy is ever going to make that moment go away."

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Your solution was far superior to any I could think of. You're a kind and gentle soul.

bluebird of paradise said...

wow ! i am so impressed. we lived in tobago and had to check out our shoes before putting them on.......
never did get to see one that close , let alone perform surgery on him

lej619 said...

All I have to say is "your a better mant then I am.
but then I am a women and I would have done away with him before I would of thought to cut off his tail.!! Nice picture?! yeck

Floridacracker said...

Almost a half century in the subtropics will do that to ya'.
Would not trade a second tho ...

It probably rode in on a chunk of firewood.
The pig is still incognito. Junior is notoriously slow to name his pigs.
Thanks for the nerd team congrats. They go up against Hurricane Teen's school tomorrow.

I let him go. He should regrow that stinger after a molt or two.

Without researching any, I'd have to guess that we just have one native species as I've never seen anything different from these basic brown scorpions.
I don't know what got into blogger.

Probably true tho.

It's a food stopper, but certainly doubles as a defense. I imagine this scorpion will be instinctively "stinging" prey and wondering why they don't fall over dead anymore.

well, there's plenty of those around.

It's a kind heart that can call a scorpion "wonderful" :)
Thanks for the good wishes.

I say it again, you're kid is soooo lucky to have these experiences.
Sherbert ... LOL!

Thanks. I'll run that name by him.

You made me spew my ice tea!
Too funny.

I have squished my fair share, so I'm making amends.

THAT must have been neat living in Tobago. Envy.

Welcome to Pure Florida!
Thanks for commenting. I've done away with a few of these myself.

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

I was jonesing to go camping one weekend so I slept in my backyard in a throw up tent and a dadgum scorpion from the woodpile bit me and it hurt like $%#& for three days. Don't tell me it don't hurt!

Floridacracker said...

LOL! ... but not at your pain.
I guess I was comparing it to a multitude of other critter bites and stings in my life.
I rate the scorpion about the same as a yellow jacket.
Certainly did not mean that it was painless :)
Thanks for leaving me a comment!

Sharon said...

Well, I have no problem shooing a harmless snake away from me now, but dude, if I find another scorpion in my shower, I can't guarantee I'll be as charitable!! LOL!

Floridacracker said...

I was wondering what you would say about this.

SwampAngel65 said...

You crack me up! I thought I was the only one weird enough to play with "dangerous" critters! I'll have to remember next time I get a scorpion at work to do some surgery and really get to observe it better :)

Floridacracker said...

Well, someone has to do it, if not us who?
Be careful out there!

NearlyAnEagleScout said...

Those little scorpions are really great but damn if they don't hurt. I was on a Wilderness Survival camp out with my Boy Scout troop at Avon Park Bombing Range in Cetral Florida; the first night we were there I went to lay down in my tent and got a surprise. I was almost asleep when I felt something in my hair. Since its not uncommon for lizards to get into our tents, I reached up and wrapped a hand around him. Well, the short story is that neither of us were very happy with that and I got a nasty sting right behind my left ear. It's a good thing that some Air Force Survival School Instructors were with us because none of the other adults believed me. They thought it was a bee sting. We went back to my tent and found him curled up under my pillow. Cheeky little fellow.

Anonymous said...

Before you get all anti PETA you should know Scorpions do NOT regrow their lost appendages. I have cared for scorpions in the past and I know them fairly well. What I don't understand is that is this breed is fairly harmless only like a bee or wasp sting then why hurt him? I'm sure if you could hold him by the area near his telson that you could have just carried him to the woods and let him go. Most scorpions are not quick to attack and he probably would have just fled because you're so much bigger tan him. Also if you're trying to educate people you should tell them Scorpions do NOT have tails. That is their butt, it is thin and elongated. As I said I have had many Scorpion babies as pets and trust me I don't know any animal that poops from it's tip of it's tail. I also however completely disagree with the PETA mentality though because people like that are the reason feline Aids or FIV is runing rampant in some places. They released animals from a lab that had been injected with HIV and now there are feral cats dieing from it because PETA like organizations don't use any rational thought.

Anonymous said...

I've killed three of them in the past couple months. One was today when I saw it crawling up my bedroom wall! I don't care about what Peta has to say, "annonymous" had to say or any scorpion lover has to say about it. If I see one i'm kiliing it! The same goes for the three juvenile cotton mouth snakes I killed last year! The only good snake or scorpion is a dead one!

Gryph said...

Will this scorpion's tail regrow in time? The correct answer is NO. You might as well have squished it. Why? It's simple. This dumbass cut the scorpion's only method of defense off with a knife, AND THEN LET IT GO IN THE WOODS. He basically gave it a death sentence. This scorpion has no chance of survival in the wild without its stinger. WAY TO GO, JACKASS!