The family Akravidae was described in 2007 from dry, cuticular remains of hollow carcasses
of a blind scorpion found in the Ayalon
Cave in Israel (20 dead and more or less complete specimens have been found, but no live or recently dead specimens have been found yet). The cave is situated under a layer of chalk that is impenetrable to water and
the cave extends over 2.5 kilometers.|
The scorpion was found together with a few other blind invertebrates
(Crustacea, Collembola and Pseudoscorpiones),
and this finding was exceptional, primarily due to the caves' isolation from the outside world. The subterranean Crustacean living in the
Ayalon caves are assumed to be a relict of the later Micocene circum-tropical Tethys Ocean, but it is not clear if
the scorpions are from this period, or if they have occupied the area in later periods.
Akravidae is monotypic family with only one
genus and one species discovered. The scorpion is lacking eyes and shows typical
troglobite characteristics. Akravidae belongs to the Chactoid families. Specimens so far
are about 50 mm in lenght, and has a brownish color. See Levy's paper for further details.
No traces of potential prey items for the scorpions have been found, raising the question if the lack of live specimens
is due to an extcinction of this scorpions. Hopefully, further surveys will find an answer.
Akravidae is taken from the Biblical Hebrew word for scorpion (Akrav).
No data have been found about the venom of these
In 2011, Fet, Soleglad & Zonstein have published a detailed analysis of the known specimens of this taxa and present a phylogenetic discussion on the species, genus and family
Levy, G. (2007)
The first troglobite scorpion from Israel and a new chactoid family
Zoology in the Middle East; 40: 91-6.
Fet V, Soleglad ME, Zonstein SL. (2011)
The genus Akrav Levy, 2007 (Scorpiones: Akravidae) revisited.
Euscorpius. (134):1-49 [Free fulltext].
This list of genera and species is
based on Fet et al.(2000). Subspecies is not included in the list.
I try to update the list as additions and changes are published. * denotes changes after Fet et al. (2000). I will be grateful
for information about new development in the taxonomy of this family.
For information about synonyms and bibliographies, see Fet et al. (2000)