Babies on Board! Scorplings Hitch a Ride with Mom at Erie Zoo

Video and photos courtesy of Erie Zoo

Babies on board! These little ones may not be as cute and cuddly as some of the other babies at the Erie Zoo, but they sure are cool!

Emperor scorpions are native to the rainforests of West Africa. Mother scorpions can give birth to anywhere from 9 - 32 offspring who are born helpless and white in color. The babies live on the mother's back for about 2-3 weeks until they are able to fend for themselves!

Mom gives off a blue-green glow  when under a UV light. The glow comes from a substance found in a very thin but super tough coating in a part of the scorpion's exoskeleton called the cuticle. 

The babies will remain at the Erie Zoo. They are part of an animal ambassador program. Emperor scorpions can give birth about once a year as they have a 9-12 month gestation period. Right now the babies are completely reliant on mom for food and stay on her back. In 2-3 weeks they will leave her back and begin fending for themselves.

Cold Blooded Baby Boom in the UK


Cotswold Wildlife Park, in the UK, is experiencing a summer baby boom of the cold blooded variety.  The Reptile Section is awash with new births, including some of the smallest newborns in the entire collection. These include: four Mangrove Snakes (bred for the first time at the Park), six Blood Pythons, three Crested Geckos, four Asian Giant Forest Scorpions and a multitude of Lyretail and Checkerboard Cichlids.

Cotswold_Mangrove Snake

Scorpion 5 DR CWP

Lyretail Cichlids with fry 2 DR CWPPhoto Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, said, “The Keepers at the Park are delighted with the boom in births and hatchlings in the Reptile House.  It is a real achievement to breed some of these species and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Reptile Department in species that do not always get the same attention as the cute and cuddly!”

Three Crested Gecko babies were hatched on July 10th. Geckos are one of the most diverse groups of lizards on Earth and are an incredible example of animal engineering. The ribbed flesh on their toes enables them to scale vertical surfaces, even polished glass! Engineers with the US Department of Defense’s research project, DARPA, have been looking into creating ‘bio-inspired’ gloves for soldiers based on the Gecko’s ribbed toes.

The new breeding pair of Mangrove Snakes has successfully produced young for the first time. Two yellow and black striped snakes hatched in June. These reptiles are brilliantly camouflaged in the brightly sunlit, leafy mangrove habitat, making them masters of disguise in the wild. The Park’s Blood Pythons also produced six young.

An unexpected birth came from a new species to the collection, the Asian Giant Forest Scorpion. Keepers were pleasantly surprised when the female produced young just weeks after arriving at the Park. The young are born one by one after hatching and expelling the embryonic membrane. The brood is carried on the mother’s back until the young have undergone at least one molt.

Meanwhile, the Insect and Invertebrate House has seen multiple fish births of two species of Lake Tanganyika Cichlids. The Park’s Lyretail and Checkerboard Cichlids have recently produced young. These fish are secretive shelter spawners, and their fry are smaller than a grain of rice.

See more photos below the fold.

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Friday Surprise... Scorplings! (Baby Scorpions)

Baby Scorpions - Scorplings!!! 2

The Elmwood Park Zoo in Pennsylvania recently welcomed a brood of baby Emperor Scorpion known as "scorplings." Unlike most arachnids, baby scorpions are born alive! These tiny scorplings' shells have not yet hardened and they must ride on mom's back for safety. Emperor Scorpions are among the largest and lowest in toxicity, making them a popular pet, so much so that over-collecting could threaten this species in the wild. 

Check out their tiny scorpling eyes!

Baby Scorpions - Scorplings!!! 2b