26 March, 2014

Centruroides preying on large centipede in Arizona

Scorpions are omnivore predators catching a wide range of preys, even though preferring soft bodied prey species. Many scorpions are mainly using their claws to control and kill their prey, while others are using the stinger and their venom. Scorpions will catch and eat other scorpions, and will also prey on other venomous animals if they have the chance.

Michael Webber and Matthew Graham recently published an interesting short note in Western North American Naturalist reporting about a Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928 (Buthidae) preying on the venomous Sonoran Desert Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha) in Arizona (USA).

Arizona bark scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing) are commonly found throughout the Sonoran Desert in southwestern North America, and they are well known for being the most venomous scorpion in the United States. Despite their medical significance, C. sculpturatus remains ecologically understudied, and little is known regarding its natural foraging and feeding behaviors. Here, we present the first documented case of C. sculpturatus feeding on the Sonoran Desert centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha Wood) in the wild.

Webber MM, Graham MR. An Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) found consuming a venomous prey item nearly twice its length. Western North American Naturalist. 2013 Dec;73(4):530-2. [Subscription required for full text]

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