22 March, 2010

Fungus infection in scorpions

It is well known that scorpions are victims of both predators and parasites, but little is known about fungus infection in scorpions. Santana-Neto and co-workers have now published an article presenting a Fusarium solani fungus infection in Tityus stigimurus (Buthidae).

Members of the Fusarium solani species complex are agents of human mycoses, also affecting plants and other animals. Nevertheless, this fungus has not been reported on scorpions. Ten specimens of Tityus stigmurus collected in the field and showing their surface covered by white mycelia were used to assess fungus presence in the animal after its death. Identification of the fungi was based upon the cultural and morphological characteristics. The fungus was isolated from chelicerae and intersegmental regions. Infected individuals had their behaviour modified by reducing feeding and locomotion. None of the infected individuals survived. It is likely that this fungus may have a role in the regulation of field scorpion populations.

Santana-Neto P, Albuquerque C, Silva A, Svedese V, Lima E. Natural occurrence of the Fusarium solani on Tityus stigmurus (Thorell, 1876) (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Braz J Biol. 2010 Feb;70(1):151-3. [Free fulltext]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A captive specimen of T. aestens that I owned died of a similar condition. It too was covered with white mycelium threads.