Androctonus australis
(Ewing, 1928)



Common names:
This scorpion is known as the Fat Tailed Scorpion, due to its powerful cauda.

Africa (Algeria, Chad, Egypt, libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia) and Asia (India, Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen).

This scorpion is found in dry habitats/desert areas. It is found in stony soils, catus hedges, arid mountainous regions and high plateaux. It can also be found on steep slopes of drifting sand dunes. It avoid humid costal areas. The scorpion dosen't dig large burrows, but hide under stones and in natural crevices. This species is unfortunately often found near human habitations (in cracks in walls etc. made of stones and bricks).

This is one of the worldst most dangerous scorpion, with a very potent venom. This species are medical important, and cause several deaths each year. Two different sources list LD 50 values of 0.32 and 0.75 mg/kg.

See Scorpion of Medical Importance page for more information.

Selected litterature:
Goyffon, M., M. Vachon, et al. (1982). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the scorpion evenomation in Tunisia. Toxicon 20(1), pp. 337-344.
Schmidbauer, H. (1982). Erfahrungen bei der nachsuch von Sahara-Dickschwanzskorpion. Herpetofauna, Juni, pp.16-21.
Bonnet, M.S. (1997). Toxicology of Androctonus scorpion. Br. Homoeopathic Journal, 86, pp. 142-151.
Gaban, D. (1997). On: Androctonus australis (L.) Fattailed scorpion. Forum American Tarantula Society 6(2), pp. 52-53.
Schiejok, H. (1996). Androctonus australis (Linnaeus, 1758). Eine monographie. Skorpion News, Remscheid: Buthus-Fachverlag. 38 pp.
Abroug, F. et al. (1991). Cardiac dysfunctioning and pulmonary edema following scorpion envenomation. Chest, 100(4), pp. 1057-1059.

On the Internet:
Pascal Riews work on A. australis.
Gifttier Informationsdienst on A. australis.

This scorpion is a medium sized scorpion which can get up to 10 cm in lenghts. It has a very tick and powerful cauda. Overall coloration is yellow, with the palpal pincers sometimes darker (please note that this species variates in colors). The last segments of the cauda is sometimes darker than the rest of the cauda.

This species is beeing kept in captivity. Under no circumstances should this species be kept by other than scientists or professional keepers. This is a very dangerous species!

I'm not aware of any research on the biology of this species, but research on and with Androctonus venom is going on all the time.

Androctonus australis photo by Pascal Riewe (C)

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2024