Maternal care (?) in Bark Scorpions

Last month, UTIC Volunteer Anne Schultz brought in a scorpion momma loaded with baby scorpions on her back. Our natural reaction was to photograph them asap! Anne and I used a white box to get live photos of these adorable arachnids. The species we have here is the Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus), the most commonly-encountered scorpion in our area.


While we photographed, the young scorpions moved around on the mother’s back like a living blanket. One of the small scorpions fell off suddenly and was, to our astonishment, culled by the mother with a quick bite. I’m not sure if the move was aggressive or defensive; it did not make much sense. Maybe she was just hungry…


Alejandro is a Scientist Assistant at the University of Texas Insect Collections (UTIC) and at the Texas Natural History Collections (TNHC). He received his B.S. in Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Texas at Austin.

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