CORRESPONDENTS of NATURE have repeatedly raised the question whether there is any truth in the old legend that a scorpion, when placed within a ring of red-hot embers, will, after making futile efforts to pass the fiery circle, deliberately kill itself by inflicting a wound with a sting in its own head. Surgeon-General Bidie, of Madras (vol. xi. p. 29), Dr. Allen Thomson (vol. xx. p. 577), and Mr. Gillman (vol. xx. p. 629), have answered the question in the affirmative. The other side has been taken by Mr. Hutchinson (vol. xxi. p. 226), Mr. Curran (vol. xxi. p. 325), and Mr. Lloyd Morgan (vol. xxvii. p. 313). Mr. Hutchinson maintained that the animals experimented on by Mr. Gillman had died from excessive heat. To this Mr. Gillman replied, that the temperature in the centre of such a circle of glowing charcoal as he used does not exceed 50° C.
About this article
Cite this article
Do Scorpions Commit Suicide? . Nature 35, 590 (1887). https://doi.org/10.1038/035590a0