30 March, 2009

Litter size, effects of maternal body size, and date of birth in South American scorpions

Outeda-Jorge, Mello & Pinto-da-Rocha have recently published an interesting article on litter size and date of birth in 21 South American species (first time data for 13 species). In addition, they also discuss the impact on maternal body size on number and size of scorplings. Multiple broods (without new matings) are also reported in seven buthid species.

This is a very interesting paper for those interested in scorpion reproduction, ecology and life history, but has also interest for those trying to breed South American scorpions in captivity.

We present new data on litter size and date of birth (month) for 21 South American scorpions species. We provide data for one katoikogenic species, the liochelid Opisthacanthus cayaporum Vellard, 1932 (offspring = 3; birth month: Jan); and for several apoikogenic species, such as the bothriurids Bothriurus araguayae Vellard, 1934 (53; Sep), B. rochensis San Martín, 1965 (22-28; Jan, Aug); the buthids Ananteris balzanii Thorell, 1891 (10-34; Jan-Mar), Physoctonus debilis (Koch, 1840) (2; Sep), Rhopalurus amazonicus Lourenço, 1986 (19; Nov), R. lacrau Lourenço & Pinto-da-Rocha, 1997 (30; Dec), R. laticauda Thorell, 1876 (41; Nov), R. rochai Borelli, 1910 (11-47; Dec-Jan, Mar-Apr), Tityus bahiensis (Perty, 1833) (4-23; Oct-Mar), T. clathratus Koch, 1844 (8-18; Nov-Jan), T. costatus (Karsch, 1879) (21-25; Jan, Apr), T. kuryi Lourenço, 1997 (4-16; Mar), T. mattogrossensis Borelli, 1901(8-9; May), T. obscurus (Gervais, 1843) (16-31; Jan-Feb, May, Jul), T. serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922 (8-36; Dec, Feb-Apr), T. silvestris Pocock, 1897 (5-14; Dec-Jan, Apr), T. stigmurus (Thorell, 1876) (10-18; Nov, Jan, Mar), Tityus sp. 1 (T. clathratus group - 7-12; Feb-Apr), Tityus sp. 2 (T. bahiensis group - 2; Mar); and the chactid Brotheas sp. (8-21; Jan, Apr). We observed multiple broods: R. lacrau (offspring in the 2nd brood = 27), T. kuryi (6-16), T. obscurus (2-32), T. silvestris (8), T. stigmurus (4-9), T. bahiensis (offspring in the 2nd brood = 2-18; 3rd = 1), and T. costatus (2nd brood = 18; 3rd = 4). We found statistically significant positive correlation between female size and litter size for T. bahiensis and T. silvestris, and nonsignificant correlation for T. serrulatus.

Outeda-Jorge S, Mello T, Pinto-da-Rocha R. Litter size, effects of maternal body size, and date of birth in South American scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones). Zoologia. 2009;26(1):43-53. [Free fulltext]

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