Centruroides gracilis on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

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RCampbell
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:45 am
Location: wherever poikilotherms can be found

Centruroides gracilis on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

Post by RCampbell »

Juan Ponce de León happened upon the end of the coconut archipelago and named them the Tortugas because of the amount of sea turtles. Being they had no fresh water, they were eventually renamed the Dry Tortugas. Since 1513 the Spanish had visited this grouping of small keys to hunt turtles, to aid in navigating treacherous waters for galleons. There are still unaccounted for lost ships and treasures stolen from the "New World" as the plunderers headed back to Spain.
Among the things taken from Central America and spread throughout Spanish shipping lanes and ports was Centruroides gracilis. A large scorpion that is adept at hiding unseen in daylight hours. Though not a native of Florida, unfortunately it is often commonly called a Florida Bark Scorpion...a moniker it shares with a native Florida species, Centruroides hentzi. The hentzi are a diminutive species compared to the gracilis.
I was able to spend several nights on Garden Key, home of Ft. Jefferson searching for and counting Centruroides gracilis. I was not disappointed. The small spit of land is home to a very seriously robust population of them.
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Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: Centruroides gracilis on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

RC
Too bad this forum seemingly has been vacated by many former viewers and contributors. Your post about Polistes dorsalis brought back an incident that happed to me a good number of years ago.

In gathering nestling voles, shrew, and deer mice under artificial cover objects for feeding captive Rubber Boas, I commonly encountered some local Oregon species of paper wasps and bumble bees nesting in vole nests. One year I remarked to a friend that I had never been stung by either species despite frequent encounters. Then that very year, I got stung once by both species.

It seems that Hunter’s Little Paper Wasp does not occur in Oregon. I briefly did a Google search and we have at least two or more species of paper wasps locally. Before and since that one encounter and despite frequently encountering paper wasps, I have not had any other instances of ‘aggression’ by those wasps (or bumble bees).

One of my son’s, Rich Jr., is a professional birding tour guide for Wings Inc. of Tucson. Rich is a natural at identification and has taken a keen interest in some species of inverts such as butterflies, damsel flies, dragon flies and many other species of invertebrates. I would not be surprised if he new of the species of scorpion you appear to work with.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)
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RCampbell
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Re: Centruroides gracilis on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

Post by RCampbell »

Thanks for being one of the ghosts haunting the Forum! It is a bit empty, and I agree that sadly is the adjective.

I love Polistes...amazing species with personality and definitely not the zealot aggressive defenders that Vespa species are!

The C. gracilis are large and common, and a popular species with invertebrate enthusiasts. One of my upcoming projects is expanding current understanding of US populations of this large species.

I attach an image for you to enjoy as well as another species of Polistes.
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Sarahclark
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Re: Centruroides gracilis on Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

Post by Sarahclark »

RCampbell wrote: September 29th, 2023, 11:17 am Thanks for being one of the ghosts haunting the Forum! It is a bit empty, and I agree that sadly is the adjective. https://sharpedgeshop.com/collections/gyuto-knives-chefs-knife

I love Polistes...amazing species with personality and definitely not the zealot aggressive defenders that Vespa species are!

The C. gracilis are large and common, and a popular species with invertebrate enthusiasts. One of my upcoming projects is expanding current understanding of US populations of this large species.

I attach an image for you to enjoy as well as another species of Polistes.
It's always great to connect with fellow enthusiasts
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