Pandinus imperator
(C.L. Koch, 1841)



Common names:
Emperor scorpion (Kaiserskorpion, Keiserskorpion). (The latin name may mean "Terrible Forrest Emperor").

Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guina-Bissau, Nigeria, Togo (probably in other coutries in region too)).

Tropical forrest and Rainforrest. Humid environment. Lives in empty or self-made burrows up to 30 cm in lenght.

Mildly venomous, but painful sting. Harmless for healthy humans. Note that they have very strong pedipalps, which can give very painful pinches. Will rarely sting, but young individuals and females with scorplings can be more prone to stinging.

Selected litterature:
Gaban, D. (1997) On Pandinus imperator (C.L. Koch) & Pandinus cavimanus (Pocock). Forum American Tarantula Soceiety, 6(3), pp.75-78.
Casper, G.S. (1985) Prey capture and stining behavior in the Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator (Koch)(Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). J. Arachnol., 13, pp. 277-283.
Mahsberg, D. (1990) Brood care and family cohesion in the tropical scorpion Pandinus imperator (Koch) (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). Acta Zool. Fennica, 190, pp. 267-272.
Rolf, J. (1998) Pandinus imperator. Erfahrungen. Skorpions News, 3, pp. 109-110.

On the Internet:
Dave Gabans Emperor Page.
Gifttier Informationsdienst Pandinus imperator
Scott Stockwells Scorpion de Jour.
ZWON Emperor Scorpion fact and care sheet.

The most common scorpion in captivity. It is estimated that around 100 000 P. imperator were exported from western africa in 1995 and 1996 (IUCN/SSC Trade Program). To avoid overcollecting, the P. imperator is listed on CITES (list II) together with two other species of Pandinus .

Easy to keep in captivity and captive breeding is possible. Good survival rate for scorplings if kept properly.

P. imperator can attain lenghts up to 20 cm, and weight up to 30 gram (preganant females can weight over 50 gram). Black scorpion with very powerful pedipalps (which are very granular i texture) and cauda. Telson redbrown in adults.

Subsociality has been reported for this species (mother and offsprings/siblings living together). See Mahsberg (1990).

Pandinus imperator photo by Jan Ove Rein (C)

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2024