This species is often known as an Australian
Asia (Aru Islands, Indonesia, Moluccas, Papua New Guinea,
Philippines), Australia (Queensland east coast from the
border with NSW to the tip of the Cape, Papua New Guinea,
Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and some small islands
north of Australia. Also some reports of pockets found in
far north Northern Territory and Western Australia.),
Oceania (New Caledonia, Palau, Solmon Islands).
Habitat appears to be variable as long as typical
rainfall is above 550mm and temperatures above 15 C. Some
recent information seems to suggest that they are more
prevalent in higher rainfall areas (1000mm). Most common
habitats are rock crevices, between rocks and the soil in
shallow scrapes or rock crevices covered in rotting leaf
matter but they may also be found beneath bark on fallen
rotting logs and under rotting, solidifying leaf matter -
usually on rock surfaces. Their flattened body shape is
ideal for these locations
This species has mild venom according to people
contacted. It will rarely sting, and usually defends
itself by using the powerful claws. LD50 values are not
available as LD50 testing has been banned in Australia
for over 5 years. Claws are used for defence and can be
very painful, if you get "grabbed" by them.
(1977). The taxonomy, Geographic Distribution and
Evolutionary Radiation of Australo-Papuan Scorpions. Rec.
West. Aust. Mus., vol. 5 (2), pp.83-367.
On the Internet:
Liocheles waigiensis has very elongated, flattened bodies and powerful
pedipalps. The body shape is adapted to living in rock crevices and beneath
bark on fallen, rotting logs. Males are identified by claw features: a
"tooth" on the moveable finger and a corresponding notch on the fixed finger
just up from the finger joint (See picture by Peter Wright (C) HERE). Metasomas on both male and female are very
thin with a characteristic yellow/orange vesicle although this colouration
is viable for other Liocheles species. Species may reach 65 + mm (carapace
to sting) with the male mesasoma slightly shorter and quite narrower than
This species is commonly kept in captivity in Australia, as it is large and
non-burrowing like many Australian species. It is also very active at night.
It is relatively easy to keep as long as temperatures and humidity are
maintained (temperatures 20 to 30oC - humidity should be kept at over 90%
for moulting and survival of 1st instars).
Correct substrate and provision of rock crevices will also increase the life
Captive birth is quite common but it would appear that in these cases, most
females are gravid when caught. Males are rarer than females so most kept
are females. Average litter size would appear to be approx. 20 to 25.
Survival rate appears to be highly variable. Most people report minimal if
any cannibalism. A number of people have reported young staying close to,
and inter-reacting with the mother for up to two months. However correct
humidity (high) and temperatures (20oC to 30oC) are also of upmost
importance. Failure to keep the humidity high and temperatures correct will
result in incomplete molting to 2nd instar. Moult to 2nd Instar is approx 28
Current research in France may separate L.
waigiensis into six or more species. I have myself
seen a "dwarf" species (for want of a better
name) with all the characteristic of a L. waigiensis
except for size. Females of this "dwarf" have
been seen to give birth therefore are not instars of the
larger L. waigiensis.
Liocheles waigiensis (male)
photo by Peter Wright(C)
This species file is written by Peter Wright (Australia). Updated 04.09.01