Retreat Site Selection in Vaejovis carolinianus Populations of Tennessees Upper Cumberland Region [article]

Bob A Baggett
2016 bioRxiv   pre-print
My study examined Tennessees only native scorpion species, Vaejovis carolinianus. Little is known about its ecology, so the objectives of my study were to determine if: (1) V. carolinianus selected cover objects based on surface area; (2) V. carolinianus preferred moister soils under the cover object; and (3) length of time in captivity altered the preferences. Scorpions were captured from two different locations: (1) a roadcut parallel to State Highway 96 near Edgar Evins State Park; (2)
more » ... ate Park; (2) France Mountain in Overton County. In laboratory trials, scorpions were allowed to choose among three retreat sites and three soil moisture levels. Transects were established at both field locations to count and measure rocks that may serve as retreat sites. Surface area trials indicated that V. carolinianus selected large objects as retreat sites most often, but overall retreat site selection did not differ from that expected based on random choice weighted by cover object size. Soil moisture trial results varied, with no statistical significance in the results from the Highway 96 and 2013 France Mountain populations. The 2014 France Mountain population did show statistically significant differences. The surface area trials did not exhibit a time in captivity effect, but the soil moisture trials indicated a time in captivity effect between the 2013 and 2014 France Mountain populations. Based on test results, it appears V. carolinianus selected larger rocks as cover sites, perhaps due to chance or perhaps to escape sunlight and heat, for predator avoidance, or for higher soil moisture levels.
doi:10.1101/058354 fatcat:ztt6wgrdardw7ka23c67pavbmu