Richtersveld scorpion ID





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  1. #1
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    Default Richtersveld scorpion ID

    We recently met this scorpion crossing the road in the Richtersveld during the day. We guessed it to be nearly 15 cm long. Doing some research, it seems to be a Parabuthus villosus? Also known as the "Black Hairy Thick-tailed Scorpion". Found a really interesting and entertaining article on this scorpion:
    https://m.dw.com/en/the-excruciating...ing/a-39941302

    Amongst other interesting pieces of information in this article about this species:
    • It is the most venomous scorpion in Namibia.
    • Its venom is up to 5 times more potent than that of a Cape Cobra.
    • People can die from its sting.
    • It can spray its venom up to 1 metre into your eyes, especially if cornered (glad we did not do that!).
    • It grows up to 20 cm long.
    • It diet includes reptiles and rodents.
    • Unusually, he is active during the day (we saw that).
    • It is regarded as the top predator of the Namib desert.
    • Scorpions have different personalities, which determines how much venom they put into a sting. Yes, really!
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    PedroD

    Toyota Prado TX 3.0D & Bush Lapa Boskriek

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    If I recall SANP advises tourists not to sleep on the ground!

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

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    I saw this one yesterday, I put the glove close to him for scale, had to be quick.
    Also Parabuthus I believe, but not sure which.
    We have a lot of them here, my dog got stung by one a few months ago, the dog recovered, but was in a lot of pain for almost a day.

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    The Thick Tailed Scorpion is Parabuthus Transvaalicus. It's distribution range does not include Namibia.

    What you have looks indeed like a Villosus. Has a less thick tail than the Transvaalicus.

    Below is my P. Trans female with 2nd Slings (babies post their fist moult) under UV light. Note how much thicker the tail is. By the way your Villosus is a female as noted by the pedipalps.

    Last edited by Andrew Leigh; 2018/10/20 at 08:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Quote Originally Posted by Bex View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20181019_195638.jpg 
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ID:	506448
    I saw this one yesterday, I put the glove close to him for scale, had to be quick.
    Also Parabuthus I believe, but not sure which.
    We have a lot of them here, my dog got stung by one a few months ago, the dog recovered, but was in a lot of pain for almost a day.
    Yip looks like a Buthid. Were the tail segments close to the telson (stinger) of different colour to the rest of the tail. It could be one of three Buthid's.

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Yes, these guys kill. Anybody older than 65 and younger than 12 is at risk.

    Adults get hospitalised.
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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    For the OP. The second scorpion posted is a male, note the bulbous pedipalp at the pincer.

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Leigh View Post
    For the OP. The second scorpion posted is a male, note the bulbous pedipalp at the pincer.

    Thank you Andrew . . . I had not progressed to gender ID yet. As a matter of interest, what will you do with all the off-spring of your P.Trans?
    PedroD

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    Yes, these guys kill. Anybody older than 65 and younger than 12 is at risk.

    Adults get hospitalised.

    Glad we did not field test this risk!
    PedroD

    Toyota Prado TX 3.0D & Bush Lapa Boskriek

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Like their arachnid cousins, scorpions are tough and adaptable. They can handle extremes in temperatures and even survive being submerged in water for about 48 hours, but their success as a group is largely because of a highly efficient metabolism.

    They eat slowly, dissolving their prey with powerful stomach juices and a single meal can increase their weight by a third. Some species can live on that for a year, because they burn energy at a quarter of the speed of insects and spiders, and most species can go without water for more than a year.


    However, when they need to eat, they’re well equipped to kill. They have two sets of eyes, one to tell them the time of day or night and a more complex set, which is the most light-sensitive organ of any invertebrate. Hairs on their claws pick up vibrations caused by the movement of their next meal, helping them to pinpoint its exact position.


    They’re not fully developed hunting machines when they’re born, though; they become completely functional only after moulting nine to 12 days later. Until then, newborns live on the mother’s back, safe from predators beneath her sting. - Getaway Magazine

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    To the best of my knowledge there are no reported deaths in S.A, from Buthid invenomation.
    Last edited by Andrew Leigh; 2018/10/20 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Richtersveld scorpion ID

    Quote Originally Posted by PedroD View Post
    Thank you Andrew . . . I had not progressed to gender ID yet. As a matter of interest, what will you do with all the off-spring of your P.Trans?
    I released them when they were at 5th Instar (7th being full adult, 8th if you get lucky) along with the mother at the place I originally found the mother. Of the 84 slings 54 survived to 5th instar. Most dying in the moult between 1st and 2nd instar.

    Were a real pleasure to keep and even more of a pleasure to release.

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