Which scorpion poison is the least dangerous

Yellow Mediterranean Scorpion : In the shadow of the black widow

The Alcatraz of the zoo aquarium is on the second floor. A terrarium that is particularly securely locked and monitored by a camera on its ceiling. (The lens cannot be seen from the outside, and it does not film any visitors, as the zoo assures.) "Warning, poisonous" is written above it. Four additional glass cubes inside house four animals that seem inconspicuous at first glance, including a black widow - and a lesser-known but also quite dangerous member of the arachnid class: the yellow Mediterranean scorpion, one of the most poisonous scorpions in the world.

The animal is only a few centimeters tall. Its Latin name is Leiurus quinquestriatus - the latter means five stripes and stands for the five longitudinal stripes on its back. The characteristic, splendid color in straw yellow to yellow-orange also distinguishes the scorpion.

Nevertheless, he stands here in the community terrarium in the shadow of the black widow. Most visitors are interested in them. And then this photo wallpaper that sticks to the back wall! It shows a eucalyptus forest. This is the widow's habitat, not his. Yellow Mediterranean scorpions are at home in arid regions, in the deserts and semi-deserts of North Africa or the Arabian Peninsula. At night they look for food, during the day they hide in crevices and caves they have dug themselves.

The specimen in the zoo sits motionless in a corner of the stone-covered floor. The employees of the aquarium have put a pane of glass over a few stones, which is supposed to give the scorpion the opportunity to hide in nature and still be seen. “But he doesn't really take it,” says zookeeper Shahin Tavangari. The animals don't like the lighting from above either, but without it the visitors would look into the dark. Loneliness, on the other hand, is not a problem for the Yellow Mediterranean Scorpio. "There are scorpion species that live in groups, these are absolute loners."

He can drown in a puddle

And they can get aggressive quickly if you get too close to them. Then they stab with their poisonous sting. The toxins that the "Deathstalker" - as their English name is - produce, are not only intended for defense, but also to kill prey. The animals eat mice, lizards, grasshoppers, beetles and even other scorpions. Even for humans, especially children, their secretions can be fatal if no doctor helps. Some of the toxins cause cramps in the chest and respiratory muscles, while others attack the heart.

For the scorpions themselves, there are even more profane risks. The water bowl in the terrarium is tiny. “The animals could drown in a puddle,” explains keeper Tavangari.

The zookeepers have never checked whether their specimen is male or female. There are no plans for breeding. Private individuals are now prohibited from keeping dangerous animals in Germany. This yellow Mediterranean scorpion, which is estimated to be a few years old and therefore only has a few left to go, may therefore be the last one you can ever see in the zoo. So let's go there. Thanks to Alcatraz, you don't have to fear for your own integrity.


Life expectancy: About ten years

Interesting neighbor: Hissing cockroach

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