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1 August 2016 Microhabitat use and behavior differ across sex-age classes in the scorpion Brachistosternus ferrugineus (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae)
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Abstract

Intra- and interspecific coexistence has been recorded in several species of scorpions, reflecting different levels of aggregation and sociability. Some species of scorpions avoid temporal or spatial overlap of their surface activities, which may differ depending on species, age group or gender, and thus reduce intra- and interspecific competition and predation. We examined the surface activity of males, females and juveniles (sex-age class) of the scorpion Brachistosternus ferrugineus (Thorell, 1876) in an area of Arid Chaco, and also its microhabitat preference and behavior by each sex-age class. The month-by-month activity of each sex-age class was different, but all the classes were observed each month. The most frequently used microhabitat was soil (64.8%), while leaf litter and vegetation were used in similar proportions. The behavior most frequently observed was ambush (68.3%), followed by walking and less frequently feeding, doorkeeping and courting. Each sex-age class performed one particular behavior with more frequency than the others. Analyzing combinations of microhabitat, behavior and sex-age class, we found the juveniles were associated with feeding on vegetation, males with walking on leaf litter, while females were related to ambush on soil. No marked temporal distribution between sex-age classes was observed. However, the spatial distribution and frequency of behaviors were highly dependent on developmental stage and sex. These differences may facilitate understanding of the coexistence of different age-sex classes of B. ferrugineus.

M.F. Nime, F. Casanoves, and C.I. Mattoni "Microhabitat use and behavior differ across sex-age classes in the scorpion Brachistosternus ferrugineus (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae)," The Journal of Arachnology 44(2), 235-244, (1 August 2016). https://doi.org/10.1636/J15-63
Received: 29 August 2015; Published: 1 August 2016
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