The reproductive potential and strategy of Scorpio maurus fuscus (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae): anatomical clues in the ovariuterus
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2006
Journal of Zoology
Volume 246, Issue 1, pages 29–37, September 1998
How to Cite
Warburg, M. R. and Elias, R. (1998), The reproductive potential and strategy of Scorpio maurus fuscus (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae): anatomical clues in the ovariuterus. Journal of Zoology, 246: 29–37. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1998.tb00129.x
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2006
- Accepted 17 December 1997
- arthropod reproduction;
- reproductive potential
The reproductive potential of scorpions is difficult to assess since several stages of their life histories cannot be clarified under natural conditions. The female's age when she first reproduces, the frequency of parturitions, litter size, and longevity cannot be known with accuracy. A new approach to such questions is suggested, whereby clues in the female's ovariuterus can be used to shed some light on previous and forthcoming litter sizes.
The ovariuterus of a female scorpion is unique among invertebrates in that past and forthcoming parturitions can be traced in its structure. Degenerated post-partum diverticulae and the scars remaining after these have been completely resorbed indicate past parturitions, whereas young rudimentary diverticulae provide an estimate for future generations.
It is estimated that Scorpio maurus fuscus (Scorpionidae), matures in its second year, and first reproduces when 3 years old. Ovariuterus structure shows that it can have at least four and perhaps up to eight litters. If parturition takes place every year this would imply that a female scorpion can reach a minimum age of 6 years or perhaps up to 10 years. Evidence based on population analysis of females indicates that it is unlikely that all females reproduce in consecutive years; more probably they reproduce every other year. Thus, longevity may reach 9 years and perhaps as much as 17 years.