Prey-predator interactions between two intraguild predators modulate their behavioral decisions

  • Welton Dionisio-da-SilvaEmail author
  • André Felipe de Araujo Lira
  • Cleide Maria Ribeiro de Albuquerque
Original Paper


Intraguild predators can have behavioral mechanisms to maximize foraging and/or avoid predation. However, there is a lack of information about the influence of such prey-predator interactions on the daily activity of the species involved. Therefore, we investigated the daily activity of two intraguild predators, Tityus pusillus Pocock, 1893 and Ananteris mauryi Lourenço, 1982, in the presence and absence of each other. Animals were observed in three experimental conditions, containing individuals of T. pusillus (control 1), A. mauryi (control 2), and both species (treatment). In addition, we evaluated the correlation between the number of active individuals with air temperature and humidity. Our results showed that T. pusillus and A. mauryi have similar daily activity between 18:00 and 05:00 h. However, T. pusillus was more active and shifted from a sit-and-wait hunting mode to actively hunting when in the presence of A. mauryi. In contrast, under predation risk, A. mauryi did not change its level of activity but became more vigilant by reducing the frequency of rest, hydration, and mating attempts. Activity of A. mauryi was positively correlated with air humidity whereas activity of T. pusillus was negatively correlated. This work highlights the influence of intraguild predators in the behavioral decisions during daily activities of each other, indicating adaptive behaviors in both prey and predator.


Adaptive behavior Adaptive foraging Antipredator behavior Daily activity Intraguild predation Scorpions 



We are also very grateful to the military command of the CIMNC for permission to use the area for our study and to Divisão de Transportes da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco for all technical support.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia de Pernambuco (FACEPE) (grant number: APQ-0.437-2.04/15) and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for a financial support to CMR Albuquerque (grant number: 307759/2015-6). We are grateful to Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Estado da Paraíba (FAPESQ) for granting a doctoral scholarship to W. Dionisio-da-Silva (grant number: 519/18) and to Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco (FACEPE) for postdoctoral scholarship (BFP-0010-2.05/19) to A.F.A. Lira.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article did not contain any studies with human participants and also did not involve endangered or protected species. It was approved by Sistema de Autorização e Informação em Biodiversidade/Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (SISBIO/ICMBIO no. 36336-1) and complied with Brazilian law. All procedures of this work were determined to assure the animals’ welfare. Animal collection and handling was conducted with the use of tweezers without harming the animals. The experiments were conducted with only healthy animals. Water supply and shelters were made available for the animals during the experimental trials, and food was also made available during their rearing. Application of non-toxic paint markings on the individuals during the experiments is a minimally invasive technique. The animals were returned to the wild after the study.

Informed consent

This article did not contain any studies with human participants.


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Copyright information

© ISPA, CRL 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Centro de Ciências Exatas e da NaturezaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia Animal, Departamento de Zoologia, Centro de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência Animal Tropical, Departamento de Morfologia e Fisiologia AnimalUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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