Hemiscorpius lepturus
Peters, 1861


Common names:
No common name known. The genus Hemiscorpius was previously placed in the family Scorpionidae befor getting family status (Hemiscorpiidae). In a recent revision, this genus have been transfered to the family Liochelidae, and the family Hemiscorpiidae has been abolished.

Asia (Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen).

Few data are available, but the species is reported from hot and humid habitats in Iran. This scorpion is probably a crevice-dweller.

Most scorpions have a neurotoxic venom.This scorpion has a highly cytotoxic venom, which can cause serious wounds and inflammations (somtimes the wounds will look like 3. degree burns with necrosis and blisters). These wounds are slow and difficult to heal. The effect of the venom is very similar to the bite of the Brown Recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa). No antivenom is available for this scorpion.

In Iran severe complications are known from the sting of H. lepturus. Severe and fatal haemolysis, secondary renal failure, deep and necrotic ulcers, ankylosis of the joints, psychological problems and death are reported complications. A clinical study from a region in Iran shows that H. lepturus is responsible for 12 % of the reported stings, but is responsible for 95 % of the mortalities (The other dangerous scorpion in the area is Androctonus crassicauda)!

The LD50 value for this species is 5.81 mg/kg. This value is not particulary low, but due to the serious effects of the cytotoxic venom, this is a highly dangerous species.

There are several other species in the genus Hemiscorpius There is no available information wether these species is as dangerous as H. lepturus.

Selected litterature:
Radmanesh, M. (1990). Clinical study of Hemiscorpion lepturus in Iran. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 93, pp. 327-332.
Radmanesh, M. (1998). "Cutaneous manifestations of the Hemiscorpius lepturus sting: a clinical study." Int. J. Dermatology, vol. 37, pp. 500-507.

On the Internet:
Some info on Arachnodata's homepage.

This species has a yellow/yellowbrown color, and a dark stripe on the mesosoma. The lenght of the male can reach up to 8.5 cm, while the female only reach 5 cm in lenght. Males have a significantly longer cauda than females.

I have never heard of this species being kept in captivity, or have never seen it offered in the pet trade.

H. lepturus photo: Matt E. Braunwalder/Arachnodata (C)

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2023