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Black scorpion (Opisthacanthus capensis)

Scorpions are tough and adaptable, handling very extreme temperatures. They normally live under rocks or in burrows and tend to be very secretive. Scorpions naturally will hide away from predators such as meerkats, frogs, lizards, and in particular, baboons, which find them excellent crunchy food.


Black scorpion (Opisthacanthus Capensis)

A Scorpion has a highly efficient metabolism, eating slowly, they dissolve their prey with powerful stomach juices. The Black Scorpion in the photo above (taken at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in October) is slowly devouring an earthworm. Around him are skeletons of other prey. A single meal can increase a scorpion’s weight by as much as a third. Some Scorpion species can live on a good meal for a year, because they burn energy at a quarter of the speed of spiders.

If you use a UV torch, scorpions are easy to find as they are fluorescent under ultraviolet light due to a special protein in their exoskeletons – so they stand out from their environment.

To find out more about Scorpion Sting Emergency Protocol, see

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