Some may already know that scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, but have you ever wondered why? Well, there is still no definitive answer, but scientists do know that right after a scorpion sheds its shell, it doesn’t glow until the new cuticle hardens. This could possibly mean that the substance that causes fluorescence is a byproduct of the hardening process itself, or something that the it secretes not long after molting. Read more for a short video and additional information.
Whatever the fluorescence source may be, the glowing property does appear to be long-lasting. When preserved in alcohol, the liquid itself that contains the scorpion sometimes glows under UV light. The purpose of the fluorescence is yet to be determined, but it may protect scorpions from sunlight, help them find each other, or just used to confuse their prey.
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We don’t really know exactly why they do it — it could just be an accident, a freak of nature, that all scorpions fluoresce. [Fluorescence] may be part of the mechanism by which the scorpions respond to moonlight.” said Owen Seeman, the collection manager for arachnids at the Queensland Museum.