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Family - Scorpionidae
(Burrowing Scorpions)


Scorpionidae includes various common names such as the burrowing scorpions, carinated burrowing scorpions and pale-legged scorpions.


While the sting can be painful and some species, for example Opistophthalmus glabrifrons,  are reported to have some unpleasant systemic symptoms, the venom of this group is of little medical importance. 

This family includes some of the largest and most impressive scorpions. The west African Pandinus imperator, The Emperor scorpion, reaches a length of 180 to 200 mm (the Guiness Book of Records cites a record of 229mm). The Asian Heterometrus swammerdami grows to 168 mm (Guiness Book of Records cites 247 and 292 mm), while our local Opistophthalmus gigas from the northern Cape and Namibia attains a length of 160 mm and probably outweighs the liochelid, Hadogenes troglodytes, the world longest scorpion at 210 mm, that weighs 32grams. 

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