Iomachus politus
Pocock, 1896


Common names:
Some suplliers in US use the name Tanzanian Long-Claw Scorpion.

Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania).

Iomachus politus, like the other species of the genus, occur in humid tropical montane forests or grasslands. This species is very common in East-Africa and almost every expedition from beginning of last century brought some specimens home. In India e.g. Iomachus nitidus appear in the wooded Tirumalai hills of the Eastern Ghats (Reddy, 1968). The scorpions rest upside down  underneath granite rocks spreaded through the whole valleys. In the Nilgiri Hills (India) Iomachus laeviceps  are found in montane habitats with heavy rainfall and deciduous evergreen trees. Therefore Iomachus should be kept on moist peat and a piece of cork should provide shelter in captivity.

No data have been found, but this species is as harmless, as the other genera of the Ischnuridae. It is not aggressive, and do not attempt to sting when provoked.

Selected litterature:
Kraepelin, K., 1896: Neue und weniger bekannte Skorpione. Mittheilungen aus dem Naturhistorischen Museum, Beiheft zum Jahrb. Hamb. wiss. Anst., 13: 119-146
Probst, P. J. 1973. A review of the scorpions of East Africa with special regard to Kenya and Tanzania. Acta Tropica, 30(4), pp. 312-335.
Sreenivasa-Reddy, R.P., 1968. Contribution à la connaissance des Scorpions de l'Inde. 5. Le genre Iomachus Pocock, 1893 (Scorpionidae, Ischnurinae). Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat., Paris, 2e sér., 40(4) : 759-767.
Tikader, B.K. & D.B. Bastawade, 1983. Scorpionida, Arachnida. In : Fauna of India. Zool. Surv. India Publs., 3. 670p.

On the Internet:

Picture of I. politus in the gallery (Photo: Boris Striffler (C))

This species is common in captivity and is also bred several times. Litter size in captivity is +/- 12 scorplings. Their gestation period is, like in other ischnurid genera, quite long (12+ months). Scorplings are very hardy, and seem to do well in captivity.

A strong sexual dimorphism can be observed in Iomachus, the pedipalps of the male are distinctly elongated and much more slender than those of the female. Subadults do not exhibit such a strong dimorphism in pedipalps, but can be easily distinguished by the shape of genital operculum. It is divided in males and fused in females.

The following species ocur in India, but have not been seen in pet trade:

Iomachus laeviceps (Pocock, 1893)
Iomachus nitidus Pocock, 1900
Iomachus punctulatus Pocock, 1897 
Iomachus surgani Bastawade, 1986

Iomachus politus file written by Boris Striffler.
Iomachus politus photo by Jan Ove Rein (C).

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2024