One of the benefits of being a Kariega Conservation Volunteer is that you get to experience the African bush from a different perspective. Activities like bush clearing, eliminating alien vegetation, planting spekboom and sitting for hours observing the habits and movements of various species of animals encourages you to keep your eyes open for the small wonders of Africa rather than just the Big 5.
Recently the hard working Kariega Conservation Volunteers were rewarded with this sighting of a mother scorpion carrying her young on her back.
Scorpion Mother Carrying Babies on Her Back
A scorpion can have as many as 100 babies in a single brood. They are born alive, rather than hatched from eggs like other insects. At birth, the exoskeleton, or outside shell of the baby scorpion is very soft. They crawl up onto their mother's' backs for 10 to 20 days until their exoskeleton becomes stiff and hard. Then they crawl off and begin life on their own.
Mother Scorpions Can Eat Young
Sometimes when the mother scorpion cannot find enough insects, bugs or grub worms to eat, she will eat her own babies. Luckily this is only a last resort! Thanks to the good rains and abundance of insects at Kariega Game Reserve, these baby scorpions are still safely where they ought to be – on their mother's back.