How venomous is this scorpion?
  Scorpion Anatomy
  South African Scorpions
  - Parabuthus
     Parabuthus species
  - Uroplectes
     Uroplectes species
  - Opistophthalmus
  - Opistacanthus
  - Hadogenes
  - Cheloctonus
  African Scorpions
  - Pandinus
  How to shop at Scorpions Alive
  Products Available
  Terms & Conditions
  Email Us
  Our Page
  Our youtube Channel
  Downloads Available
  Snakes Alive
  Spiders Alive
  Doug Anderson



When you look at the carapace, you will see a pair of median eyes in the centre and on the sides 1-6 pairs of lateral eyes. Scorpion eyes are simple but have been found to be remarkably sensitive. The median eyes are more sensitive than lateral eyes.


Generally, the leg is divided into:
coxa (closest to sternum), trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, basitarsus and tarsus. It ends with the pair of ungues (lateral claws).
Used for locomotor function and may be used to dig.

Pedipalps (includes claws)

The pedipalp is divided into:
coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia and tarsus. The tibia and tarsus forms the chelae of the pedipalp. The pedipalp contains many hairs (setae).  The setae give spatial orientation.  The pedipalps are used to grasp prey and for defence against predators. The pedipalps are also used to grasp female chelae while mating.


Divided into 3 segments: coxa, tibia (fixed finger), tarsus (movable finger). Used to grasp and crush prey before sucking it.


The dorsal carapace is called tergite while the ventral is called sternite. They are joined by a whitish membrane called pleural membrane which would be stretched when the scorpion is very full or pregnant.

Mesosoma (body)

The mesosoma is divided into 7 segments.

Metasoma (tail)

The metasoma is divided into 5 segments and the sting. The sting is called the telson. There are generally 2 venom glands under voluntary control within the telson. The telson ends with a hypothermic needle like sting known as an aculeus. The telson is divided into two parts; the vesicle and the aculeus.




Sternum is the junction where the coxae of most legs meet.

Genital Operculum

Genital operculum covers the reproductive organs of the scorpions (genital orifice of females). In the male, the genital operculum is usually partially or completely separate. A pair of genital papillae may protrude from the posterior part of the operculum for males of some species. This is another key sex dimorphism region.


A peculiar gill like structure. The function of the pectines is sensory. It is one of the most convenient means of determining sex of some species.  Pectines are larger and longer in males.


Small external opening of a book lung as found in scorpions and spiders. There are four pairs in scorpions and up to two pairs in spiders.

Book Lung

Type of respiratory organ found in certain air-breathing arachnid arthropods such as scorpions and some spiders. Each book lung consists of a series of thin plates that are highly vascular (richly supplied with blood) and arranged in relation to each other like the pages of a book. The plates extend into an internal pouch formed by the external skeleton that opens to the exterior by a small slit (spiracle). This opening provides extensive surface area for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the surrounding air. There are four pairs in scorpions and up to two pairs in spiders.


The easiest way to find scorpions is at night using an ultraviolet torch. The presence of β-carbolines in the cuticle of their skin fluoresces when exposed to certain wavelengths of UV light.

It isn't really understood why this happens. Some arachnologists speculate that scorpion fluorescence has no function at all. Perhaps it's just a random act of evolution. Others theorise that it may be used as a way to determine whether or not to come to the surface to look for prey, based on light levels, as there is a UV component in moonlight, or to avoid being too exposed at full moon. Others still say that the fluorescence may help to prevent overheating by effectively re-radiating solar energy.

Some researchers say that newly moulted scorpions do not fluoresce until 48 hours after shed. I have experienced otherwise. Other researchers say that 2nd instar scorpions don't fluoresce. Again, I have experienced otherwise. to my knowledge, only 1st instar scorpions do not fluoresce.

Scorpions with a dark colouration such as
Parabuthus transvaalicus tend to fluoresce luminous turquoise. Scorpions with light colouration such as Parabuthus capensis tend to fluoresce luminous yellow.