18 April, 2012

A review on scorpion reproduction

We still do not know enough about scorpion reproduction. Professor Michael Warburg is one of the leading experts on this topic and he has previously published several important papers on this topic (e.g. the recent The Female reproduction system in scorpions - a review and A review of scorpion reproductive strategies).

This time he has published a very interesting paper reviewing and discussing mating, insemination, gestation, modes of reproduction, parurition, breeding season and birth in scorpions. Professor Warburg also discuss future research of scorpion reproduction in this paper.

Although scorpions are an ancient group their method of reproduction is rather complex and poorly studied. This review aims at clarifying some of the aspects of their reproduction that are important for understanding the reproductive ecology of other arthropods, including insects. The following aspects of scorpion reproduction are discussed and reviewed: mating, insemination, fertilization, gestation, parturition and birth. The onset of gestation and its duration are difficult to determine as both depend on the time of fertilization, for which there are no accurate estimates. There are only a few records of the time between birth and emergence of a larva from the maternal envelope in apoikogenic scorpions, which is important for a better understanding of ovoviviparity. All these questions are important as the answers will greatly enhance our understanding of the population ecology of scorpions in terms of the recruitment rates of cohorts and their chances of survival.

Warburg MR. Pre- and post-parturial aspects of scorpion reproduction. European Journal of Entomology. 2012;109:139-46.

Thanks to Matt Simon for informing me about this paper and to professor Warburg for sending it to me!

No comments: