National Geographic : 2004 Jul
For the male, mating is a gamble: She may end the courtship-and his life. Like everything else in their lives, sex for wind scorpions is fast and ferocious. In Iran, I blocked off a patch of desert for wind scorpions I had captured. A male (opposite, at top) gingerly approached a female, strok ing her with his pedipalps. He then lunged at her so violently that he tore her body and damaged her legs before mating (top). If given the chance, the female might have preferred him as a meal, not a mate. In California, a female consumed her failed suitor's head (above). Motherhood seems to be the creatures' only respite from aggression. In some, like this Arizona species (below), the mother stands guard over her eggs and later her newborns. The violence starts early: Young may devour their siblings. TOP AND LEFT: GALEODES SP.; MIDDLE: EREMOCOSTA TITANIA; BOTTOM: BRANCHIA SP.