14 June, 2010

Locomotion and orientation in Mesobuthus gibbosus

Dimitris Kaltsas and Moysis Mylonas have recently published an interesting study of the locomotory activity and orientation of the European buthid Mesobuthus gibbosus (Buthidae).

This study explores the locomotory activity of Mesobuthus gibbosus on Koufonisi Island (central Aegean). We measured orientation of movement, shelter selection and abiotic factors that influence locomotive activity throughout the circadian and lunar cycles. Our results show M. gibbosus is a highly active and negatively phototactic species with sexually dimorphic patterns of movements that are related to maternal protective behaviour. Male scorpions disperse more widely, apparently as a function of mate search, and exhibit much more opportunistic locomotive behaviour. The locomotory activity of the population was influenced by moon phase (negative phototropic) and air temperature, did not differ intersexually, and was directed towards a dry stone-wall where shelter was readily available.

Kaltsas D, Mylonas M. Locomotory activity and orientation of Mesobuthus gibbosus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in central Aegean archipelago. Journal of Natural History. 2010;44(23):1445-59. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Thanks to Dr. Dimitris Kaltsas for sending me this paper!

Family Buthidae

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