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Scorpions in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan harbours a lot of scorpion species, manily from the family Buthidae. Of obvious reasons, the scorpion fauna of Afghanistan has not been investigated for several years, and we know little about how many species that live there, and their biology.

This page was updated: 10.09.12.

The following species is reported from Afghanistan (click on the name to see pictures of some of the species):

Family Buthidae:

Afghanobuthus naumanni (Lourenco, 2005)

Androctonus afghanus Lourenço & Qi, 2006
Androctonus amoreuxi (Audouin, 1826)
Androctonus baluchicus (Pocock, 1900)
Androctonus baluchicus (Pocock, 1900) (Light morph)

Buthacus striffleri (Lourenco, 2004)

Compsobuthus afghanus Kovarik & Ahmed, 2007
C. rugosulus
(Pocock, 1900)
C. tofti (Lourenco, 2001)

Hottentotta alticola (Pocock, 1895)
Hottentotta buchariensis (Birula, 1897)
Hottentotta flavidulus Teruel & Rein, 2010
Hottentotta saulcyi (Simon, 1828)

Mesobuthus caucasicus parthorum (Pocock, 1900) (= Olivierius caucasicus parthorum)
Mesobuthus eupeus (C. L. Koch, 1839) (Central Afghanistan)
Mesobuthus eupeus haarlovi Vachon, 1958
M. macmahoni (Pocock, 1900)

Orthochirus afghanus Kovarik, 2004
O. bicolor (Pocock, 1897)
O. danielleae (Lourenco & Vachon, 1997) (old name: Afghanorthochirus danielleae)
O. erardi (Lourenco & Vachon, 1997) (old name: Afghanorthochirus erardi)
O. heratensis (Lourenco & Vachon, 1997)
O. monodi (Lourenco & Vachon, 1997) (old name: Afghanorthochirus monodi)
O. pallidus (Pocock, 1997)
O. samrchelsis (Kovarik, 2004)
O. scrobiculosus (Grube, 1873)

Sassanidothus zarudnyi (Birula, 1900)

Family Euscorpiidae:

Euscorpiops lindbergi (Vachon, 1980)

Scorpiops afghanus Lourenço & Qi, 2006

Family Pseudochactidae:

Pseudochactas mischi Soleglad, Kovarik & Fet. 2012

In addition to these species, it is not unlikely that the following genera have representatives in Afghanistan: Anomalobuthus, Liobuthus, Odontobuthus, Plesiobuthus, Pseudochactas. This is based on potential habitats in Afghanistan, and the genera's presence in neighbouring countries of Afghanistan. Hopefully, it will be possible for researchers to investigate the scorpion fauna of Afghanistan in the future. This will probably reveal a lot of interesting news to the scorpion knowledge in the region.

Most scorpions reported from Afghanistan belongs to the family of Buthidae, and have quite strong venoms. Scorpions of the genus Androctonus are known to have a major medical importance in many countries. Little is known about the medical significance of the other species from Afghanistan, but I have a report of a sting from Hottentotta alticola being quite bad (but not life-treatning). In spring 2011, a case of serious systemic envenomation of systemic envenomation has been reported involving a French soldier being stung during battle (probably by an Androctonus). Generally stings are very painful, but will often result in local effects only, but more serious systemic effects can also be seen. As long as we know so little about these species, they should be treated as potential dangerous, especially for children and elders.

Pictures of a Hottentotta sp. and a Mesobuthus eupeus from Afghanistan can be seen in the gallery.

I'm very interested in getting more information about scorpions in Afghanistan, and the potential medical significance of scorpion stings in this region. Pictures is also of great interest! My email is in the bottom of the page.

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2022