Forgotten Foto Friday: Centruroides vittatus

I got this idea from Doug Taron over at Gossamer Tapestry, who credits Steve Borichevsky at Shooting my Universe for an occasional feature called Forgotten Photo Friday (hopefully my use of the alternative spelling “Foto” won’t be considered too presumptuous).  Perfect timing, as I recently ran across these photos of Centruroides vittatus (striped bark scorpion) that I took last fall after finding him secreted under a rock in a dolomite glade at White River Balds Natural Area in extreme southwest Missouri.  One other photo from the series did make it onto the blog last year – an extreme closeup of his seemingly “smiling” face (see A face only a mother could love), and while these photos are less extreme, I think they still deserve to be shared nevertheless.



One thing that strikes me about this individual is how marvelously well-matched is his coloration with that of the surrounding rocks – a perfect example of the cryptic coloration that characterizes most members of the family (Buthidae) to which this species belongs.

Photo Details: Canon 50D w/ 100mm macro lens (ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f/13-16), Canon MT-24EX flash (1/4 ratio) w/ Sto-Fen. Typical post-processing (levels, minor cropping, unsharp mask).

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2010

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
This entry was posted in Arachnida, Scorpiones and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Forgotten Foto Friday: Centruroides vittatus

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks Ted – beautiful pictures of a striking animal. I just spent an hour taking down the pond fountain for the winter after letting a red-breasted nuthatch have one last drink. The arthropod season here is over for the year and it is time to start settling for pictures. Nice to start off with some good ones.

    • Well, you’re welcome – and thank you. Yes, sadly, the arthropod season is over here now, too. However, I still have many photographs from Nebraska and a few earlier trips in Missouri that I haven’t gotten to yet, so the fun doesn’t have to end!

  2. danceswithmoths says:

    wonderful photos with so very much detail! I find their camoflauge quite amazing. Happy to re-find your blog again Ted, good stuff🙂

  3. Bryan Hughes says:

    What an oddly long face compared to my limited scorpion experience in Arizona. Beautiful photos, er, Fotos.

    • Hi Bryan, and thanks.

      The “long” face is a bit of an optical illusion caused by the position of the dorsal eyes in the closeup. All scorpions have these dorsal eyes (at least as far as I know), but there are eyes at the frontolateral edge of the carapace as well. Google Arizona scorpion images and you’ll it’s the same in your species.

      • Bryan Hughes says:

        I think what’s making it look long to me is how much further back the plate that covers the head is from covering the mouth parts. It looks far more exposed than in Hadrarus, for example, which seems to extend all the way over the top of them.

  4. I wonder if this is the same species I’ve seen in Jefferson Co., MO, though I never stuck around to get a close look! Now that I see it in your photo, it is a pretty amazing critter; the eyes, those jaws, and that first joint of the front legs.

    • James C. Trager says:

      It’s the same, Anne, and the only one we have native in MO. I don’t see them nearly as often as I’d like, nor in many places whereI’d expect them.

      Great images, Ted!

    • I’ve seen these in JeffCo as well at Victoria and Valley View Glades. I presume that is about as far north that they get, although perhaps there are some small populations in bluff habitat along the lower Missouri River.

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