The males have to be very careful when seeking out a female for mating as she might mistake his presence as lunch instead of a reproduction opportunity. So he does a little dance for her by waving his pincers, swaying his tail and shivering his body to send vibrations through the ground. Only when she winks at him, he will approach closely.

Males have special hooks on their pincers to grab a hold of the female’s pincers. Once he has her tightly, the dance commences. He has special organs on his abdomen and uses it to deposit his spermatophores. He then tries to turn the female around and ensure the hook on the small package of sperm catch onto the female’s genital opening. This dance may take up to 30 minutes as the male’s dance and weave to align the female just right. If he fails in dancing, he may pick her up and drop her down on the package, causing the package to break and release the sperm. The female then stands motionless for a short period.

Thereafter they will break apart and continuously sting each other. In some cases where the female is larger, she might try to kill the male and eat him. Fatal attraction if ever there was such a thing.

Scorpions have the longest gestation period of all arachnids (8-legged insect-like creatures) and depending on the species, could be from a few to 18 months and produce 8 to 32 young at a time. They get quite old and only reach adulthood at 1 year.

Story by Jacques (River Lodge)

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