Fet & Bechly, 2001*


This family has previously been known as Ischnuridae Simon, 1879, but in ICZN. 2003, Opinion 2037 (cases 3120 and 3120a), the name has been changed to Liochelidae Fet & Bechly, 2001. The reason for this change is that the old name was in conflict with a Dragonfly (Odonata) subfamily name (Ischnurinae). More info in Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 60(2): 159-161 (June 2003).

In a major revision of higher scorpion systematics, Soleglad & Fet (2003) included the genera Habibella and Hemiscorpius (from the now abolished family Hemiscorpiidae) into Liochelidae.

This family consists of 11 genera and 68 species [Updated 29.09.04], and inhabits all continents except North America. Liochelid 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 (except Hemiscorpius), 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).

NB! Hemiscorpius lepturus is a very dangerous species of serious medical significance (see species link for more information). No data have been available for other members of this genus, but they should be handled with extreme care as long as their venom status is unknown.

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).
See also Soleglad & Fet (2003) for more information. Fulltext freely available HERE (issue 11).

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 Lourenço, 1997
Chiromachus Pocock, 1893
C. ochropus (C. L. Koch, 1837)
Habibiella Vachon, 1974
H. gaillardi Vachon, 1974
Hadogenes Kraepelin, 1894
H. angolensis Lourenço, 1999*
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. hahni (Peters, 1862)*
H. lawrencei Newlands, 1972
H. longimanus Prendini, 2001*
H. minor Purcell, 1899
H. newlandsi Prendini, 2001*
H. paucidens Pocock, 1896
H. phyllodes Thorell, 1876
H. tityrus (Simon, 1888)
H. trichiurus (Gervais, 1843)
H. troglodytes (Peters, 1861)
H. zuluanus Lawrence, 1937
H. zumpti Newlands & Cantrell, 1985
Hemiscorpius Peters, 1861
H. arabicus (Pocock, 1899)
H. lepturus Peters, 1861
H. maindroni (Kraepelin, 1900)
H. persicus Birula, 1903
H. socotranus Pocock, 1899
H. tellinii Borelli, 1904
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. litodactylus Monod & Volschenk, 2004*
L. nigripes (Pocock, 1897)
L. penta Francke & Lourenço, 1991
L. polisorum Volschenk, Locket & Harvey, 2001*
L. waigiensis (Gervais 1843)
Monodopisthacanthus Lourenço, 2001*
M. madagascariensis (Kraepelin, 1894)*
Opisthacanthus Peters, 1861
O. africanus Simon, 1876
O. asper (Peters, 1861)
O. basutus Lawrence, 1955
O. borboremai Lourenço & Fe, 2003*
O. capensis Thorell, 1876
O. cayaporum Vellard, 1932
O. diremptus (Karsch, 1879)
O. elatus (Pocock, 1893)
O. laevipes Vellard, 1932
O. lamorali Lourenço, 1981
O. lecomtei (Lucas, 1858)
O. lepturus (Beauvois, 1805)
O. piscatorius Lawrence, 1955
O. punctulatus Pocock, 1896
O. rugiceps Vellard, 1932
O. rurgulosus Pocock, 1896
O. valerioi Lourenço, 1980
O. validus Thorell, 1876
O. weyrauchi Mello-Leitão, 1948
Paleocheloctonus Lourenço, 1996
P. pauliani Lourenço, 1996

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2020