We compared seasonal shelter selection and social behavior of Mesobuthus gibbosus from autumn to mid-summer in two similar phryganic ecosystems, in continental Greece (near Volos city) and in insular Greece (eastern Crete), and in the laboratory under simulated abiotic conditions. Our results showed that shelter selection is a critical indicator of the seasonal social behavior of the species. The abrupt climatic changes in spring caused a differentiation in shelter selection between the cold period (November–February) and the warm period (March–June) at both sites. Sociality was exhibited only during winter in the field and was more extensive under cold conditions in the laboratory. Co-occurrence of scorpions proved to be age-specific, facilitated by population density and by harsh abiotic conditions during winter, and negatively influenced by intraspecific competition, which was higher in continental Greece. The response of scorpions to changes of abiotic factors reveals synchronization of seasonal shelter selection with climatic changes.
圖片連結: TrekNature (photo credit: Michal Grabowski)