Hooray!!! Today is SCORPION SATURDAY! And we are featuring the very cool Emperor Scorpion Pandinus imperator. The Emperor Scorpion is native to Africa. It is one of the largest scorpions in the world, with adults averaging about 20 cm in length. It has a lifespan of 5–8 years. The Emperor Scorpion is an African rainforest species. It is found in a number of African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. This species inhabits both tropical forest and open savannas. The emperor scorpion burrows beneath the soil and hides beneath rocks and debris, and also often burrows in termite mounds.
The emperor scorpion has a dark body which ranges from dark blue-green through brown to black. The large pincers are blackish-red and have a granular texture. The front part of the body, or prosoma, is made up of four sections, each with a pair of legs. Behind the fourth pair of legs are comb-like structures known as pectines, which tend to be longer in males than in females. The tail, known as the metasoma, is long and curves back over the body. It ends in the large receptacle containing the venom glands and is tipped with a sharp, curved stinger. Their sting is categorized as mild (similar to a bee sting)
P.S. Remember to submit your scorpion photos to ScorpionMAP at vmus.adu.org.za and help us to build up 21st century distribution maps for all of Africa's scorpions!
Reference: Prendini, L. (2004) On the scorpions of Gabon and neighbouring countries, with a reassessment of the synonyms attributed to Babycurus buettneri Karsch and a redescription of Babycurus melanicusKova?ík. California Academy of Sciences Memoir 28: 235–267.
Photo acknowledgement: Mike Baird.