Opisthacanthus (creeping scorpions)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Scorpiones (scorpions) > Superfamily: Scorpionoidea > Family: Liochelidae 

Opisthacanthus capensis Grootvadersbosch, Western Cape. [image N. Larsen ]


Opisthacanthus occurs in the Caribbean, central and South America, Africa and Madagascar. The subgenus Opisthacanthus is restricted to the Caribbean, central and South America with one species occurring in West Africa. The southern African and Malagasy species are in need of revision and belong to the subgenus Nepabellus.

Opisthacanthus is arboreal and occurs commonly in moist habitats such as dense bush and forests, under loose bark and even rocks and is commonly found with Uroplectes (Buthidae). Opisthacanthus has not yet been found on the Cape Peninsula and should anyone find one, please contact Norman Larsen.

Opisthacanthus scorpions are dorsoventrally compressed but not to same extent as Hadogenes. They are dark brown to black in colour and often greenish when uncovered which may be related to its integument fluorescing under ultraviolet light. The tail is approximately equal in length to the trunk, round in cross section compared with the flattened tail of Hadogenes and the chelae are more robust.

Text by Norman Larsen .


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