Dear Carlos,

In the literature that I know the only report is the case of Cheloctonus jonesii (Scorpionidae) that prey on dung beetles (Harington 1978). Apart of this report other Arachnids cases are the silver spider (Araneidae: Argiope argentata) in Panama where small individuals fall into the spider webs (Robinson & Robinson 1970) and the case of the king whip scorpion (Thelyphonidae: Mastigoproctus columbianus) in laboratory conditions in Colombia (Noriega & Botero-Trujillo 2008). 

There is an old report by Cekalovic (1965) that observed Centromachetes pococki (Bothriuridae) feeding on different arthropods groups (no dung beetles reported) in shallow burrows just under cow dung, so maybe it is possible that they will prey dung beetles if they find them. There are other reports of scorpions eating other families of Coleoptera like Carabidae and Tenebrionidae (Polis 1990) and definitively the exoesqueleton is not a problem for them. 

In relation to the galleries, it is very common in many scorpions genera (Bioculus, Heterometrus, Opisthacanthus, Scorpio) to have communal burrows that goes from 15 to 50 cm. However, there are burrows to more than 2 m in some species like Hadrurus in USA. Other non-family genera (Centruroides, Centrurus, Hottentotta, Mesobuthus, Pandinus) that have gregarious behaviour also use this kind of burrows for live or prey (Polis 1990, Brownell et al. 2001, Fet 2010).

If you need any of this reference just tell me.

Best regards,

Jorge Ari Noriega


> Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:07:01 -0300
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: On Scorpions and Dung Beetles
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Dear colleagues
> While excavating some dung beetle galleries, I stumbled across some
> scorpions
> inside, some adults and some young. Is this any common?
> Would they be there just for shelter, or trying to feed on dung beetles?
> I find it
> hard to believe scorpions would be able to penetrate the exosqueleton of
> adults,
> and young are usually protected inside capsules.
> Any thoughts?
> Thanks,
> Carlos
> --
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