Dec 29, 2016

Reliable Refuge: Two Sky Island Scorpion Species Select Larger, Thermally Stable Retreat Sites

PloS One
Jamie E Becker, Christopher A Brown

Abstract

Sky island scorpions shelter under rocks and other surface debris, but, as with other scorpions, it is unclear whether these species select retreat sites randomly. Furthermore, little is known about the thermal preferences of scorpions, and no research has been done to identify whether reproductive condition might influence retreat site selection. The objectives were to (1) identify physical or thermal characteristics for retreat sites occupied by two sky island scorpions (Vaejovis cashi Graham 2007 and V. electrum Hughes 2011) and those not occupied; (2) determine whether retreat site selection differs between the two study species; and (3) identify whether thermal selection differs between species and between gravid and non-gravid females of the same species. Within each scorpion's habitat, maximum dimensions of rocks along a transect line were measured and compared to occupied rocks to determine whether retreat site selection occurred randomly. Temperature loggers were placed under a subset of occupied and unoccupied rocks for 48 hours to compare the thermal characteristics of these rocks. Thermal gradient trials were conducted before parturition and after dispersal of young in order to identify whether gravidity influences ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Study
Behavior, Animal
Research
Arachnida (invertebrate)
Acclimatization
PIGY
Childbirth
Predator
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