Charles Hedgcock
Bifurcation of the Tail and Ultraviolet Fluorescence in the Bark Scorpion Centruroides exilicauda (Buthidae), 1997

Natural Science Photograph; Nikon FM; 35mm Kodak Kodachrome 64 film; Norman 200B Flash unit; Lepp Bracket; UV imaging filter

Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

TThis image of an adult female shows a two-tailed bark scorpion and was exposed using the fluorescence technique using ultraviolet excitation. Bifurcation of the tail is thought to be the result of incomplete twinning. Two-tailed scorpions usually die during the molting process, which is typical of all invertebrates as they grow and few survive to become adults. Scorpions are among the oldest forms of arachnids and have long been known to fluoresce under ultraviolet excitation, a property known as photoluminescence. The role of fluorescence in scorpions, if any, is unknown.

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