Arid environments: Opportunities for studying co-evolutionary patterns of scorpion venoms in predator-prey systems

A. M. Castilla, R. B. Huey, J. J. Calvete, R. Richer, A. H M Al-Hemaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


We review the literature on the geographic and taxonomic diversity of species of lizards and scorpions that are involved in predator-prey interactions. Somewhat surprisingly, lizards are often the predators in these interactions. Consequently, our goals were to evaluate whether lizard predators had evolved morphological or physiological resistance to scorpion venom or whether the rely on behavioral evasions, and also to document co-evolutionary patterns. Diverse lizards prey on scorpions, but most studies are surprisingly anecdotal. Whether lizard predators tolerate scorpion venom is largely unexplored. Our review highlights opportunities for studies of the evolution of tolerance to scorpion venom by lizards and of the ecology and evolution of lizard-scorpion interactions in arid zones. Progress will be facilitated by collaborations between experts in ecology and toxicology, and by incorporating molecular approaches such as proteomics and transcriptomics. Much is to be learned about scorpion venoms and their effects on predators, with potential benefits to humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue numberPB
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015



  • Co-evolution
  • Desert
  • Lizard
  • Proteomics
  • Qatar biodiversity conservation
  • Scorpion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Ecology

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