Tree Creeper Scorpion

Opisthacanthus asper

The large and strikingly coloured Tree Creeper Scorpion occurs in savanna habitats in northern Kwazulu-Natal, through the Lowveld and along the Limpopo Valley into the Bushveld, where they live in trees (being especially fond of the Knobthorn), bushes and fallen logs. By day they hide in the crevices in trees and behind bark and by night they use these hide-outs to ambush passing prey or actively go hunting in and near their home trees. For this reason hanging clothes and shoes from trees where the Tree Creeper occurs is not to be advised – while they are quite docile in nature and their venom is too weak to be medically significant a sting from these 10cm long scorpions, half of which is the tail, can be quite painful (so I hear). Male Tree Creepers tap their pincers on the bark to warn a female that he is not prey and won’t approach closer until it is clear that the female will not attack when they want to mate.

24 thoughts on “Tree Creeper Scorpion

  1. naturebackin

    Best left alone if possible, but hugely impressive. Your very clear photos definitely show that! I seldom see scorpions so the eight legs (In addition to the pincers) are always a surprise for some reason. Actually, on the rare occasions where I have seen one, the last thing I notice are the legs! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I know exactly what you mean, Carol – the first thing I look at is the stinger, to determine exactly how dangerous the scorpion might be, before deciding on a course of action – flee or photograph? ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

    Ek is tweekeer al deur n skerpioen gesteek. Dis nie baie lekker nie. Eerste was n kleintjie wat in nag uit grasdak geval het. My op my bors gesteek. Tweede een het my in my groottoon gesteek. Dit was nie kinderspeletjies nie. My been het begin lam voel op einde. Was ou jaars aand, hospitaal toe waar hordes dronkes en beseerdes gewag het. Eers n toets spuit v teengif gekry. Was toe allergies daarvoor. In tussentyd het ure verby gegaan. Hul het my toon net uitgespuit met een of anders iets. Gladnie n goeie ondervinding nie. Ons het 30 km weg v hospitaal gebly.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Dankie dat jy jou nare ondervindings met ons gedeel het, Ineke. Skerpioene is gewis nie goggas wat mens mee wil speel nie, en ek is bly dat jy darem nie permanente skade gely het vanwee die onderonsies nie.

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  3. unexpectedincommonhours

    That’s a mean looking scorpion. We have scorpions here, and I have been stung by one. Whenever we get one in the house I suck it up into a hand-held vacuum, take it outside and empty out the vac, letting the scorpion go. Now snakes are another story! LOL

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Your attempts at living harmoniously with the natural world pays off in ways that’s often undetected, Deb – just think how many other nasty insects those scorpions you saved from your home have killed since, saving you from having to use poisons in your home or garden. If everyone followed your example the world would be a better place.

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