08 June, 2011

A review of scorpion reproductive strategies

Michael Warburg has recently published an interesting review on scorpion reproductive strategies. In addition to reviewing the existing knowledge on this topic, he also makes suggestions about future research on this topic.

Most scorpion species are iteroparous, breeding more than once during their life. Some of these species are parthenogenetic. The other reproductive strategy (RS) semelparity, when scorpions breed only a single time during their life, is rare and has been documented only once. The mass allocated by the female to produce either a litter or a single offspring is the reproductive allocation (RA). It is difficult to calculate RA since the difference in female mass before and after parturition is difficult to obtain. In addition, the litter size is hardly ever accurate because of maternal cannibalism. An attempt was made to calculate RA in Nebo hierichonticus (E. Simon, 1872). Based on litter size, on breeding frequency and on longevity of the female, it is possible to estimate the reproductive potential (RP). These aspects of scorpion reproduction are reviewed and the difficulties involved in this study are discussed.

Warburg MR. Scorpion reproductive strategies, allocation and potential; A partial review. European Journal of Entomology. 2011;108(2):173-81. [Free fulltext]

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