Effects of anthropogenic land-use on scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones) in Neotropical forests

  • André F. A. LiraEmail author
  • Laís M. Pordeus
  • Renato P. Salomão
  • Raúl Badillo-Montaño
  • Cleide M. R. Albuquerque
Original Research Article


Changes in land-cover driven by human activities is one of the main causes of disturbances on natural communities but the impact of this factor on scorpions assemblages remains scarcely know. Here we analyzed the scorpion fauna in five tropical forests and their respective neighboring non-natural matrix (planted forests or crops) in Brazil (n = 4) and Mexico (n = 1), aiming to understand how different species of scorpions respond to land-use changes. Scorpions were actively collected with the help of a UV flashlight. A total of 461 individuals were sampled, belonging to nine species and seven genera distributed in three families Buthidae, Bothriuridae and Diplocentridae. Differences in assemblages between environments were found, with higher gamma diversity in undisturbed environments where species showed the highest abundance. A higher species turnover was found in disturbed environments. Based on these results, we suggest a differential sensitive reaction to habitat alterations amongst scorpions species.


Surrounding matrix Native ecosystem Community ecology Arthropods 



We are grateful to ‘Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior’ (CAPES) for granting a PhD scholarship to A.F.A. Lira. We are also very grateful to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for a research productivity funding (Fellowship#307759/2015-6) to C.M.R. Albuquerque. We also thank ‘Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnología’ (CONACYT) for the PhD scholarships of R. Badillo-Montaño and R.P. Salomão. The material collection in Brazil was partially supported by FACEPE (Fundação de Amparo a Ciência e Tecnologia de Pernambuco- (APQ-0437-2.04/15). We are indebted to Dr. Oscar F. Francke Ballvé, for the identification of Mexican scorpions and comments on the previous version of this manuscript. We also grateful to Eurico Lustosa and Dr. Gilberto G. Rodrigues for their permission to collect samples and to Welton Dionisio-da-Silva, Eder Barbier, Ingrid Tiburcio and Jonathas C. Araújo for their technical assistance during fieldwork.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© African Association of Insect Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Animal, Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade Federal de Pernambuco – UFPERecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Red de EcoetologíaInstituto de Ecología A.C. Carretera Antigua a Coatepec 351VeracruzMexico
  3. 3.Red de Estudios Moleculares AvanzadosInstituto de Ecología A.C. Carretera Antigua a Coatepec 351VeracruzMexico

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