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Black Spitting Thicktail Scorpion (Parabuthus Transvaalicus) Vid 5

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Black Thick-tailed Scorpion / Southern African Spitting Scorpion - Parabuthus transvaalicus

Description: Large black scorpion which can grow to 5 " or 25cm although this one is only half that size. It clearly demonstrates the combination of thick substantial tail and small thin pincers which is a feature of the a more venomous species, in fact, Parbuthus transvaalicus is the most venomous scorpion in southern Africa. The family Buthidae contains 9 out the top 10 venomous scorpion species world wide. This species is identified by its large, robust size. It is black in colour, often shiny and the tail is covered in short bristle hairs. This species is also referred to as the Southern African Spitting Scorpion in the literature and it is purported to be an accurate spitter of venom into the eyes. Locally, however, this side of its character is not alluded to.


The Black Thick-tailed Scorpion is a common and widespread species through the drier desert and scrubland areas of southern Africa. Like many scorpions it is most active after dark, particularly in the summer and more especially after rain storms. Scorpions spend the hot days hidden under stones or under the bark of dead branches where it can pose a threat to people gathering wood for domestic fires. Unfortunately they also find tempting resting places within rural dwellings.


Parabuthus transvaalicus is a dangerous scorpion, which can both sting and spray its venom. The first droplet of venom differs from the rest, and is referred to as "pre-venom".

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