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Biology

Like most scorpions, Pandinus dictator is primarily nocturnal (7), and like other burrowing scorpions it spends most of its life in the burrow it has excavated, leaving only for courtship, mating, for burrow maintenance or to pounce on prey from the burrow entrance (6). While most scorpion species are solitary, it is thought that Pandinus dictator may show some social behaviour, with burrows sometimes occupied by more than one individual (3). As part of a complex mating dance, the male scorpion attaches a spermatophore to the ground while grasping the female by the pincers or the chelicerae. The male then manoeuvres the female over the spermatophore, so that the female can receive the sperm (7) (8). Unusually among arthropods, young scorpions take a long time to develop and litter sizes are relatively small. Uniquely, scorpions are also viviparous, giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs. At birth, the young climb onto the female's back and remain there until the first moult; this maternal care may help protect the vulnerable young from predation, harsh environmental conditions or from drying out until the cuticle becomes fully waterproof (7) (8). Although little information is available on the lifespan of Pandinus dictator, it is likely that, like other scorpions, it is relatively long-lived (8). Prey is detected using specialised slit sense organs on the legs, sensory hairs (trichobothria) on the pincers, or special comb-like sensory organs on the underside of the abdomen, known as pectines (7). As with other scorpions that possess large, strong pincers, this species is likely to use its pincers to kill and manipulate prey and to reserve its sting for larger prey or for use in self-defence (7). The venom of Pandinus dictator is not known to be dangerous to healthy adult humans.

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Source: ARKive

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