29 December, 2010

Life cycle data for Opisthacanthus madagascariensis

Wilson Lourenco and co-workers have recently published a paper with life history data for Opisthacanthus madagascariensis (Hemiscorpiidae) from Madagascar.

Biological observations were made during the 1980s by the senior author on living specimens of Opisthacanthus madagascariensis Kraepelin, 1894. These were collected by French biologists on a field trip in 1980-1981 to the Parc National de Namoroka, Mahajanga Province, Madagascar. The total duration of embryonic development averaged 18 months. The moults necessary to reach the various juvenile instars and adulthood took place at average ages of 13, 101, 204, 327 and 442 days. These developmental periods are significantly longer than those of most medium-sized species of scorpions but are similar to the ones previously observed in other species of the genus Opisthacanthus. Morphometric growth values of the different instars are also similar to those in other known species of Opisthacanthus. A significant allometric growing of pedipalps is observed for some males collected in the field, suggesting the existence of at least one extra instar.

Lourenco WR, Leguin E-A, Cloudsley Thompson JL. The life cycle of the Malagasy scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis Kraepelin, 1894 (Liochelidae). Entomol Mitt Zool Mus Hamburg. 2010;15(183):173-82.

Family Hemiscorpiidae

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