Scorpion Navigation

aka “Self-driving Arachnids

Biology Cornerstone courses offer students an in-depth hands on experience in lab research. Students take the lead on designing, conducting, and analyzing their own research projects. My course, “Scorpion Navigation,” is centered on the navigational capabilities and sensory biology of scorpions. We build on our expertise and ask the student groups to come up with a research question, propose a hypothesis, and design and execute an experiments exploring key aspects of scorpion biology. We have had some great research projects over the years and you can click on the links below to view some of the manuscripts that the student groups have produced. See some action shots of students engaged in first-hand research in the course.

Fall 2021

Lang L, Bui M, Fraser D, Gutierrez G, Hodgson L (2021) Water localization capabilities of the desert grassland scorpion.

Anguiano E, Friend E, Gill W, Romano J (2021) Do scorpions use air currents in echolocation?

Fick Z, Sajid A, Smay C, Benni N, Patel K (2021) Testing the UV light sensitivity of the tail and pedipalps of the eastern sand scorpion.

Fall 2017

Kelley S, Yut K, Kulkarni R, Gaffin DD (2019) Avoidance of rosemary oil by scorpions. Journal of Arachnology 47(1):159-161.  link

Bays D, Murphy M, Parsons F (2017) Using scorpion activity variation to locate extraocular cuticular light receptors.

Bowman M, Riley D, Usman M (2017) Some like it humid: hygrotaxis in the striped bark scorpion.

Goode C, Matlack C, McCans H, White P (2017) Temperature response in the striped bark scorpion, Centruroides vittatus.

Spring 2017

Ashford K, Blankenship R, Carpenter W, Wheeler I, Gaffin DD (2018) Response of the eastern grassland scorpion, Paruroctonus utahensis, to air movement from a moth analog. Journal of Arachnology  46(2):226-230. link

Mann S, Molitor J, Ngo J (2017) Texture preference in the eastern desert grassland scorpion: Paruroctonus utahensis (Scorpionida, Vaejovidae).

Powers A, Dobbins B, Moore A, Rolfs S (2017) Behavioral responses to visual stimuli in the desert grassland scorpion, Paruroctonus utahensis.

Spring 2016

Ward Q, Kunkel R, Heigle C (2016) The effects of magnetic fields on the desert grassland scorpion, Paruroctonus utahensis.

Heigle B, James J, Pascoe J (2016) Prey localization by scorpions in the absence of a vibrational stimulus.

Avery N, Maney W, Torbati A (2016) Do scorpions refer to stored textural patterns when navigating?

Fall 2015

Cox G, Gibson C, Lu D, Wagoner J (2015) Chemical differentiation of prey and non-prey organisms in Paruroctonus utahensis.

Day B, Miller C, Strain J, Woodard T (2015) Examining textural familiarity in scorpion homing.

Daniels M, Qadar A, Geyer E, Mahaffey R (2015) The role of vision in scorpion homing behavior.

Glenn C, Khoussine J, Lydick N, McClendon C (2015) Electrophysiology of peg sensilla mechanoreceptors on the scorpion pecten.