When you’re dealing with animals, you can never know quite what to expect. And even the animal experts at the Gowran Reptile Village Zoo were caught by surprise by their scorpions’ behaviour last week.
The zoo’s male and female scorpions are usually kept apart, but on Wednesday of last week, said James Hennessy, “we said we’d put the two of them together. They were only in there a minute when they started to approach each other. And when they figured out that they were male and female, the male grasped the female’s claws and they started basically waltzing around.”
“Their tails were wagging back and forth, and then he dropped a spermatophore on the ground and she picked it up,” he said.
And then, as quickly as it started, the “romance” was over.
“We have two glass windows on either side of the display and there is a tunnel against each glass window,” James explained, “and once they finished, they went to either side and went into a tunnel each.”
The upshot, however, is that there could be baby scorpions on the way in three weeks to a month, all going well.
“Once the babies are born, the female will carry them on her back, and we will have to take the male back out again because he’ll have them for dinner,” James said.
If you have to see it to believe it, the video is on the Reptile Village’s Facebook page and on YouTube.
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