Test of the prey-attraction hypothesis for the scorpion fluorescence

A striking feature of most scorpion species is fluorescence under ultraviolet light, but few
studies have investigated the adaptive benefit of this trait. A hypothesis is that fluorescence
may lure prey towards the scorpion improving foraging success. In this study, we investigated
whether the fluorescence of the scorpion Centruroides granosus Thorell, 1876 lures the house
cricket Acheta domesticus Linnaeus, 1758. We performed two experiments: 1) an arena in which
crickets were exposed to both fluorescing and black-painted non-fluorescing scorpions and 2)
a tunnel in which crickets could walk out through one of the two exits, each with a scorpion
treatment. None of the experiments provided evidence that the scorpion fluorescence is
attractive to house crickets since they did not show preference for any of the two scorpion
types. Variables such as cricket sex or scorpion sex did not influence their response towards the
fluorescence; however, crickets were on average closer to male scorpions in the outdoor arena
and closer to female scorpions in the laboratory arenas. Moreover, male crickets were more
active than females in the tunnel experiment, in line with the results of the arena experiment
showing that male crickets were on average closer to the scorpions in the laboratory. We
discuss potential implications and suggest that more experimental work is required to investigate
potential adaptive benefits of the scorpion fluorescence under various biotic and abiotic

Autor: Dumas Galvez

Carolina Nieto

Paola Samaniego

Editorial: Estación Científica Coiba AIP
Tamaño: 1.6Mb
Soporte: Digital
Formato: Pdf (.pdf)
Idioma: Ingles