By Dirk Stevenson
A search for imperiled snakes led to the discovery of a rare – for Georgia – and remarkable arthropod.
In December, Matt Moore and Ben Stegenga of The Orianne Society were doing a DNR-supported survey for federally threatened eastern indigo snakes at Little Ocmulgee State Park near McRae when they saw a fresh snake track at a large gopher tortoise burrow. Using a burrow camera, they scoped the tunnel to find a good-sized eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake curled about 6 feet from the entrance.
The men watched the rattler, chuckling as it tongue-flicked the cylinder that houses the camera, before getting ready to go. Then they noticed an odd-looking arthropod scurrying between their legs in the burrow’s sugar-sand apron.
It was a wind scorpion, and apparently the first recorded for the state.