Scorpion facts and fallacies

Are all scorpions dangerous?

All scorpions possess a venomous sting. Several thousand people die each year from scorpion stings, but this mortality is due to the venom of about 25 species located in northern Africa, the Middle East, India, Mexico and parts of South America. None of these potentially lethal species occur in Australia. The Australian species can inflict a painful sting that results in swelling and pain for several hours, and there have not been any confirmed deaths of people from stings from Australian scorpions. Medical advice should be sought if you are stung by a scorpion.

Black Desert Scorpion

Black Desert Scorpion
Photographer: Alan Henderson. Source: Museum Victoria

Are scorpions only found in deserts?

Arid and semi-arid deserts have the largest number of scorpion species, but they are also found in cooler and wetter habitats. There are nine known species of scorpions found in Victoria.

Where is the scorpion’s sting?

The venomous sting is located at the tip of the long tail. The pair of large pincers at the head end of the body are used to catch prey.

A Scorpion sting (SEM)

A Scorpion sting (SEM)
Photographer: Dr Ken Walker. Source: Museum Victoria

Do scorpions glow in the dark?

Scorpions do fluoresce in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet (‘black’) light. This is due to the presence of a mixture of complex sugars and waxes that act as waterproofing compounds in the exoskeleton.

Scorpion under ultraviolet (UV) light

Scorpion under ultraviolet (UV) light.
Photographer: Alan Henderson. Source: Minibeast Wildlife

Do scorpions sting themselves to death when confronted with fire?

No. Scorpions, like all animals, panic when confronted by fire and thrash their tail around.

How do scorpions mate?

Scorpions do not mate directly, but the male deposits a packet of sperm on the ground, and guides the female by holding her pincers with his pincers to move over the ground and the sperm package is picked up by the female genital opening during this ‘dance’.

Do scorpions carry young on their back?

Scorpions give birth to live young which then spend the early stage of their life on the back of their mother.

Further Reading

Keegan, H. L. 1980. Scorpions of medical importance. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson.

Lawless, P. 1998. Lo! what light ... Wildlife Australia 35 (2):17-20.

Locket, A. 1994. Night stalkers. Australian Natural History 24(9):54-59.

Polis, G. A. (ed). 1990. The biology of scorpions. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

Walker, K. L., Yen, A. L. and Milledge, G. A. 2003. Spiders and Scorpions commonly found in Victoria. Royal Society of Victoria: Melbourne.

Comments (139)

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Jessica 23 April, 2009 17:24
I am currently involved in a experiment with Black Rock Scorpions, testing the temperament between the male and femal scorpions. I would like to know if there are any sources which our group can utilise to back up our research or any relevant literature on scorpion behavious. Thank you
Matthew Moffatt 16 August, 2012 03:00
Hi Jessica , i am interested in your study's with the black rock scorpions . i currently have not got that species yet however sometime this week i will be getting them , and as i have already housed 2 Desert Scorpions ( Urodacus Yaschenkoi) together without trouble i may be able to help you when i get my new scorpions . i will be trying to get a female and male . so if you have any interesting finding's i would be interested as i am working on an article about scorpions and i would like to sub categorize the different species . Regards Matthew Moffatt
De Richards 2 April, 2015 15:45
My Dessert scorpion has had baby how many do they have and how long do they carry them for and wen can i take them away
Discovery Centre 25 April, 2015 14:41
Hi De Richards, the Desert Scorpion you have is probably Urodacus yaschenkoi. The number of babies produced and their development times vary, but you can expect about 10 babies and they will remain on their mother's back until reaching their second instar (having moulted twice). Put some leaf litter around the enclosure for the young ones to hide in after leaving her back, and when they've all abandoned her you can move them to a new enclosure.
josh wilson 20 June, 2015 17:48
Hi Jessica just wondering how do you tell if they are a female or male
Clare 27 April, 2009 09:51
I keep finding scorpios in our family home, downstairs & now upstairs. We have a baby who is crawling & fear she'll find one. HOW can we deter the scorpion from entering the house? It's a new house & has a very thin gap under the doors, we can't quite figure out how they even get in?
Josh 22 March, 2017 14:08
Hey Clare, Scorpions don't really want to enter the house they accidentally wander in by going underneath the door, this can be solved by installing draught excluders to your doors which lead to outside. Hope this helps
Zach 27 April, 2009 12:59
scorpions can compress themselves to even the slughtest of gaps. It is possible they still get in through the door
Discovery Centre 11 May, 2009 10:23
Hi Jan, thanks for your comment and apologies for the delay in getting back to you. The staff in the Museum's Live Exhibits Department are not undertaking the sort of experiments that you describe. They have said that you may want to check with some of the amateur societies who you can probably source via an Internet search. There is one self-published book on the captive husbandry of scorpions by Mark Newton that they are aware of. He also operates a website:
Sara 16 July, 2009 21:43
Hi, We have jsut found a very small (1cm long, if taht) scorpion in a bathroom at a newly renovated house in Somers, Victoria.Like Clares comment above, we are concerned about young children in the family and also animals.We have actually captured it live and put it in a container in case it is of interest (though we weren't aware that they lived in Victoria. I have tow main questions though. 1.Does the presence of one suggest the presence of more? (we've never seen them here) 2. Can they be fumigated for? Thanks, Sara
Michelle 15 May, 2013 21:05
Hi Sarah, My son was at his grandparents in Somers and found a big red one. Hmmm, yes I would like to know more too
R 30 July, 2009 15:17
Hi Sarah, I've seen a few small scorpions in my garden, i'm from cerberus. there were about 6cms long, and mostly black in colour. i think that there must be a few down here because i see them every couple of years. from what i've read the victorian scorpion isn't deadly at all, just gives a painful sting that lasts a few hours, but thats it. i guess just making sure all openings in the house are properly sealed would stop most of them, i've never had one in my house.
Damien 23 September, 2009 23:35
Hi, I have just found a small scorpion inside my home and was not sure what to do with it so I have captured it in a small jar. Is there anyone that does research or study on these and would they be interested in having a look. It is about 25-30mm in length. Is there any chance that this one I found would be in the company of others?
Discovery Centre 24 September, 2009 12:00

Hi, Damien. Specimens for research are generally sourced independently by the Museum. However, if you're interested in getting further information about the species of scorpion that you've found, you can do so using our free identifications service. Further information about this service is available here.

Anthony 9 November, 2009 16:05
It's kind of disturbing waking up to a scorpion over an inch long on your lounge room floor at 5am. Can I expect more?
Discovery Centre 9 November, 2009 17:46

Hi Anthony,

It is possible that you may have additional scorpions in your garden which may occasionally wander inside. However bear in mind that they have no interest in people and that as long as you make sure you don't step on them if you get up in the night your chances of being stung are very low. We get many enquiries at the Museum about scorpions and I can't remember the last one that involved someone actually being stung.

Natasha 16 October, 2014 00:51
Hi I'm from tsvl & I was in the court yard wen I stood on one in very low grass n as soon as I lifted my foot it hit my instep (sole of foot) like a very thin sewing needle that has been on a stove allowed to burn & so fast it felt like it would go thru the last layer of tissue b4 the bone I followed by a red circle round the pin point then numbness & pins & needles that slowly made its way up the outer side of my leg n then the calf muscle then I had like a wave like feeling run across my stomach I felt like vomiting then it just stood n felt like I was going to faint n felt my leg get strangely heavy like I had gained fluid I would touch the top part of my leg n feel it half way down my blood pressure went up to 156/70 and my neck felt a little swollen but couldn't c it n the outer area of both my eyes felt like they were bruised or full of fluid the sting kept coming & going over 6 hrs followed by the heart palpitations but tolerable just exhausting with the heart racing.. we also found a dark brown with light coloured to yellow stripes 15cm long & 5cm wide in the house its stinger was very thick no where near the size of the tiny pin hole that went into my foot wat type of venom would one like that could inflict if the one that I was hit with was obviously smaller
Rachel 11 November, 2009 13:48
If the Black Scorpion is a Victorian Species what the hell is it doing in South East Queensland under my folding pile. The Scorpoin is black in colour and approx 7cm in length. It freaked me out, because as most of the others have mentioned I have two daughters 10mths and 23mths. It's currently in a jar, what should I do with it? Also do their species travel alone or should I expect to find or starting looking for its mate? And if my children were to be stung what is first aid protocol until we arrive at emergency? One more thing someone told me that pet stores sell them and people keep them as pets is that true? Definatley not up my alley. Thanks for your help.
Discovery Centre 12 November, 2009 11:42

Hello Rachel. Check out this info-sheet about the Black Rock Scorpion which is present in both Victoria and Queensland. For further information about sting protection, first aid and the safe removal of specimens, see this informative website at the Australian Museum. Hope this helps!

Jessica 13 January, 2010 08:42
i was sitting on the lounge last night and this scorpian ran under my feet ahhhh i looked it up and it looks exacly the same as a Black Desert Scorpion are they ment to be in nsw??? i put it in a upside down cup until i found a jar and it got out wat should i do?????
Discovery Centre 13 January, 2010 14:23

Hi Jessica. There's plenty of information on how to deal with scorpion in various of the replies above. If you see the scorpion again, don't kill it, but put it in a jar and move it away from the house at a safe distance. Australian scorpions sting but aren't dangerous. You would only be stung if you happened to step on it. The Australian Museum has a great info page on scorpions. If you're interested in getting further information about the species of scorpion that you've found, we have free identification service.

ERIC BROMBARA 22 February, 2010 13:27
Matthew Robson 25 August, 2016 22:49
I've also found german cockroaches to be an ideal food for my lil' scorpions. That and I get to pretend I'm a bond villian when I drop them into the tank
Discovery Centre 23 February, 2010 10:51

Hi Eric,

the ideal captive food is live Indian House Crickets – this species can be purchased online or through most pet shops stocking reptiles and invertebrates. It is best to feed the scorpion crickets which about ¼ - 1/3 the body size of the scorpion.

Luke 22 April, 2010 21:03
We live in Portsea and are confronted by 5 scorpions a week. 3 days ago my wife was stung on the foot. What can we do to get rid of them? If we buy 10 cans of surface spray and douse the outside of the house, will it deter them from entering?
Discovery Centre 25 April, 2010 14:22

Hi Luke, the Museum is not involved in pest control so we don't know whether your plan with spray would deter scorpions or also how long it would last for. You may want to try those draft excluders if you have large gaps under the door. Scorpions may wander in looking for food or they can also be brought into the house under the bark of wood. In the meantime just take precautions like turn the light on and have a look at the floor if you get up in the night and walk around in bare feet.  

michaela 21 May, 2010 21:31
what are the 9 species of scorpions in vic? i live on the coast and i found one in my back bathroom which is never used, but it looks nothing the like the two scorpions mentioned here. the scorpion i came across was 2-3cm long and completely black. although im not worried about its sting as it was already dead when i cam across it, i would like to be able to identify for peace of mind
Anna 22 May, 2010 11:41
We live in Central Victoria and have found many scorpions in our home, ranging in size from 1cm to quite large in size! I am also concerned as we have a new baby. Both my husband and dog have been stung on separate occasions. The dog was stung on the nose as he was inquisitive and my husband recieved a sting in a nasty spot after leaving clothes on the bedroom floor! Both experienced some pain but no ongoing problems!
Discovery Centre 26 May, 2010 09:36

Hi Michaela, if you still have the dead scorpion please feel free to place it in a small plastic container that won't get crushed in the post, like a pill jar. Then send this with your contact details to Discovery Centre PO Box 666 Melbourne and we will happily try and identify it for you. Remember that regardless of the species scorpions have no interest in people and will not seek them out to sting.

consuelo 12 September, 2010 15:35
I live in moreno valley california southern, I've been freeking out about scorpions because i have found 6 of them in my bedroom and i have an 11month baby that crawls. I dont know if they are deadly. 3 of them are about inch in half and the other 3 r about half inch and they r light brown do you think we have many more?
Discovery Centre 14 September, 2010 10:29

Hi Consuelo, species of scorpion that are found in Australia are not considered highly dangerous, although we still recommend seeking medical advice in the event of a sting. Scorpions feed on other invertebrates and should have no interest in people. We are not experts in species from North America so it may be worth you contacting the California Museum to ask them regarding the local fauna in your area.


Denise 23 October, 2010 11:19
I found a Small Scorpion in my room a few nights ago. I have it in a jar at the moment but was thinking about making up a proper enclosure for it. Its only a scorpling I think, would you say it would be fine to pick up??
Discovery Centre 27 October, 2010 10:10

Just because the scorpion may be small does not mean it is only a baby. We have lots of different species of scorpions in Australia ranging from very small to quite large. It is often the small ones with small claws yet large tails that can hurt quite a lot if they sting. We recommend that you first try to get your new little pet identified, and our identification service is a good place to start. Second get it into a new enclosure that mimics the environment it came from. They can make fascinating pets to watch and learn about. Enjoy!

ruby 6 October, 2012 15:02
I have a pet Urodacus yaschenkoi that i think is a female and recently got another that i think is a male however this male is much younger and smaller and when putting them together he started acting very strange and rubbing his back legs down his stinger like he was scratching himself and he was curing his stinger around and stretching out beside him towards his head then he started rubbing his bum all over the sand of the enclosure. is this normal? i have tried looking everywhere on scorpions leaving their scent but have found nothing.
Zachary 13 December, 2010 12:23
Do you know any sites on the Lychas spinatus
Shae 22 December, 2010 13:46
put in info about how bad it hurts to be stung.
Discovery Centre 24 December, 2010 14:39
Hi Zachary, we're unsure of whether you mean websites or collection localities when you refer to sites? Either way – this article is a good one on the species, and in terms of collection it appears to be found in the Mallee of north western Victoria and other adjoining states.
Zachary 27 December, 2010 13:26
thanks the info will come in usefull
zachary 1 January, 2011 19:51
do you no any websites that tell you the names of Australian water scorpions
Discovery Centre 6 January, 2011 10:48
Hi Zachary. CSIRO entomology has a short fact sheet on water scorpions. This is the common name for the family Nepidae in the Hemiptera order. The waterbug book by John Gooderham and Edward Tsyrlin has information on Australian water bugs, including water scorpions. 
zachary 9 January, 2011 21:33
Do you know water scorpions that look like real scorpions and have stingers
Tracy 14 January, 2011 13:08
Can Scorpians harm Small dogs such as chihuahua's?
zachary 17 January, 2011 20:49
Tracy trust me when I say this. I have done my research and it completely depends on what country you live in,what species it is and what level venom it has. The best thing to do if you're there when your dog is stung is to catch the scorpion that stung your dog in a plastic take away container and take it to your local Arachnologist to find out the type of scorpion and it's venom. After you're done with the scorpion release it into the garden because I have heard their good at pest control. They eat spiders,crickets,grasshoppers and other pests plus every scorpion can hurt you and your dog.
Discovery Centre 18 January, 2011 11:19
Hi Tracy, your question regarding scorpions and pets was asked on another of our scorpion pages. As we noted on that page scorpions have no interest in pets; if the scorpions are in the house or garden they will be looking for small invertebrates to feed on. A pet may be stung if it stood on or started patting or playing with a scorpion. We are not aware of scorpion stings posing a serious threat to the welfare of pets, although it would be painful and something that the pet would probably make sure it didn't do again.
zachary 23 January, 2011 19:45
do you know any websites on water scorpions that look like a real scorpion and have a stinger.
Discovery Centre 26 January, 2011 10:40
Hi Zachary - the animals commonly called Water Scorpions are not really scorpions at all; instead they are insects from the family Nepidae. A quick google search with the keyword 'Nepidae' should find plenty of information and images of these animals
Dave 21 March, 2011 16:33
If you're freaked out about scorpions or any other nasties (like stonefish, blue ringed octopus, snakes, deadly spiders... etc)... You should move to New Zealand. There's nothing nasty like that there!! :-)
Georgia 4 May, 2011 15:11
I was just bitten by a scorpion. It was on a face washer that I picked up and it stung my hand. :-(
lacee 14 June, 2011 17:44
Do desert scorpions shred? if so when??
Discovery Centre 29 June, 2011 12:29

Hi Lacee,

Thanks for your query regarding the molting habits of scorpions. According to a publication titled 'Spiders and Scorpions commonly found in Victoria' by Ken Walker et al and published by the Royal Society of Victoria “Immature Urodacus yaschenkoi (Desert Scorpion) will moult every year in summer until they reach adulthood.....adults do not appear to moult”. This link contains some general information on scorpions that may interest you

Wiley 7 November, 2011 15:15
I did not get an answer to my question...I live just below Griffin, Ga in a small town of 6,000. I would like to know how/what to use to stop scorpions from coming in my house. It was built in 2007 and I have seen them every year. Please help if you can, cause they are scary and children play on the floor sometimes. Many, mamy thanks!!!!!
LUANN GLASS 16 August, 2015 22:50
Wiley, a little late but I use a scorpion spray from Home Depot. I spray all the baseboards and under sinks and around any pipes coming in. Follow the directions on spray as to how often. Don't spray the outside of the house because they will come in then. There's also some double sided Stuckey tape you can place around pipes or under sinks. They like comfort and water. If it's too hot outside they'll try to come in. Keep lights on at night and don't walk barefoot but the spray should keep them away. Most people are stung in bed probly cuz their blankets touch the floor so I keep my blanket from touching floor. The spray lasts a good couple of months just don't forget to spray again as directed. They want bugs but if you step on one it'll sting ya although I just smashed one tonight with my bare foot and didn't give it time to sting. Splat dead.
Discovery Centre 8 November, 2011 12:04
Hi Wiley; note that as stated below, Museum Victoria does not normally respond to comments posted on our website. In this instance, we are not able to provide comments on species outside of southeastern Australia, we suggest you contact an institution closeby to your area such as the Georgia Natural History Museum
dana 14 February, 2012 03:59
we've found a scorpion on my husband working area , he put it inside a jar and sealed it after 2months we checked it again! it was already dead i think! but i was wondering if it would still be poisonous? there is a little water inside of the jar with the scorpion which i know we didn't put any before we sealed it?is that water poisonous?
Discovery Centre 20 February, 2012 11:30

Hello Dana,

Our entomologist has noted if there was any venom released into the water it would be a very small amount and the water would  most likely just contain rotting scorpion. He doesn't think that it will cause any damage to skin. As to it still being poisonous, he would say no, and, as Scorpion venom is injected there are no muscles alive to pump out any venom if you were to inadvertently prick yourself with the pointy end.

steve 20 March, 2012 14:54
Are black rock scorpions dangerous, or are they just like a bee sting?
Discovery Centre 20 March, 2012 15:20
Hi Steve, please have a read of our infosheet on Black Rock Scorpions, which will provide an answer to your question.
donna humphries 13 April, 2012 10:26
hi we have recently moved to Victoria from nsw, i have never seen a scorpion till i lived here, i went to open my laptop which is kept in a zipped bag and was on my bedroom floor and as i opened the laptop and went to type, something flicked at me it was a small lite tan couloured flat scorpion ( i have never had my laptop outside so this was a surprise) then yesterday my children (8-10 yr old) bought up to the house 8 big black chunky nipper scorpions that they found on our 5 acre property, my question to you would be is it normal to have so many around the property, are there always so many or are they just seen alot more at breeding time and if so is there a time of yr when there are not as many, im just totally shocked there are so many around out here.
Discovery Centre 13 April, 2012 15:23
Hi Donna, there are a number of scorpion species in Victoria and they can be locally common. People rarely see them as they tend to be nocturnal and are often well camouflaged. It would be worth telling your children not to pick them up. Scorpions are not aggressive and don't seek people out but if they feel threatened they may sting in self defence. In the event of a sting it is worth seeking medical attention just to be sure.  
Pam Reeves 21 April, 2012 09:50
I found a 3cm scorpion in a cup in the kitchen. I didn't realise they were so prevalent in Australia. Thanks to your website we released it into the garden.
Amanda Fehim 23 June, 2012 17:03
We have just knocked down an old shed and a friend found a scorpion which, fortunately, managed to get away from him before he could step on it! It was a Southern Wood Scorpion. How can we tell the difference between male and female?
Discovery Centre 29 June, 2012 10:13
Hi Amanda, some scorpions are quite easy to sex, but unfortunately the Wood Scorpion is not one of them. The only sex difference in this species is that males have an enlarged apophysis (small outgrowth) on the inside of the claw, used for holding the female during mating. It can only be seen using some form of magnification.
jack 2 July, 2012 12:00
im about to purchase a liocheles waigiensis scorpion and was wondering if males behave differently if they dont get the oppurtunity to mate.
Discovery Centre 9 July, 2012 16:29
Hi Jack, Like any animal, Liocheles waigiensis males have a strong urge to reproduce, so from an anthropomorphic point of view they would much rather have females available. We don't have any record of them behaving differently with or without females, but if you're concerned about the happiness of your male the best thing to do is give it access to a female.
ashley 21 July, 2012 05:22
what can i feed a scorpion with its stinger cut off it's a striped bark scorpion
Discovery Centre 24 July, 2012 11:13

Hi Ashley - here's a response to your question from our Live Exhibits workgroup:

Although a scorpion’s sting is essential for its survival in the wild, it won’t use the sting unless necessary for subduing prey. If you offer prey such as small crickets that are significantly smaller than the scorpion (a fifth of its body size or less), the scorpion should have no problem subduing the prey with its nippers alone.  

Hope that helps!

Gary 27 September, 2012 15:32
On the following web page,, you mention the following quote, "Several thousand people die each year from scorpion bites." How many people die each year from scorpion stings?
Discovery Centre 27 September, 2012 15:59
Hi Gary, good point, we are trying to get our webteam to change the text to reflect that it should read deaths resulting from scorpion stings not scorpion bites.
SHANE 28 September, 2012 10:31
I'm just curious as to how fast they can run. As fast as spiders? And are they common to north east Victoria? i.e. Wangaratta.
Discovery Centre 30 September, 2012 15:00
Hi Shane, good question on the speed of scorpions. We don't know that their speed has been measured, although someone may post an answer to this question. When out hunting they can move relatively quickly but they are certainly slower than some of the fast moving invertebrates like some of the centipedes. There are at least 2 species, the Little Marbled Scorpion and Wood Scorpion which are likely to be common in the Wangaratta region. 
Nelson 8 January, 2013 11:28
I recently bought a wild desert scorpion and was wondering like fish do they grow bigger if the cage/ environment is bigger? And what is there natural or preferred habitat?
Discovery Centre 22 January, 2013 16:02
Hi Nelson, the size to which scorpions grow is determined by temperature and the amount of food available, not the size of the enclosure. The species you most likely have is Urodacus armatus or Urodacus yaschenkoi, which live on sand which should have a moisture gradient from dry at one end to moist at the other. Both species are burrowers and you'll be unlikely to see them very often.

The book 'A Guide to Keeping Scorpions in Captivity' by Mark Newton has many tips for scorpion husbandry.

Georgia 25 February, 2013 11:10
Hi I am trying to find good interesting facts about the Black Rock Scorpian can you people help at all.
Mrcus Kip$ 25 February, 2013 12:16
hey guys i like scorpions too but do use reckon one should be made about Woma Pythons.
Sarah 2 March, 2013 09:13
Do these little scorpions eat those rotten Portuguese millipedes? We have a plague of them and have started finding little scorpions in the house now as well. I will happily encourage the scorpions if they will help get rid of the millipedes.
Discovery Centre 7 March, 2013 12:24

Hi Sarah, we ran this past our Live Exhibits team here at the Museum, and they've responded as follows:

Black Rock Scorpions do eat Portuguese Millipedes and are one of the few animals that do. However, scorpions have a very low metabolism and consequently require little food to keep them going. So you’ll never have enough Black Rock Scorpions around to make a dint in the Portuguese Millipede population. But at least they’re on the side of good.

Kathy Howard 11 March, 2013 00:49
I live on a hobby farm, small acreage in central Victoria, with a handful of eucalypts around. The home is 7 yrs old. Each yr, more-so in the warmer months we see the light brown scorpions in the home in the evening (obviously nocturnal). Sizes vary from 1 - 2 inches. This yr there seems to be alot more, in a similar area of the home and a lot more of the smaller ones with a couple larger ones. I am finding an average of one a night now. Would one have bred inside the home. Is this at all possible? Please help me. I can't stand them. And I am sorry, I can't move them back outside. The only nice scorpion is a dead one. They creep me out. I'm afraid to put my feet to the floor at night.
Discovery Centre 11 March, 2013 12:40
Hi Kathy, it is very unlikely that scorpions would breed in your house. It is much more likely that being nocturnal they are going hunting for food at night and wandering under a door to see if there is food inside. You can relax a bit in that the scorpions will not seek you out to sting you but of course if you stand on one with bare feet it is likely to sting in defence. If you have doors with obvious cracks under them try draught excluders to block any access they may have. Make sure there is not too much leaf litter etc near doors as that will also give them shelter and make it easier for them to be near entry points to the house. Scorpions are actually very good at helping to get rid of pests in the garden so you may want to sweep them up with a dustpan and brush and place them outside, (away from the house). Also as you obviously have scorpions in the garden make sure when you are gardening that you wear gloves so that if you do grab one you can't be stung. 
amber 13 March, 2013 23:49
what is a black scorpions usual habitat
Discovery Centre 14 March, 2013 16:29
Hi Amber! Have a look at our Southern or Wood Scorpion infosheet here for an introduction to the habits and habitats of one of the species found in Victoria.
Corrie 2 May, 2013 01:32
I live in Az and years ago on a field trip to the lake the ranger told us Kids to try to panic if a scorpion is on you and to reach for something to brush it off instead of using your hand which is the normal reaction. He said to do this because their stinger can't reach the surface it's on. IS this true???
Coffee In India 28 May, 2013 15:42
Article that you had shared with us is useful for us. This article provides us information which can help us to gain knowledge about something new.
Brianna 4 June, 2013 10:50
Hi, I'm located around the Echuca area in Victoria and recently I have been finding a lot of scorpions in the house. Do you have any suggestions of how to keep them out of the house? I'm terrified of them.
Jas 21 July, 2013 17:57
You know where the actual stinger is, because of the article, right? So what is the proper name of the scorpion's body that holds the stinger? I need to know it for a story that I am writing.
Discovery Centre 23 July, 2013 11:21
Hi Jas, the last section of the scorpion tail that holds the sting is called the telson. 
leigh 21 September, 2013 15:35
I just started to keep scorpions, I am interested in observing their night time activities. I understand they fluoresce in the dark with a black light. my question is, Is the black light harmful to the scorpions if exposed to the black light for a long duration of time during the night?
Discovery Centre 24 September, 2013 11:07
Hi Leigh, that’s a very good question. We haven’t yet seen a convincing argument as to why scorpions fluoresce, so we don’t know the affect it might have on them. However, two facts suggest it is not a good idea to keep UV light (black light) on scorpions for long periods.

Firstly, overexposure to UV breaks down the scorpion’s ability to reflect it (glow), so if there is a purpose to glowing then too much UV negates that purpose. Secondly, one possible reason scorpions fluoresce is to detect and therefore avoid UV. If they spend their life avoiding it, they probably have good reason. Many scorpion keepers shine UV regularly on their scorpions but they tend not to do it constantly. So to be safe it’s best to shine UV for short periods only.

john 25 November, 2013 03:38
hi my names john ive recently bought a baby scorpion from a pet shop in uk and wondering can I take it from its small box and put it in a bigger tank or do I have to leave it in the small box for it to get a bit bigger the baby scorpion is 3-4cm so far any help please or any advice
DANIELp 16 December, 2013 19:27
I have in my possesion 1 small scorpian, I found him crawling along the bricks of the house and currently studying the temperment and behaviour charachteristics of this magnificent creature. I intend to test the hunting skill and duribility in unforseen and dramatic events to determine once and for all its battle survival capabilitys in many conditions and terrain. How do I dertermine if they are male or female
Juz 14 February, 2014 17:34
The brownish small scorpions crawling in my house is a way of life for my family in Kalorama, VIC. Every late January we start finding them along the skirting boards walking around until the heavy rains start (then we don't see them again until it gets very dry again.) I leave soup ladles around to scoop them up and deposit them back in the yard. Some are shy others will have a go at you, it varies. I don't know if they prey on spiders but our wolf spider population is reduced when these guys are about and I rather have these guys wandering about then one of those spiders jump out at me when gardening.
Anita 19 February, 2014 00:14
My son is doing a yr 7 project for science on phylum arthropod. He has chosen scorpions .we have searched everywhere for a life cycle diagram of the scorpions but can not find it.would you be able to help.also which scorpion do you think has the best and most information on it.
Discovery Centre 21 February, 2014 13:10
Hi Anita! Try our infosheets on Scorpions (general info), or the Black Rock Scorpion. Don't forget to check the book references at the end, and previous comment threads, they can be a goldmine of additional information! 
Julieanne 12 March, 2014 14:49
Hi how are you? I just want to know. Is scorpions are from Australia? when they are born what is the life spend? What sort fo food do they eat? Where does it live in Australia? How do they kill other animals? do you if they are nelly Extinction?
Angela 27 March, 2014 03:08
Hi. I can't find any literature to support my concern please help! I've had 2 batches of emperor scorpions and in both batches of 2 scorps male and female this has happened in. I wake up in the morning to replenish their water and check their humidity and I find that the smaller scorpion has died due to the tip of his tail appeared to be cut off some how. Why does this happen and how can it be prevented?
Discovery Centre 1 April, 2014 14:02

Hi Angela,

Firstly you should be aware that it's illegal to keep Emperor Scorpions (Pandinus imperator) under any circumstances in Australia. Unless you're referring to a different species or you're emailing from outside Australia, the scorpions should be immediately handed in to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Regarding the deaths, we have never heard of this situation. Emperor Scorpions (and many other species) will live quite happily in large groups, without any antagonism between individuals. Where there is antagonism or predation, the victim will almost always be completely dismembered rather than just having the telson removed.

A good book for general scorpion husbandry is Newton, Mark A., 2008, A Guide to Keeping Australian Scorpions in Captivity, Mark A. Newton Publishing, Adelaide.

kinjal 1 June, 2014 22:36
Hi i really want to know the metabolic reaction of the scorpion an is it decomposition,combination,reduction or oxididation thanx a ton
Gabrielle 27 October, 2014 20:17
Hi. How do scorpions eat such large animals and insects? Do they "drink" the prey like spiders? Do they rip it with their pincers? Please help. I am particularly interested in Emperor and Fattailed Scorpions.
Scott Duff 27 January, 2015 12:25
I'm very interested in finding Scorpions in and around the Yarra Valley & Dandenong ranges in Victoria. Does anyone know good places to look?
trish 25 March, 2017 22:54
On the north face of Kalorama - I have them in my garden
joel 15 February, 2015 13:50
Hi, i purchased a very large Australian desert scorpion from local pet store, have been keeping him in proper glass tank with ideal settings according to online advice, books, blogs and so on. He has been fine now for over 4 months, displaying the classic hide and ambush approach from his burrow he constructed under a rock ledge I provided. He has now day 1, come out of burrow(in the day, unusual) , 2, forriaged around the tank, dug quite a large hole, stopped, 3, has now been laying in the same position for 3 days, tail down flat out behind, appears to be dead or playing dead. The first day of laying there he would respond to a light breathe, and move his tail up ever so slightly, day 2, a little less, day 3, nothing. Is he dead? Was he slowly dying, could I have prevented this, I did continue to humidify the tank and did not introduce food as he was well feed m cheers in advance, joel
Discovery Centre 21 February, 2015 14:19
Hi Joel, if the scorpion is a desert species, it's most likely to be a member of the Urodacus group, and the problem may be with the housing (it's difficult to be certain without knowing the species, your set-up and how old it is). Desert species need a moisture gradient and often need good ventilation as well. They don't do very well in conditions of constant high humidity without a gradient from dry to moist. If your scorpion was a large one, it may also be that it is old, and coincidentally reached the end of its life not long after you received it. Either way you should get more information on the ecology and requirements of the species if you purchase one again.
Donald Peters 10 March, 2015 10:51
Scorpion Suicide. I caught a scorpion 2 days ago and placed in a jar with the lid on. Last night I checked the jar and the Scorpion is dead, it still has the stinger in its body. Did it kill itself?
Brice 2 April, 2015 07:08
I have found my scorpion on two diff occasions in a rather odd position it has the tail and claws down lifting its body compleatly off the ground any ideas
kylie 15 April, 2015 09:17
Hi I got bitten by a scorpion in darwin monday night at 11:30 it was the most painful thing ive ever experienced I went to the doctors 9am tuesday morning however the pain did not disappear so I went back to the doctors wednesday morning because I cant feel my toes and I have what feels like pins and needles all the way up my leg the doctors seem to think what venom it did have has activated and cut of my blood flow. I know nothing about the scorpions up here in the NT so im wondering what your thoughts are
Lara 9 January, 2016 00:49
What happened in the end? I was stung tonight n I went to hospital and they sent me home with an ice pack!! Were you ok?
sheryl james 14 May, 2015 16:52
How long can the scorpions stinger grow. My son's research for school please :)
Julie 25 September, 2015 19:15
Our tenant is complaining about scorpions in the our house in Ballarat, we lived in the house for 5 years and never saw one, just moved out in May. Has anyone heard of Scorpions in Ballarat?
Discovery Centre 26 September, 2015 11:28
Hi Julie,

There are a few Victorian scorpions (and pseudoscorpions) whose distribution includes the Ballarat area. Please feel free to email your contact details and a few images of the critters in question to and we can attempt identification.
Betty 12 October, 2015 12:37
Is it true that if you kill a scorpion, it will give off an odor that will call more scorpions to the area?
Discovery Centre 19 October, 2015 15:43

Hi Betty - we checked with our Live Exhibits team on this, and they've responded as follows:

There is no evidence that scorpions release an odour to attract other scorpions when in distress, and to do so would not make a lot of sense in regard to scorpion biology. Scorpions are solitary creatures and only seek out other scorpions for reproduction – in most other circumstances when two scorpions meet the larger one will eat the smaller one. Even during reproduction the male is in danger of being eaten by the female, and parent scorpions quite often eat their own young. They are not social animals and there is no reason why a scorpion would call for assistance, or why other scorpions would assist.

pamp 26 November, 2015 10:30
Bianka 4 December, 2015 13:08
Hi I have had a Tiny brown scorpion for over six months now and today when i went to feed it, I noticed it was carrying what I assume is babies on its back.. Is that possible?
Discovery Centre 28 December, 2015 11:06
Hi Bianka, our manager of Live Exhibits has said scorpions have a very long gestation period, up to 18 months or more. All species give birth to live young (5-30 young, depending on the species) which climb onto their mother’s back and remain there for several weeks. The arrangement of young on her back can be distinctive for different scorpion groups – either random, transverse (facing side to side) or longitudinal (facing front to back). When they are ready, the young will start to disperse but keep returning to her back occasionally, and when they are fully independent they should be transferred to a separate enclosure.
Kath 10 December, 2015 21:43
Hi, I live in suburbia - Earlwood in South West Sydney. I have just discovered a small presumably drowned tiny scorpion in my kettle. Is this odd? Should I e pest to find more around the house and should we all wear footwear if we move around the house at night?
Discovery Centre 14 December, 2015 10:06
Hi Kath, scorpions can be found through suburban areas but often go unnoticed due to their generally small size and nocturnal habits. It is possible you may have others wander in from the garden searching for prey so just take some basic precautions such as turning on the light and looking where you put your feet if you get up during the night.  
Mitchell 19 December, 2015 01:25
Hi I have a common rainforest scorpion with 17 babies some have molted and left the mother should I take the others off and move them into a seperate tank or wait until they leave her back thanks
Lachlan 25 December, 2015 13:06
Hello Michell I suggest you wait until they leave the mother because she feeds them herself i don't stress her out because they will eat there babies
Discovery Centre 28 December, 2015 10:32
Hi Mitchell, our manager of Live Exhibits has said the young will leave the mother’s back when they’re ready and for a period keep returning to her as they become accustomed to their new environment. When this happens, you should add leaf litter to the enclosure to give them some protection from her. When the young have left the mother’s back permanently, that’s the best time to remove them from the enclosure altogether and set them up independently.
Dan Brook 22 December, 2015 19:53
How often are MALES ready to drop sperm?
Discovery Centre 30 December, 2015 16:39

Male scorpions reproduce by dropping a spermatophore that is picked up by the female, and males have an impressive capacity to produce spermatophores. Some species drop a ring of them around a female so that no matter which direction she heads, she has to pick one up. We’re not aware of any research that describes the exact capacity of males, but it will definitely be greater than the female’s capacity to accept them.

Renald 8 January, 2016 00:58
Hey I found one and kept it like a pet when they eat every time or at night only ? can you give me so advice for him to be comftarble in his enclosure pls thanks renald
Discovery Centre 17 January, 2016 15:58


Scorpions will eat both day and night when hungry, but as a general rule they are most active and therefore most hungry at night. To keep your scorpion healthy and comfortable it helps to know which species it is and where it comes from. Desert scorpions require different environments to rainforest scorpions, for example. In general, scorpions require a certain level of warmth (25 degrees or greater) and a gradient of humidity in the enclosure and moisture in the substrate from moist to dry. They have a very low metabolism and therefore don’t require a lot of food – try a small cricket occasionally and remove the cricket if it doesn’t get eaten within 24 hours.

Zuber k 31 January, 2016 01:14
We have lot if scorpions in our farm, so we collect the venom from them can we sell them,? Is there any demand in market. ,?
Dale 20 February, 2016 10:08
I just found a small 2cm long brown scorpion with stripes in my garden in Crib Point. It was near a drain covered in dead leaves. Do they build 'nests' or a type of home? Do they live in groups? Thank you.
Discovery Centre 22 February, 2016 16:09
Hi Dale, many species of scorpion can be cannibalistic so they don't have communal nests, but depending on the species may be found under rocks, logs or in deep or shallow burrows. Some species spend the majority of their lives in their burrows. Based on where you live the scorpion is likly to be what is commonly called a wood scorpion or one of the marbled scorpions.
Leanne Parsons 22 February, 2016 00:15
Hi Discovery Centre! I have several rainforest scorpions set up in individual enclosures. What I'd love to know is a) Can I put more than one in an enclosure or will they attack each other? Would they be ok if they have their own hiding places? and b) How do I tell male and female in the rainforest scorpion? Thank you for your help in this forum. (I love the huntsman forum as well...) :)
Discovery Centre 24 March, 2016 10:11
Hi Leanne, 

In the wild, Rainforest Scorpions (Liocheles waigiensis) live in multiple crevices close to each other in rock faces, so they are very tolerant of each other and can be kept together in captivity. However, they need many more hiding places in the enclosure than there are scorpions, if possible, and keep in mind that cannibalism may still occur. This is one of the easier species to distinguish males from females – males have much longer chelae (nippers) than females and there is a prominent notch on the inside of the chelae, used to hold the female’s chelae during courtship. 
Kristy 8 March, 2016 23:01
Hi guys, I live in the middle of yorke peninsula in South Australia and I just found a light brown scorpion in my house. I wasn't aware that we had them in this part of South Australia. Could you please tell me if I should be on the lookout for more or not. I still have it alive in a glass jar with some leaves in it. Cheers
Discovery Centre 9 March, 2016 16:09
Hi Kristy, 

We're happy to help! Send a picture using our Identifications page and we'll see what we can do.
Dylan Fraser 12 March, 2016 12:59
i recently got stung by my rock scorpion and it swelled up and it hurt at first but it stopped after 1 minute or two and can rock scorpions only pierce your skin in certain places or everywhere?
Ray 2 May, 2016 14:28
We found a bark scorpion. My family decided to get a tank and keep as a science pet. My daughter did all the research. It was a very tiny scorpion so we got a 10 gal tank and supplied it with a drift log, sand, and part of a palm tree bark. We would feed it crickets we caught and during the winter or on vacation we would buy from a pet store. Provided it wet cotton ball for water. We have had it about 2 to 2 1/2 years. We have never seen it molt but it has tons of places to hide that we can not see. Today we woke up and he was in the corner pinchers pulled back to head and tail straight. Not sure if its dead or if that is his shell. Is it easy to distinguish a molted shell? We don't poke or mess with it only drop crickets in and change out cotton ball during day when hes in the palm bark. SOoo is he dead?
Discovery Centre 6 May, 2016 10:39

Hi Ray,

A scorpion moult (or shed skin) will be thin and papery, and somewhat translucent. If you touch it with tweezers or a thin stick it will be clearly empty compared to an entire scorpion. If it’s the entire scorpion and alive, it will react to being prodded; if it’s the entire scorpion and dead, it will be stiff and immobile. There’s little information about the lifespans of scorpions, but many species probably live for seven years or so, and in your case it may be that the scorpion has died of old age (particularly as you found it already mature, and they often take 1-3 years to reach maturity). Scorpions have a very low metabolism and therefore require very little food, and will usually only take the smallest crickets. This may explain why you haven’t seen much activity or feeding during the last couple of years.

silas 29 May, 2016 06:41
what country's do they live in.
Hyrum 30 May, 2016 02:31
If I remove the sting of a scorpion will that harm the scorpion?
Discovery Centre 14 June, 2016 11:28

Hi Hyrum,

The sting of a scorpion is an essential part of its body – a similar question would be ‘will it harm a person to remove their hand?’ In addition to this, the sting is frequently used by the scorpion to subdue prey before consuming it, as many types of prey can fight back and hurt or even kill the scorpion. So the short answer is yes, it will harm the scorpion.

Dinesh maharjan 14 December, 2016 18:41
i found scorpion at home wt to do??
Discovery Centre 17 December, 2016 11:15
Hi Dinesh, I am assuming you are in Australia. The species of scorpion that occur in Australia are much less dangerous than in some other parts of the world. Certainly a sting from an Australian species would hurt but the Australian species are not considered highly dangerous and they will not seek us out to sting. You could sweep it up with a dustpan and brush and release it in the garden. If you have any large gaps under doors leading to the garden see if you can block these.   
Jasmin 18 May, 2017 22:42
I've lived at the same property for 25 years (eastern suburbs of Melbourne) and have only seen the odd scorpion (max 1 every 2-3 years). But since moving into the bungelow in the back yard we have caught 7 wood scorpions in 6 weeks. I bug bombed the house last week so unfortunately the last 3 have been dead :( my question is do they have "nests" I'm just confused as to why we have such a large number down here but never once did I see one inside of the main house they are all adults too, should I be looking out for babies? I don't mind them but outside I really don't want to step on one inside and really don't want to keep bombing the house with pesticides to keep them away .
Discovery Centre 20 May, 2017 11:14
Hi Jasmin - scorpions don't really like being inside, they're likely to be coming in opportunistically, rather than breeding inside. People often bring them in accidentally with firewood (so check over any log piles you have, and keep it outside if possible), or they can creep under doors looking for places to hide (in which case, you can use draught excluders to block off any gaps).
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