Check out the Newsletter section for the latest Newsletter. Keep up to date with what's happening in southern African arachnology. Get invited to book launches, events, lectures, socials and weekends away. Subscription is free, no obligation and easy to unsubscribe.
6 Species of Opistacanthus inhabit the eastern areas of southern Africa. All members are very docile in temperament and rarely use their sting in defence.
O. leavipes is a rock living species. Commonly inhabits cracks and crevices in granite and dolerite rock habitats within its range. May also be found under the bark of trees, near the base of the tree, or under rocks on soil where it may construct a short burrow. Tarsal claws are strongly developed allowing the scorpion to grit tenaciously to hard rocky surfaces. O. leavipes is a very docile scorpion and will often only sting when severely provoked. Found in the Lowveld area of Mpumalanga, South Africa and adjacent areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
O. basutus is found in southern Lesotho and adjacent areas. It shelters under rocks and other surface debris. Males have a bump on the inside margin of the pedipalps. None of the members stridulate in any way. O. asper are known to tap their pincers when signaling their intensions to mate. This species can be found in trees where they inhabit cracks, and crevices under loose bark. In some areas such as the northern parts of KwaZulu/Natal this scorpion reaches high populations in forested areas.
All members of this genus are docile in nature and rarely sting. Their venom is very weak causing localised pain for a short while. This genus is similar appearance to Cheloctonus.