Journal of Bionic Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 76–87 | Cite as

Vibrational Receptor of Scorpion (Heterometrus petersii): The Basitarsal Compound Slit Sensilla

  • Kejun Wang
  • Junqiu Zhang
  • Linpeng Liu
  • Daobing Chen
  • Honglie Song
  • Yinliang Wang
  • Shichao Niu
  • Zhiwu HanEmail author
  • Luquan Ren


Recently, micro-vibrational perception mechanisms of nocturnal arthropods such as scorpions and spiders are attracting increasingly more attention and research. The relevant micro-vibrational receptors are exquisite, in terms of their comprehensive performance such as sensitivity, stability, high anti-interference, and ultralow-power consumption. In this work, we find the Basitarsal Compound Slit Sensilla (BCSS) of scorpion (Heterometrus petersii) are composed of the crack-shaped slits as mechanosensory structure and can efficiently detect substrate-borne vibrational signal in complex natural environment. The study on microstructures and mechanical properties of tissue phases constituting the BCSS reveals that the strategy of tessellation is used to make crack-shaped slit amplify the tiny mechanical signal. In addition, the magnitude-frequency characteristics of electrophysiological signals caused by vibration stimulation with different frequencies indicate that the scorpion is sensitive to micro-vibrational signals at a certain frequency range. Meanwhile, the vibrational perception mechanism based on geometrical amplification and resonance is proposed to explain how scorpions detect the tiny biotic vibrational signal efficiently in noise environment. This finding not only promotes our further understanding of ultra-sensitive mechanism of the vibrational receptors, but also provides biological inspiration for the next generation of mechanosensor for a broad range of applications.


scorpion mechanoreceptor basitarsal compound slit sensilla vibrational perception 


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This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51835006, 51325501 and 51675220), Program for JLU Science and Technology Innovative Research Team (Grant No. 2017TD-04). Interdisciplinary research funding program for doctoral of Jilin University [Grant No. 10183201827]. We sincerely thank Xinrui Wang, Xin Pan and Li Yang from Jilin University, for experimental support and discussions.

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Copyright information

© Jilin University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kejun Wang
    • 1
  • Junqiu Zhang
    • 1
  • Linpeng Liu
    • 1
  • Daobing Chen
    • 1
  • Honglie Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yinliang Wang
    • 3
  • Shichao Niu
    • 1
  • Zhiwu Han
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luquan Ren
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Bionic Engineering, Ministry of EducationJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Applied Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Engineering MechanicsTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and UtilizationNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina

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