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The ability of males to find females and behave correctly is important in most animals, and especially in species where the individuals are solitary and aggressive,with females sometimes cannibalizing males. It is well known that male scorpions are able to detect previous presence of females by reacting to chemical substances left by the females (many of us have seen males "juddering" when standing on a substance where a female has previously visited).
Laís Pordeus and co-workers have recently published a study on Tityus pusillus Lourenço, 2013 (Buthidae) where they present evidence that males are changing their behavior in the presence of female scent and that the odor of the females also triggers courtship behavior in the males.
Recognizing conspecific individuals from other members of the community is important for many interactive behaviors, especially those involved in mate selection. We investigated whether male courtship behavior is triggered by chemical cues left by females on the substrate using the sedentary litter-dwelling scorpion Tityus pusillus Pocock, 1893, which is a small and common species distributed throughout the northeast Atlantic Forest in Brazil. In experiments using 50 pairs, we tested whether males recognize females by detecting sex-specific chemicals on the substrate. All males changed their behavior, performing pre-courtship acts when exposed to female-specific chemicals on the substrate, but they did not change their behavior when exposed to a clean substrate lacking female-specific chemicals. These results show that the male T. pusillus alters its behavior in the presence of female chemical cues, suggesting that males recognize females by detecting compounds left on the substrate and that the presence of these chemicals trigger the courtship behavior of the male T. pusillus.
Pordeus LM, Lira AFA, Albuquerque CMR. Male courtship behavior is triggered by female chemical cues in the scorpion Tityus pusillus (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Can J Zool. 2019;97:1122-5. [Subscription required for full text]
Thanks to Laís Pordeus for sending me their article!