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Mutilated courtship

John Alexander Uribe

Scorpions of the genus Ananteris can shed their stinger when attacked, in a phenomenon known as autotomy. The tip of the tail, however, is also where the anus is located, meaning they subsequently become chronically constipated. The scorpions also display their stinger as part of a mating dance (photograph). During her PhD research, biologist Solimary García Hernández found that autotomy does not make the males any less desirable to females. Their life is cut short by the self-amputation, but they manage to reproduce in the time they have left. In the photograph above, the couple appears blue under the illumination of a blacklight.

Image submitted by Solimary García Hernández, a PhD student from the Institute of Biosciences at the University of São Paulo

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