The Arabian fat-tailed scorpion is a proficient nocturnal predator, foraging opportunistically for small insects, spiders and various other prey items that come within easy reach. The pedipalps are well adapted to help grasp and crush the prey, while the chelicerae (appendages modified for feeding and grooming), are used as aids to tear food apart (6) (7) (8).
During the mating season, the male Arabian fat-tailed scorpion will abandon its burrow in search of a mature female. The male grasps the female by the pedipalps and leads a complex courtship ritual, known as a ‘promenade à deux’, until a suitable place for the male to deposit a spermatophore is found. Guided by the male, the female then moves into a position to take up the sperm. The Arabian fat-tailed scorpion is viviparous, meaning that the young develop inside the female after fertilisation, and are born live. The litter size of the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion ranges from 30 to 46 young, which climb onto the back of the female and remain there until after the first moult (typically several days). A juvenile Arabian fat-tailed scorpion increases in weight and moults an average of six times before it becomes fully mature (3) (6).
The venom injected by the sting (also called the telson) of the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion is a powerful neurotoxin, which affects the function of nerve cells and the nervous system (3) (6). It is poisonous to a wide range of animals, including humans and other mammals, birds and arthropods (6).