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Abstract

Modern studies of scorpion prey-capture behavior have included several genera from a variety of habitats and have demonstrated that scorpions have a limited, yet similar, repertoire of reactions towards their prey. These experiments, however, by necessity have dealt with scorpions under the ecologically artificial conditions of an indoor laboratory. The experimental design presented here included both indoor and outdoor laboratory experiments to study the prey capture in Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807). Thirty indoor and twenty outdoor experiments recorded scorpion activities from initial prey recognition to prey ingestion. By experimenting with this indigenous species in its harsh environment (an outdoor laboratory, which was 7o C hotter and 11% drier than the indoor laboratory), there was an 11 minute reduction in total prey-capture time and a 40% reduction in scorpion inactivity during outside prey-capture sequences. This increase in prey-capture efficiency is probably related to a negative response due increasing metabolism and desiccation stress when on/near the surface; thereby, ensuring a quicker return to the more equable burrow.

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