Black Fat-Tailed Scorpion

Black Fat-Tailed Scorpion / Androctonus Bicolor / عقرب أسود دهني الذيل

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The Black Fat-Tailed scorpion belongs to the Buthidae family in the Scorpiones (scorpions) order, of the Arachnida (arachnids) class. The Black Fat-Tailed scorpion is less venomous than its relative, the Arabian Fat-Tailed Scorpion (Androctonus crassicauda), and considered as non life-threatening species in most sting cases; nevertheless, it has potent venom that should not be taken lightly, and any sting should be reported and properly treated. The Black Fat-Tailed scorpion is a medium sized scorpion with a very massive metasoma – often (mistakenly) referred as "tail", which makes it, in adulthood, to look larger and more massive than it actually is. The adult females of this species may reach up to 80mm to 90mm in rare cases – although most of the specimen will remain about 60mm in adulthood, when the metasoma and pedipalps ("pincers") thickens with each molt, during the growing and developing process. It is more abundant than the Arabian Fat-Tailed Scorpion within it's distribution areas, but in Palestine, those areas are narrower. There is no antivenom in presence locally, but this species will generally not be considered as a threat on a healthy human being – as well as the treatment is very effective. Hence so, there are no local reported death cases in the area for many years. The adults and sub-adults of this species can be easily identified by its overall black coloration with brown to yellowish ends of the walking legs and fingers, as well as extended and very slender pedipalps ("pincers"). The slender fingers of the pedipapls can easily distinguish it from the Arabian Fat-Tailed Scorpion, which shows enlarged (but not bulged) ones. A very thick metasoma ("tail") is presence as well. Another unique recognition feature of the whole Androctonus genus is a cut, a slit on the 4th metasomal segment, which looks like it was roundly peeled by an art-knife. Although the juveniles do not show the thickened metasoma saliently, they defenately show this cut. Its genus scientific name was derived from greek: "Androctonus" – "andras" stands for man and "kteinein" stands for "to kill" or "killer". The species name "bicolor" is Latin, and refers its brown-black (bi) coloration. This scorpion species considered to be a fast reacting species, and quickly escapes from its predators. When disturbed, it can hit with the side of its muscled metasoma when the nuisance arrives from the sides of its body, in try to keep afar and remove the threat. It tends to sting readily if kept disturbed or being disturbed from the front, and well known for potentially being hot tempered. In some cases, the Black Fat-Tailed Scorpion might stay in a single place and sting repeatedly if kept being disturbed, but will run for shelter if the threat won't be eliminated. On significant number of cases, this species will hit and run or just quickly escape when disturbed. The Black Fat-Tailed Scorpion (Androctonus Bicolor) is distributed in Egypt, Palestine and Sinai. The other countries, which considered to be included within its distribution areas are not clarified since the records are partially based in misidentifications of closely related taxa. Distribution of the genus (Androctonus) is wide, and includes North Africa, Sinai and Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and eastwards to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Palestine – it is common in the southern part of the country, and well known for its preference to arid areas - although not obligated or limited for such terrains; This species can be found in a variety of soils and terrains, from dunes to steppe soils, loess and stony desert areas as well. From the Negev desert, it extends through Judea foothills to Jericho.