The Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is an arachnid, related to the spider. It has eight legs.
The Emperor Scorpion has a thick, black body with a segmented exo-skeleton. The exo-skeleton is called the ecdysis, and it glows blue in ultraviolet light. It has large pincers, called pedipalps, and a tail that curves over its body. At the end of its tail is a stinger, called a telson, that is mildy venomous.
It is one of the largest scorpions in the world, measuring about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.
The Emperor Scorpion is native to West Africa, in countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. It prefers rain forests and savannahs.
It is nocturnal, active at night. It is fossorial, hiding under rocks or in holes during the day.
It eats insects, especially termites. It does not chew its food. Its digestive juices disolves the tissues and membranes of its prey. Lizards, mice, rats, tarantula spiders, and meerkats eat scorpions.
It lives for 6-8 years in the wild.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM