Love is in the air

One night at the park, we spied this pair of scorpions. They were attempting to make babies!

Mating Hentz striped scorpions

Scorpions engage in a love dance, where the male grabs the female by the pincers, and as they tango, he caresses her face with his chelicerae – small claw-like structures that poke out of the mouth. When the dance is complete, the male deposits his spermatophore on the surface, and then guides his lady over it, where it is taken up by her reproductive organs and hopefully results in fertilization. See it here.

Upon being born, the soft, vulnerable scorplings (usually around 8 of them) crawl onto the mother’s back and stay there for a couple of months, until they have their first molt and are big enough to go hunt on their own. They molt five more times after that, and can live from 6 to 8 years.

It’s interesting to note that fluorescence increases with each molt of the scorpion. Perhaps the female in this picture is young?

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