scorpions glow in dark

Why Scorpions Glow In The Dark?

scorpions glow in darkYou probably have heard or seen scorpions glowing in the dark and wondered how and why they glow in the dark?

The purpose of why scorpions glow is not entirely clear, but scientists predict it is to attract a mate and prey. Scorpions glow because of the ability to react to ultraviolet light through their exoskeleton. Their cuticle has a thin section called the “hyaline layer.” The hyaline layer is responsible for responding to ultraviolet (UV) light. 

They emit a blue-green glow which can be easily spotted in the dark. Scorpions won’t glow if they don’t get the ultraviolet light from the moon or external source. They have receptors on their body that enable them to sense where ultraviolet light is prominent. 

They may have one color in the morning, but it changes their color at night. It can be beneficial for pilgrims as they can spot the scorpion far ahead and avoid going near them. In addition, this glow is a warning sign so that bigger predators or even humans don’t get too close to them.

How Scorpions Attract Its Prey In The Dark

If you’ve noticed the behavior of insects, you’ll note that they are attracted to light, and scorpions use that to their advantage. They start glowing in the dark, and that attracts the prey. If a shade or blockage prevents the ultraviolet light from touching their body, then they will adjust their position so that they can get the ultraviolet light and start hunting.

How Scorpions Glow In The Dark?

Scorpions have a thin layer called the hyaline layer, which is responsible for the glow. This thin hyaline layer is located inside the cuticle. This cuticle is present below the rigid exoskeleton. An example of a cuticle is the soft part at the base of your nails. 

This cuticle is present in the scorpions as well. So essentially, behind the hard exoskeleton is a soft base layer which helps them glow. Scientists found that only scorpions with hard exoskeleton glow in the dark. Scorpions with soft exoskeleton; a baby scorpion doesn’t glow at all, but scientists are still researching whether they secrete the chemical or they get it during the exoskeleton hardening process.

It Looks Beautiful

You may be scared of scorpions, but you’ll be fascinated when they glow. It makes them stand apart. If you keep a lot of scorpions in a lab condition and project ultraviolet light towards them, then you can see how they reflect the ultraviolet light, and I can assure you it will look beautiful. However, please don’t get too amazed by the beauty and try to touch them because the scorpion will sting you.

Do They Absorb Ultraviolet Light In The Morning?

They absorb ultraviolet light in the morning, but you cannot see the reflection because the Sun is too bright for you to see their glow. So although scorpions can be seen in the morning, the glowing only occurs at night. When they glow, it appears they have a different color; however, look at them again in the morning, and you’ll notice that they have a particular color. This is because scorpions reflect the moon’s ultraviolet light that falls on them.

Can Glowing Scorpions Be Dangerous?

The scorpion can be dangerous regardless of whether it glows or they don’t. The scorpion’s venom can create various symptoms in people, and they are eager to sting if disturbed. On the other hand, the glow that radiates from the scorpion can help you to keep your distance if you are moving in the dark.

You can see scorpions in a wide variety of places like in the woods, desert and even in your backyard. For those who move through the desert at night, this glow helps them from accidentally stepping on it. This behavior is beneficial for both the scorpion as well as for humans.

Do Scorpions Like Ultraviolet Light?

scorpions reflect untra violet lightThe ultraviolet light helps them for various purposes, so they follow the ultraviolet light and try to follow the source. If you remove the source, the scorpion will look for it and may move towards the ultraviolet ray. They can sense through their body which helps them to pinpoint the location from where the ultraviolet light is coming. There is no specific thought of liking or disliking; they follow the ultraviolet light, which helps them for various purposes.

Can Glowing In The Dark Be Dangerous For the Scorpion?

It depends on the environment in which they live. If there are many predators in that area, then the scorpion glow might attract some predators, but, regardless, they still need to glow because of various reasons mentioned here. Usually, they know how to hide from most predators, and since they are venomous, there are not many predators that will hunt them.

The glow attracts other scorpions, some of which can be male scorpions. Two male scorpions can try to compete against each other, and during that, one scorpion may die. The more oversized scorpions usually win the fight with more combat experience. If a small male scorpion attacks the big and robust scorpion, that can become fatal.

It becomes easier to spot them when they glow, and people can easily hunt them. If you stay in a scorpion-infested place, their glow will help you spot and eliminate them. You can clearly see them in the dark. In the desert, food is scarce, so people who move through hunts scorpions. They know how to hunt scorpions, and their glow works against them. Typically they use a knife and kill them instantly. After that, they remove the stinger. 

In the earlier days, scorpions were hunted for various reasons, one of which was to use the venom for arrows. They use a venomed arrow to paralyze their enemy. Scorpions can be hard to spot in daylight, but they are easy at night. So these hunters used that to their advantage, gathered as many scorpions as possible, and venomed their arrows. 


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