The scorpion Buthus occitanus as a profitable prey for the endemic lizard Podarcis atrata in the volcanic Columbretes islands (Mediterranean, Spain)

A. M. Castilla, A. Herrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the dynamics of small populations in arid environments, particularly in small insular ecosystems, it is crucial to understand the interactions between species inhabiting these environments. Here we investigate the interactions between lizards and scorpions in a small arid insular ecosystem in the Mediterranean. Experimental observations suggest that scorpions are regarded as prey by lizards. However, the response of lizards was sex-dependent, with males being more likely to attack scorpions than females. This can be associated with the larger body and head size, and bite forces in males, presumably making scorpions a profitable prey. Predation on lizards by scorpions has been also documented, suggesting a classic case of cross predation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-380
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009



  • Cross predation
  • Poison
  • Predator prey interactions
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this