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Type of publication: Diploma Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2009

Authors: De Mul, M

Title: The Hemolymph Composition of the African Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus Imperator).

Other title: Hämolymphzusammensetzung des Kaiserskorpions-Pandinus imperator

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 47.


Advisor(s):

Walzer Christian


Graduation date: 19.08.09


Abstract:
An increasing number of invertebrates are kept in captivity, with the African emperor scorpion {Pandinus Imperator) being one of the most popular invertebrates kept as a pet. Invertebrates are most often introduced to veterinarians with husbandry-related problems. Too high ambient temperature, too low relative humidity, lack of food or water, may cause the scorpion to dehydrate. Dehydration in scorpions can be measured by the evaluation of serial hemolymph electrolyte levels. However, (physiological) reference values for P. Imperator axe lacking, which presents a major obstacle when interpreting the hemolymph values. The primary objective of this study was to determine the hemolymph composition of P. Imperator and to compare it with that of other scorpion species described in literature. In the course of this study, hemolymph from ten anaesthetised emperor scorpions was withdrawn twice, with a thirteen-week interval. The hemolymph samples were analysed for their sodium-, chloride-, potassium-, calcium-, magnesium-, phosphorus- and total protein content using a Hitachi 911® Autoanalyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Vienna) and the hemolymph osmolality was measured with a freezing point osmometer (Advanced® Micro osmometer Model 3mo). The results show that the P. Imperators hemolymph osmolality is mainly determined by the high sodium and chloride concentrations. Furthermore, the results show a statistically significant difference in mean hemolymph osmolality between the two sampling times (results for March and June were 472 ± 23.3 and 451 ± 20.5 mOsm/L, respectively). However, further studies are necessary to determine the possible biological relevance of these results. Considering the scarce amount of literature available on scorpion hemolymph composition and osmolality, it seems that the hemolymph composition and osmolality of P. Imperator is comparable to that of other scorpion species. Based on the composition and osmolality of P. Imperator hemolymph, this study suggests using one of the following perfusion fluids: (a) 0.45% sodium chloride + 5% dextrose solution (ratio1:1); or (b) 0.9% sodium chloride + 2.5% dextrose solution (1:1); or (c) lactated Ringer's solution + 2.5% dextrose solution (1:1.5); or (d) Hartmann's solution + 2.5% dextrose solution (1:1.5), for the parenteral treatment of P. Imperator suffering from a fluid deficit. The efficiency of these solutions for counterbalancing a fluid deficit shall be analyzed in future studies. In addition, it is advisable to warm the fluids to the scorpion's ambient temperature to prevent hypothermia and subsequent immobility.


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