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Rock’n’roll lives

November 20, 2016

The view from my bedroom window is down the valley to the Tallarook Range. The King Parrot Creek (the water body around which this blogsite is based) flows generally north to the Tallarook Range and then skirts north-eastwards along its base to join the Goulburn River at Kerrisdale. Recently I had the opportunity to go to the AGM of the Dabyminga Landcare Group, situated on the other side of the Tallarooks from our Strath Creek Landcare Group.

After the meeting Eamon, the son of the president (now ex-president), took me to see his scorpion collection. Producing an ultraviolet light source (commonly known as black-light) the fish tank in which the creatures were kept was suddenly populated by brightly glowing animals. Pictured  below is one of Eamon’s  Black Rock Scorpions (Urodacus manicatus) seen under ultraviolet light.

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Scorpions fluoresce a bright cyan colour under ultraviolet light. The exact reason for this is unknown. It has been suggested that the shell is a giant sensory organ so that the animal can find shelter in the low light conditions in which it lives. Other explanations include that the fluorescence either attracts prey, warns predators or enables scorpions to recognise each other.

Either way, the phenomenon is well known to the lads on the other side of the range who, equipped with UV lights, go out at night ‘rock-rolling’ to locate and collect the scorpions as pets. Even though I have never encountered a scorpion on the rocky slopes where I live further up the valley from the Tallarooks, I think I’ll give it a try.

I’m a rock’n’roller from way back.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan permalink
    November 20, 2016 10:35 am

    Well done Eamon! You certainly have surprised Ron!

  2. November 20, 2016 10:41 pm

    Well done Eamon! You’ve gobsmacked your grandparents!

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