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Response of male Centruroides vittatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) to aerial and substrate-borne chemical signals.

Author(s): Steinmetz, S. B. | Bost, K. C. | Gaffin, D. D.

Journal: Euscorpius
ISSN 1536-9307

Issue: 12;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: scorpions | behavior | substrate-borne | chemical signals | Centruroides

Chemical signaling promotes mate location throughout numerous animal taxa. In this study we investigated the possibility that striped scorpions, Centruroides vittatus, use chemical signaling in the form of odor plumes or substrate-borne deposits as communication channels. A Y-shaped arena was constructed to test scorpions’ use of air-borne chemical cues in the detection of potential mates. A second, circular behavioral choice chamber was used to test male scorpions’ responses to female deposits by direct substrate contact. Male scorpions showed no tendency to move toward the female in tests of air-borne chemical transmission but they did demonstrate behavior associatedwith chemical detection when exposed to substrate-borne feminine deposits. Our experiments do not provide evidence that male C. vittatus use aerial pheromones to locate female scorpions but that they are highly sensitive to direct contact of substrate-borne chemical deposits.

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