Photo credit: Cowyeow/Flickr
Scientists now believe that scorpions’ fluorescent exoskeletons may help them to find cover during the night.
The scorpion’s cyan-green glow can be attributed to two chemicals, noharmane and hymnecromone, that are deposited in the exoskeleton during sclerotization, a biological process by which arthropods are able to harden their exoskeletons. Interestingly, neither young nor recently molted adults fluoresce when exposed to UV light. Juvenile scorpions eventually develop the trait as they mature. Adults regain their fluorescence as their exoskeleton re-hardens as part of the molting process. In the picture below, you can also see that the scorpion’s old exoskeleton continues to fluoresce (Photo credit: skinheaddave/www.arachnoboards.com).