Asian Forest Scorpion

Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo

Location

In the Zoo
Size
Male
Female
Height:
Length:
3.5 – 6 inches
3.5 – 6 inches
Weight
1-2 pounds
Maturity:
Unknown
Unknown

Geographic Range

India to Malaysia.

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Heterometrus longimanus
Class:
Arachnida
Order:
Scorpiones
Family:
Scorpionidae
Genus:
Heterometrus

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet:
Carnivorous
Activity Time Frame:
Nocturnal
Interactivity:
Solitary
Sexual Dimorphism:
Yes
Gestation:
Incubation, unknown duration.
Lifespan in the Wild:
7-8 years
Lifespan in Captivity:
7-8 years

Conservation

Status:
Threats:

Characteristics

This scorpion is black all-over, except for the telson (tip of the tail with the stinger), which is reddish brown. Like all arachnids, it has 8 legs attached to the cephalothorax, and an enlarged pair of pincher-like pedipalps. Males have bigger pinchers and a longer tail than females. Two eyes are situated at the front of the carapace, and 2 to 5 eyes are along the side of the carapace.

Species Specifics

The common name, Asian Forest Scorpion, is used for multiple scorpions in the genus Heterometrus. In addition, there are a couple of synonymous common names for this species (H. longimanus) as well, including the Asian black scorpion, Black scorpion and the Black emperor scorpion. The name Black emperor is sometimes used synonymously with a completely different scorpion in a different genus, Pandinus imperator, native to Africa. There are as many as 8 subspecies of Asian forest scorpion.

Physical Characteristics

The Asian forest scorpion uses hairs on their pedipalps and a comb-like structure called pectines (situated on the ventral side of scorpion, right behind their last pair of legs) to feel around and obtain sensory information.

Ecology

Habitat

The Asian forest scorpion is found on the rainforest floor, beneath logs and other debris as shelter.

Distribution

Not enough information is known to determine population number, density, and home range of the Asian forest scorpion.

Diet

The Asian forest scorpion will eat crickets, insects, and spiders.

Ecological Web

The Asian forest scorpion helps to control the population of insects and arachnids through predation. It may also be prey to other animals.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

The Asian forest scorpion retreats beneath logs during the day and hunts at night.

Behavior

Aggressive posturing in Asian forest scorpions, as well as all scorpions, is exhibited by having the pincers on the pedipalps open.

Social Behavior

This species is territorial and does not live socially.

Reproductive Behavior

During courtship, the male leads the female back and forth with his pedipalps. He will deposit a sperm package on the ground and the female moves over it. She will pick it up with an organ on her abdomen.

Offspring

Once the offspring hatch, they will be carried around on their mother’s back until their first molt. After that, they disperse.

Conservation

Status

The Asian forest scorpion is not listed on the IUCN redlist or the CITES appendices.

Historical

This species was formally described in 1800.

Current Threats

Introduced Non-Native, Domestic, and Invasive Species

Our Role

Exhibit and educate.

No items found.

How You Can Help

Scorpions also reside here in California! If you take a night hike, bring along a black light and shine it on the side of the trail. Scorpions will glow in the dark due to a compound in their exoskeleton. You can then record it on the iNaturalist app!

Fascinating Facts

Scorpions, and many other arthropods, are edible!

The Iriquois and other Native Americans used them for food, medical, ceremonial, burial and hunting purposes.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.

References

Kovařík, F. 2004 . A review of the genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828, with descriptions of seven new species (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Euscorpius, No. 15: 1-60.

Kovařík, F. 2004 . A review of the genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828, with descriptions of seven new species (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Euscorpius, No. 15: 1-60.