Male courtship behavior is triggered by female chemical cues in the scorpion Tityus pusillus (Scorpiones: Buthidae)

Canadian Journal of Zoology, e-First Articles. 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.
Source: Canadian Journal of Zoology - Category: Zoology Authors: Source Type: research

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