Original Research

Survival of the scorpion Opistophthalmus pugnax (Scorpionidae) after exposure to a lethal dosage SO2 gas.

Willie J. van Aardt
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 32, No 1 | a390 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v32i1.390 | © 2013 Willie J. van Aardt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 November 2012 | Published: 10 June 2013

About the author(s)

Willie J. van Aardt, School of Biological Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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Scorpions are well known for their ability to adapt to dry habitats, scarcity of food and radioactive radiation. Nothing is known about their response to toxic gases. Results from this experiment showed that a high dose of 1000 parts per million SO2 was not lethal for Opistophthalmus pugnax; compare this to humans who cannot tolerate and survive high SO2 levels. In fact, the oxygen production rate increased from 4.16 µmol/g-1hour-1 to 7.69 µmol/g-1hour-1 after exposure of one hour to SO2. Forty minutes after exposure, ṀO2 was still nearly twice as high compared with the ṀO2 value at the beginning. Further experiments are suggested to solve the problem of possible spiracle occlusion caused by SO2.


Oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, SO2 gas, book lungs


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