The amazing diversity of scorpions in southern Africa is true testament to their success within a wide variety of habitats. Not all scorpions are highly venomous, some have weak venom which they do not use for defence. Southern Africa is however, inhabited by some of the world’s most venomous scorpions!

Even if you have small children or cats, most scorpions do not pose a serious health threat. Luckily there is an easy method to determine if a scorpion is highly venomous or just weakly venomous. Below is the Venomosity Rule of Thumb.

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Small pincer and a thick tail indicate that this scorpion is highly venomous.

Small pincers and a thick tail indicate that this scorpion is highly venomous.

Southern Africa is home to the 12th most venomous scorpion in the world. Small pincers and a thick tail indicate that a scorpion is highly venomous. These scorpions are often very aggressive and readily sting.

Generally speaking, scorpions do not like sheltering in shoes. There are however a few species that are not habitat specialists that may enter shoes during certain times of the year.

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A medium sixzed tail and medium sized pincers indicate that this scorpion is mildly venomous.

A medium sized tail and medium sized pincers indicate that this scorpion is mildly venomous.

There are many different species of mildly venomous scorpion that are not medically important. These scorpions are often found in protected shelters such as in burrows and under rocks.

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Large pincers and a thick tail indicate taht these scorpions are only weakly venomous.

Large pincers and a thick tail indicate that these scorpions are only weakly venomous.

Many species of scorpion are completly harmless and very rarely use their sting for defence or to capture prey. Some of these scorpions can be very large in size. They can be characterised by large pincers and a thin tail.

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Many scorpions are shy and reclusive animals that play a vital role in the natural scheme of things. Insecticides are often more harmful than scorpions are!

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