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Emperor Scorpion

Pandinus imperator

emperor scorpion

The Emperor scorpion is one of the largest scorpion species in the world. They are nocturnal and timid by nature, if they get frightened they will flee rather than fight. Exception to the rule is if they are cornered then they will turn and become aggressive and defensive. The venom in a scorpion is mild and is only used for defensive purposes.  

Scorpions like other invertebrates molt their skin; the female is larger than the male. They have eight legs, a long tail and large pincers which are used to kill their prey. They have special sensory structures which help them distinguish different objects in their environment. Under an ultraviolet light, scorpions will glow because of a substance in the hyaline layer which is found in their hard exoskeleton.


  • Animal class: invertebrate (Arachnida)

  • Habitat: They will live in tropical rainforests

  • Diet: They eat insects and termites but on occasion will eat small vertebrates.

  • Size: They can go up to about 20 centimetres in length and weigh around 28 grams.

  • Location: they are found in western Africa: Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Congo region.

  • Conservation status: The IUCN has them as not evaluated but can be found in CITES Appendix II

  • Threats: The main threat is that of the pet trade as well as them being used in scientific research for their venom.

  • Current population: Their wild population is unknown at this time.

  • Zoo population: Their wild population is unknown at this time

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature