Friday, August 27, 2010

Scorpion, interrupted

I (unintentionally) interrupted this scorpion at Għajn Tuffieħa while it was feasting upon the remains of a fellow arthropod - a hapless woodlouse, which can be seen still attached to the scorpion's jaws in the lower picture. A few seconds after being discovered, the scorpion released the morsel and assumed a compact, defensive stance, remaining utterly immobile until yours truly decided to leave it in peace and restore its stony hideout to its original place.

Only this species of scorpion exists in Malta. It is the small Euscorpius sicanus (Koch, 1837), also found on other Mediterranean islands.


  1. Hi David,

    Nice close-up of the scorpions you have there! By the way, Is the rock the scorpion rests on in the second picture made up of shell-grit? They seemed to be a lot of shell debris embedded in it.


  2. Hi JK,

    Thanks for the comment!

    The scorpion is resting on a block of Lower Coralline Limestone, which is made up mostly of the coralline algae Lithothamnium, which is the whitish 'wavy' crust which you see in the photo. Unfortunately not many shells are found intact in this layer except for bivalves and brachiopods - all gastropod fossils have been reduced to internal moulds.

    Best regards


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