Leiurus quinquestriatus
(Ehrenberg, 1928)



Common names:
This scorpion is usually known as the Death Stalker.

Africa (Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia) and Asia (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, lebanon, Oman, Quatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen).

This scorpion is found in dry habitats/desert areas on different substrate types (but not in sand dunes). The species hide in small natural burrows or under stones etc.

This is one of the worldst most dangerous scorpion, with a very potent venom. This species are medical important, and cause several deaths each year. LD value of 0.16 - 0.50 mg/kg!

A study from Israel shows that only localized reactions occur in 97% of the victims, but the venom can be potentially letal in children because the severity of the symptoms is weight-dependent.

Antivenin is available for this species, but should be used only for severe cases.

See Scorpion of Medical Importance page for more information.

Selected litterature:
Ben-Abraham, R. et al. (2000). Triage for Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpion envenomation in children - is routine ICU hospitalization necessary. Hum. Exp. Toxicol., vol. 19 (12), pp. 636-666.
Gueron, M. et al.: Echocardiographic and Radionuclide Angiographic Observatios following Scorpion Envenomation by Leiurus quinquestriatus, Toxicon, Vol. 28, No. 9, pp. 1005 ff., 1990.
Sofer, S. et al.: Myocardial Injury without Heart Failure following Envenomation by the Scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus in Children, Toxicon, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 382 ff., 1991.
Dudin, A.A., A. Rambaud-Cousson, A. Thalji, I. Juabeh & B. Abu-Libdeh. Scorpion stings in children in the Jerusalem area: a review of 54 cases. Ann. Trop. Paediatr., vol. 11, pp. 217-223. 1991.
El-Amin, E.O., A. Elidrissy, H. S. Hamid, O.M. Sultan & R.A. Safar. Scorpion sting: a management problem. Ann. Trop. Paediatr., vol. 11, pp. 143-148. 1991.
Sofer, S. et al.: Acute Pancreatitis in Children following Envenomation by the Yellow Scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus, Toxicon, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 125 ff., 1991.
Ismail, M. et al.: Do changes in body temperature following envenomation by the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus influence the course of toxicitiy?, Toxicon, Vol. 28, No. 11, pp 1265 ff. 1990.
Sofer, S., Gueron, M.: Respiratory failure in children following envenomation by the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus: hemodynamic and neurological aspects, Toxicon, Vol. 26, No. 10, pp. 931 ff, 1988.
Gueron, M., Yaron, R.: Cardiovascular Manifestations of severe scorpion sting, Chest, Vol. 57, No.2, February 1970.
Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L. (1961). Observations on the biology of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus in the Sudan. Ent. Month. Mag., vol. 97, pp. 153-155.
Abushama, F. T. (1968). Observations on the mating behaviour and borth of Leiurus quinquestriatus (H. & E.), a common scorpion species in the Central Sudan. Rev. Zool. Bit. Afr., vol. 77, pp. 37-43.
Abushama, F. T. (1964). On the behaviour ans sensory physiology of the scorpion Leirus quinquestriatus. Animal behaviour, vol. 12, pp. 140-153.
Dejours, P. and A. Ar (1991). Temperature and starvation affect the hemolymph acid-base balance of the xeric yellow scorpion, Leiurus quinquestriatus. J. Comp. Phsyiol. B, vol. 161, pp. 407-412.
El Bakary, Z. and Fuzeau-Braesch (1988). Circadian rythms and time measurement in locomotor activity of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus (Buthidae). Chronobiology International, vol. 5(2), pp. 167-174.
Flatt, T. (1991). Beobachtungen zum paarungsverhalten von Leiurus quinquestriatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in gefangenschaft. Latrodecta, vol. ??, pp. 6-10.
Braendle, C. (1995). Verhalten und økologie des skorpions Leiurus quinquestriatus. DATZ, vol. 48, pp. 782-783.
Benton, T.G.(1992) Courtship and mating in Leiurus quinquestriatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae). In: Proc. one day Symp. on Spiders and Their Allies held on saturday 21st November 1987 at the Zoological Society of London (J.E. Cooper, P. Pearce-Kelly & D.L. Williams, eds.). Pp. 83-98.

On the Internet:
Gifttier Informationsdienst on L. quinquestriatus.

This species grows up to 10 cm in length, and is usually straw yellow to orangish yellow. This species is very unique in that it has five keels on mesasomal tergites l-ll. With the remaining tergites lll-Vll with the typical three dorsal keels. Pedipalp wise, the tarsus and tibia finger fit perfectly closed together. And the tibia hand is scarcely wider than the closed fingers combined. Metasomal segment V is dark in coloration (this can be weak/absent in adult specimens).

This species is beeing kept in captivity. Under no circumstances should this species be kept by other than scientists or professional keepers. This is a very dangerous species!

NB! This species is simmilar to other scorpion species, and misidentifications from suppliers occur!

I'm not aware of any research on the biology of this species, but research on and with Leiurus venom is going on all the time.

Leiurus quinquestriatus photo by Jeff Dawson (C)
Some of Leiurus quinquestriatus text is written by Dave Cunningham

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2023