Scorpion: facts, characteristics, habitat and reproduction.

Scorpions, commonly know as land shrimps are eight legged predatory arachnids that belongs to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Chelicerata, class Arachnida and order Scorpiones.
They possess a grasping pedipalps and a segmented tail which has a venomous stinger.

A scorpions body is divded into two parts or tagmata. These two parts are
1. The head (also known as cephalothorax or prosoma)
2. The abdomen (also known as opisthosoma)

The abdomen is subdivided into:
1) Preabdomen (also known as mesosoma)
2) Postabdomen (also known as metasoma)

This is made up of the chelicerae, carapace eyes, four (4) pairs of walking legs and pedipalps. The pedipalps are used  for defence purposes, immobilisation and sensory purposes.
The pedipalp of a scorpion is really segmented and the segments are trochanter, coxa, tibia, femur also known as humerus, tarsus and patella.

This is the most broad part of the abdomen. It is made up of seven somites or segments.  Somites 1 and 2 are modified into a pair of genital opercular and a basal plate bearing the pectines. The pectines works or functions as a sensory organ.
Somites 3 to 6 each do possess a pair of spiracles which helps scorpions in gaseous exchange.
The respiratory organs of a scorpion are called book lungs.
Somite 7 does not possess any important structures or appendages.

The metasoma (also known as the tail) is made up of five (5) segments. The segment that possesses the telson (also known as the stinger) is actually the fifth segment.
The telson includes a vesicle containing a symmetrical pair of venom glands. The venom injecting barbs of the scorpion do possess various sensory hairs.

Characteristics of Scorpions
Scorpions are nocturnal and fossorial. They normally find shelter during the day and comes out during the night to feed.
Scorpions are photophobic in nature in order to avoid detection by predators such as mice, birds, lizards, rats etc.,
Scorpions normally likes areas where the temperature range from 20°C  to 37°C.
Scorpions are known to take in enormous amount of food at one setting because their food storage organ is very efficient. This sometimes helps scorpions to live or survive a longer period without food.
Scorpions waste is known to contain insoluble nitrogenous compounds. Some of these compounds are uric acid, xanthine, guanine, etc....

Scorpions reproduce sexually and others reproduce through pathogenesis.  Tityus columbianus, Tityus metuendus, Tityus serrulatus, Tityus stigmurus, Tityus trivittatus, Tityus urugayensis, Hottentotta hottentotta, Hottentotta caboverdensis and Liocheles australasiae are some species of Scorpions that reproduce through pathogenesis.

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