Elwood, R. W. 2023. Behavioural indicators of pain and suffering in arthropods and might pain bite back? Animals 13(16), 2602.

Pain in response to tissue damage functions to change behaviour so that further damage is minimised whereas healing and survival are promoted. This paper focuses on the behavioural criteria that match the function to ask if pain is likely in the main taxa of arthropods. There is evidence consistent with the idea of pain in crustaceans, insects and, to a lesser extent, spiders. There is little evidence of pain in millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs but there have been few investigations of these groups. Alternative approaches in the study of pain are explored and it is suggested that studies on traumatic mating, agonistic interactions, and defensive venoms might provide clues about pain. The evolution of high cognitive ability, sensory systems, and flexible decision-making is discussed as well as how these might influence the evolution of pain-like states.