Wildlife TV

Learn interesting and funny plant and animal facts with videos and photos

How do Scorpions Mate?

on August 1, 2013

In the previous post we started looking at the mating behaviours of arachnids. Arachnids are a group of invertebrates that are identified as having 8 legs. Most people know that spiders are arachnids but the group also includes ticks, mites, solifuges and scorpions. It is the mating techniques of the scorpions which we will look at in this entry.

Scorpions (Order: Scorpiones) have quite an intimate mating technique. Males and females will spend quite some time attempting to locate one another using sensory organs underneath their bodies called pectines. They will trace each other’s pheremone trails and upon meeting, they begin their intimate courtship with the pair locking pincers together, and sometimes also their mouth parts (chelicerae). The two will then ‘dance’ together, moving around in circles on the ground until the male finds a suitable surface where he can deposit his sperm; he then has to lead her in the dance in order to position her over the sperm so that she can receive it using her pectines. This mating technique is so romantic it even has a French name, the Promenade √† Deux.

An image of an Opistophthalmus scorpion displaying its large pincers.

Although a scorpion’s pincers can be used as deadly weapons, they are also tools for intimate courtship rituals.
Photo Credits.

We’ve seen in the previous entry and in this one that the arachnid world can be gross and brutal but there are moments that we can relate to. It’s never a good idea anthropomorphising animal behaviour, but it is humorous to draw comparisons between how arachnids practice their mating behaviour to humans; males providing dinner for females showing off with dancing prowess, even massages. The difference being that human females are somewhat unlikely to kill and devour the male!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the mating behaviour of spiders and scorpions.

Coming soon is a series of articles on how many animals will mate for life, starting with birds. Find out even more animals’ mating techniques on our series page.

Much love,

-Nick

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