Incredible footage shows scorpions locking pincers, grappling and ‘dancing’ during their mesmerising mating ritual
- The predatory arachnids can be seen negotiating where male will deposit sperm
- Jim Bartholomew, 62, filmed the captivating procreation process of his two pets
- Tiny babies shown being born, wriggling out of mother and clinging to her back
Phoebe Southworth For Mailonline
A mating ritual between two scorpions has been captured on camera showing the deadly beasts grappling with their locked pincers.
The predatory arachnids can be seen advancing and retreating as they negotiate where the male will deposit his spermatophore, or sperm packet.
Tiny babies are then shown being born in the clip, squirming out of their mother and clinging to her back – where they stay for up to 20 days before crawling away.
Jim Bartholomew, 62, captured the captivating moment his two unusual pets began to mate.
His Arizona bark scorpions are engaging in the ‘promenade á deux’ ritual – a dancelike motion exhibited during the graceful procreation process.
Once the male lays down his sperm packet, he leads the female over it so that she can take it up into her genital opening.
Arizona bark scorpions engaging in the ‘promenade á deux’ ritual – a dancelike motion exhibited during the graceful procreation process
A tiny baby scorpion with a soft shell wriggles out of its mother before clinging to her back
The ritual lasts for less than 30 seconds but can result in a pregnancy lasting between nine and 18 months.
As many as 100 scorpions can be born in a single litter. They are born alive rather than being hatched from eggs.
They stay with their mother for up to 20 days after birth to give their soft exoskeleton (outside shell) time to harden.
A second baby follows. They will remain on their mother’s back for up to 20 days, giving their soft exoskeletons time to harden
A scorpion mother carrying her babies on her back. As a last resort, the mother can eat her babies if there are not enough insects to eat
Male scorpions use pheromones to search for females before the mating process begins.
In some cases, female scorpions can resist the male’s moves by refusing to dance, pushing him away or even stinging him.
Scorpion mothers sometimes resort to eating their own babies when they cannot find enough insects to eat.