How to ID scorpions

How to ID scorpions

Postby Francois » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:30 am

While herping I always find a lot of scorpions and I never know what they are. What I'm asking is what do you look for when ID'ing them and are there any good books available on scorpions?
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Francois
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Re: How to ID scorpions

Postby Sfourie » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:05 am

They are a very tough field of study. There are many distinguishing features. Distribution, habitat type, pincer shape, do the pincers have teeth on the inside margin, sting shape etc.

A good book that I use often is Jonathan Leeming’s book “SCORPIONS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA”. Visit his website www.scorpions.co.za
A Shangaan legend states that any man resting or sleeping in the shade of a baobab will become eccentric and forever be enslaved by Africa and its wilderness, guess it's too late for me.
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Re: How to ID scorpions

Postby shadowfoot » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:35 pm

Yes, Jonathan Leeming's book is good for tne more frequently found scorpions. There are only a few genus of scorpions in SA so it's easy to identify the genus but the species is another ball game. First thing is to check the size of the pincers and tail, if it has small pincers and a fat tail then you know it falls in the Buthidae family or the medically significant family. A few are easier to identify like Hadogenes species or flat rock scorpions and Opistophthalmus species or burrowing scorpions, they usually have large pincers and thinner tails. If the scorpion found is on the large side, more than 10cm from tip of tail to beginning of the mouth parts, and has a very thick tail and thin pincers then it's a Parabuthus species and should be careful as they have a potent venom.
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Re: How to ID scorpions

Postby Francois » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Thanks for the advise. I went to buy the book and it helped me with some of my other ID's, but can you help me with this one?

Image

I found it under a rock (along with 2 Cordylus polyzonus ) very close to the ocean on the west coast. It was also quite close to the Namibian border. I was first thinking Parabuthus capensis and then I saw it doesn't occur there, so know I think it might be P. granulatus.

Image

I also found a smaller one (under 2cm). I assumed it's the same species.
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Re: How to ID scorpions

Postby shadowfoot » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:40 am

The first one is definitely a Parabuthus species but I can't say which species from the photo. The second one looks like Uroplectes carinatus.
Shining brightly, even for a split
second, is better than living a
dull-grey life for eternity - Jing (King Of Bandits)
A life without gambling is like
sushi without wasabi - Gintoki (Gintama)
I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it - Steve Irwin
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