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Simon, 1879

This family consists of 8 genera and 56 species (until 1998), and inhabits all continents except North America. Ischnurid scorpions are found in tropical and partly in subtropical habitats.

Some of the scorpions in this family are quite common in captivity. In particular, the large and fascinating members of the genus Hadogenes are popular, but these are difficult to get due to limited numbers in the pet trade. Also some species of Iomachus and Opistacanthus have been reported in captivity.

The scorpions in this family are not medically important, and some of the species have very high LD50 values. (High LD50 value means less venomous; e.g., Hadogenes troglodytes has a reported LD50 of 2,000 mg/kg (LD50 = Lethal Dose in 50% of samples, milligram venom/kilogram rat or mouse weight: Leiurus has an LD50 well below 1.00 mg/kg, for comparison)). Many of the members of this family have very slender caudas (tails, metasomas).

A characteristic of many members of family, especially, Hadogenes, is that the scorpions are very flat (looks like somebody has stomped on them). This is an adaption to a life in cracks and crevices. They resemble the scorpions in the family Scorpionidae, in which they were previously included. Some members of this family are very slow-growing, long lived, and can attain very long lengths (+ 20 cm).

Iomachus politus photo (left) by Jan Ove Rein (C).
Hadogenes troglodytes photo (right) by Jan Ove Rein (C).

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)

Cheloctonus Pocock, 1892
C. anthracinus Pocock, 1899
C. crassimanus (Pocock, 1896)
C. glaber Kraepelin, 1896
C. intermedius Hewitt, 1912
C. jonesii Pocock, 1892
Chiromachetes Pocock, 1899
C. fergusoni Pocock, 1899
C. tirupati Lourenco, 1997
Chiromachus Pocock, 1893
C. ochropus (C. L. Koch, 1837)
Hadogenes Kraepelin, 1894
H. austroafricanus Penther, 1900
H. bicolor Purcell, 1899
H. bifossulatus Roewer, 1943
H. gracilis Hewitt, 1909
H. granulatus Purcell, 1901
H. gunnigi Purcell, 1899
H. lawrencei Newlands, 1972
H. minor Purcell, 1899
H. paucidens Pocock, 1896
H. phyllodes Thorell, 1876
H. taeniurus (Thorell, 1876)
H. tityrus (Simon, 1888)
H. trichiurus (Gervais, 1843)
H. troglodytes (Peters, 1861)
H. zuluanus Lawrence, 1937
H. zumpti Newlands & Cantrell, 1985
Iomachus Pocock, 1893
I. laeviceps (Pocock, 1890)
I. nitidus Pocock, 1896
I. politus Pocock, 1896
I. punctulatus Pocock, 1897
I. surgani (Bastawade, 1986
Liocheles Sundevall, 1833
L. australasiae (Fabricius, 1775)
L. extensus Locket, 1997
L. karschii (Keyserling, 1885)
L. nigripes (Pocock, 1897)
L. penta Francke & Lourenco, 1991
L. polisorum Volschenk, Locket & Harvey, 2001*
L. waigiensis (Gervais 1843)
Opisthacanthus Peters, 1861
O. africanus Simon, 1876
O. asper (Peters, 1861)
O. basutus Lawrence, 1955
O. capensis Thorell, 1876
O. cayaporum Vellard, 1932
O. diremptus (Karsch, 1879)
O. elatus (Pocock, 1893)
O. laevipes Vellard, 1932
O. lamorali Lourenco, 1981
O. lecomtei (Lucas, 1858)
O. lepturus (Beauvois, 1805)
O. madagascariensis Kraepelin, 1894
O. piscatorius Lawrence, 1955
O. punctulatus Pocock, 1896
O. rugiceps Vellard, 1932
O. rurgulosus Pocock, 1896
O. valerioi Lourenco, 1980
O. validus Thorell, 1876
O. weyrauchi Mello-Leitão, 1948
Paleocheloctonus Lourenco, 1996
P. pauliani Lourenco, 1996

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2000