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DISTINGUISHING TYPES OF SCORPIONS
 
 So, how do you tell what species is dangerously venomous and which is not?  The rule of thumb is this:

Fat pincers and thin tail = not venomous
Thin pincers and fat tail
= dangerously venomous 
 
There are some species that fall in between that are generally quite small, have thin pincers and a relatively thin tail. 

Picture of a sting from a Pandinus cavimanus.

Remember, a scorpion kills its prey by either crushing it with its pincers and/or stinging it with its tail.  Scorpions with thin weak pincers rely on venom to kill their prey, this is why they generally have thicker tails and a more potent venom. Scorpions with big strong pincers can easily crush their prey, so they don't need potent venom to kill their prey and so their tails are generally thin and in some species are not used at all.
 
GENERA OF SOUTH AFRICAN SCORPIONS

There are too many species to identify individually, so I will break them down into Genus.

In South Africa the least venomous genera include:


Hadogenes (Rock Scorpion)


Cheloctonus (Burrowing Scorpion)


Opistophthalmus (Burrowing Scorpion)


Opisthacanthus (Tree Scorpion)

Then we move into the mild - medium venomous genera


 
Uroplectes

Then we move into the highly venomous genus


Parabuthus (Thick tail Scorpion)