Figure 1: Shape of sternum. A. triangular.
Figure 2: A. Telson
lacks subaculear tubercle. B. Telson
equipped with a subaculear tubercle
3: A. Anterior tergal crests of mesosoma distinct B. Anterior tergal crests of
mesosoma not distinct or absent.
Figure 4: A. Tergal
crests of mesosoma projecting beyond the posterior margins B. Tergal
crests of mesosoma not projecting beyond the posterior margins.
Figure 5: A. Sole of
tarsi with spines. B. Sole of
tarsi with hairs and bristles.
Figure 6: A. Metasoma
with several rows of small depressions. B. Metasoma without several rows of small
Triangular sternum is the prominent feature of
representatives in this family. Three to five eyes are usually present and the
telson is usually equipped with accessory spines. This family includes most of
the scorpions dangerous to humans.
Androctonus amoreuxi (Audouin, 1826)
Diagnosis: Olive to chocolate brown in colour.
Prosoma: densely granulated. Mesosoma: with distinct crests, the seventh
sternite with four smooth or granulated crests. Metasoma: first segment of the
tail wider than long, while segments 2-5 are longer than wide. Pectines 27-33
in males and 18-29 in females.
Measurements: Total length up to 9cm (average 5.5cm.),
prosoma 5-8mm., mesosoma 11.7-17.7 mm., metasoma 18.9-34.4mm.
Habitat and distribution: It has a wide distribution
along the coastal plains of Palestine and Sinai (Levy and Amitai, 1980). Its
habitat is similar to A. crassicauda. Recorded from Wadi
Araba and the lower Jordan Valley (Amr and El-Oran, 1994). Figure 3 shows the distribution of A. amoreuxi in Jordan.
7: Androctonus bicolor.
Androctonus bicolor Ehrenberg, 1828 Figure (7)
Diagnosis: Dark brown to olive black. The colour of
the terminal segments of the legs and pedipalps are light brown. Prosoma:
crests are distinct, Mesosoma: densely granulated with distinct tergal crests.
Metasoma: median lateral keels of segments two and three are developed and
possess few granules. Pectines with 23-29 teeth in males and 19-24 in females.
Measurements: Total length may reach 9cm, prosoma
6.9mm, mesosoma 15.6mm., metasoma 33.2mm.
Habitat and distribution: This species is known from
few localities. El-Hennawy (1988) reported it from Ma'an, Aqaba and Petra, and
Amr and El-Oran (1994) indicated a locality from Karak and Kovařík and
Whitman (2004) from Wadi Rum. Figure 2
shows the distribution of A. bicolor in
Figure 8: Androctonus crassicauda.
(Olivier, 1807) Figure (8)
Diagnosis: Black in colour to dark brown in colour.
Prosoma: covered by distinct granules. Mesosoma: with moderately distinct
granules. Metasoma: segments thick and wider than long. Lateral keels of the
second and third segments are reduced to only a few granules. Pectines 27-32 in
males and 23-27 in females.
Measurements: Total length up to 10cm (average 8.5
cm), prosoma 10.3-11.5mm, mesosoma 19.6-23.9mm, metasoma 42.1-49.9mm.
Habitat and distribution: This is a desert adapted
species with wide distribution in the eastern desert and Wadi Araba to Aqaba
(Levy and Amitai 1980; Amr et al. 1988; Amr and El-Oran, 1994), from Azraq,
Jarash, Ν Shuna (Stathi and Mylonas, 2001), and from Wadi Rum (Kovařík and
Whitman, 2004). Figure 3 shows the distribution of A. crassicauda in Jordan.
It was also collected from the Mediterranean region
with dense forests but in low numbers. It lives in horizontal burrows in dry
soil in desertic regions or in rodent burrows.
crassicauda is one of the venomous species in the Middle East.
Diagnosis: This is a small-sized scorpion, with an
average length of 20mm. Prosoma: heavily granulated. Median eyes small
separated by two ocular diameters, lateral eyes absent. Body basically pale
yellowish, median eyes surrounded by black pigment. Mesosoma, vesicle,
chelicera, pedipalps and legs yellowish.
Measurements: Average total length 2cm, carapace
2.8mm, metasomal segment I length 1.4mm, metasomal segment V length 2.3mm,
vesicle width 0.5mm, length of movable finger 2.9mm. Measurements based on the
female holotype (Lourenço 1999).
Habitat and distribution: This species was originally
described from Tafila area (Vachon 1974). The species was redescribed by
Lourenço (1999). He suggested that this species is a cave dwelling scorpion. We
were unable to collect further specimens of this species. Perhaps the specimen
collected from southern Jordan represents a relict population with limited
distribution. Two additional species of the genus were Birulatus
have been described recently; Birulatus israelensis from
Palestine (Lourenço, 2002) and Birulatus astariae from Syria
(Stathi and Lourenço, 2003). Figure 3 shows the reported distribution of B. haasi in Jordan.
Figure 9: Buthacus
Diagnosis: Yellow to yellowish brown in colour.
Prosoma: entirely smooth. Mesosoma: smooth without crests. Metasoma: tails
segments with hairs, and telson with many hairs. Pectines with 27-35 teeth
in males and 18-29 in
Measurements: Total length may reach up to 6cm
(average 4.1 cm.), prosoma 4.4-4.6mm., mesosoma 9-10.3mm., metasoma 22.7-25mm.
Habitat and distribution: This species is known from
Southwest Jordan (Kinzelbach, 1984) and from Wadi Rum (Stathi and Mylonas,
2001). It was collected from rodent burrows in extreme desertic conditions near
El Jafr (Amr and El-Oran, 1994). Kinzelbach (1984) revised the systematic
position of Buthacus leptochelys nitzani (Levy
et al. 1973) and suggested synonymy with Buthacus leptochelys (Hemprich
& Ehrenberg, 1829).
The records of Kovařík and Whitman (2004) of Buthacus arenicola and
Buthacus tadmorensis from Wadi Rum are considered as Buthacus leptochelys in this study until further validation of the status
of species of the genus Buthacus in the Middle East. Figure 3
shows the distribution of B. leptochelys in
Buthus amri Lourenço, Yagmur & Duhem, 2010
Diagnosis: yellowish to pale yellow in colour. Prosoma: intensely spotted with small granules
with visible crests. Mesosoma: three longitudinal stripes are distinct; the
median one narrower than the lateral. Metasoma: segments yellowish with some
diffuse spots over crests; spots better marked on the fifth segment. Pectines
with 27- 29 teeth in males, 21-23 in females.
Measurements: Small scorpion with a total
length of 44 mm in males and 50 mm in females.
Habitat and distribution: This
species was collected from Wadi Rum. It inhabits hard sandy soil with sparse
bushes (Lourenço et al., 2010).
Lourenço (2003) revised the genus Buthus and
sateted that the true "Buthus occitanus" is confined to France
and Spain. All previous records of Buthus occitanus such as that of Kinzelbach (1984) from
Jordan require validation, since they could be either Buthus israelis or
the newly described species Buthus amri. Figure 3 shows the distribution of B. amri in Jordan.
Compsobuthus carmelitis Levy,
Amitai & Shulov, 1973
Colouration usually light yellow to light yellowish brown. Prosoma: with fine
granules and visible crests, Mesosoma: tergites with small granules, Metasoma:
second segment with eight complete crests.
Pectines 23-25 in males
and 20-22 in females.
length 32–40 mm
distribution: A single record from Wadi Ζarqa (Ν of Sihan)
was indicated by Stathi and Mylonas
3 shows the distribution of C. carmelitis in
Figure 10: Compsobuthus jordanensis.
Amitai & Shulov, 1973 Figure
Diagnosis: Yellow to light-brown in colour. Prosoma densely
granulated. Mesosoma: each tergite equipped with three rows of crests extending
beyond the tergite's margin. Metasoma: with narrow segments. Pectines 18-23 in
males and 16-21 in females.
Measurements: Total length of
the adult approximately 3cm.
Habitat and distribution: This species was collected
from deserts around Wadi Dabaa' (Southeast of Amman) and Al Hassa towards Ma'an
(Levy et al., 1973).
Figure 3 shows the distribution of C.
jordanensis in Jordan.
Compsobuthus levyi Kovařík, 2012
Diagnosis: yellow to yellowish brown in colour. Prosoma:
covered with granules, Mesosoma: tergites I–VI bear very strong, denticulate
lateral crests. Metasoma: all metasomal segments of both sexes slender and
longer than wide. Pectines 18–23.
Measurements: Total length 28–38.4 mm.
Habitat and distribution: This species was collected
Burqu, in the eastern desert of Jordan (Kovařík, 2012). Figure 3 shows the distribution of C. levyi in Jordan.
schmiedeknechti Vachon, 1949
Diagnosis: Yellow to yellowish brown. Prosoma: with
distinct granules. Mesosoma: each tergite with three rows of crests extending
beyond tergite margins. Metasoma: with narrow segments and telson usually
orange to dark yellow in colour. Pectines 15-18.
Measurements: Adult specimens
may reach up to 3cm.
Habitat and distribution: Not much is known about the
habitat of this scorpion. It was reported from Jordan by Vachon
(1949). Records from Jordan include Bonifica and Petra (Kovařík and Whitman, 2004). Figure 3 shows the
distribution of C. schmiedeknechti in
Diagnosis: Light yellow in color. Prosoma: smooth
except for small granules in front of the ocular crest and lateral eyes.
Mesosoma: each tergite with three rows of crests extending beyond the tergite
margins. Metasoma: intermediary crests of the third segment not distinct
with few granules.
Pectines 18-23 in males and 16-21 in females.
Measurements: Total length 2.5-3.8cm (average 3.4cm.),
prosoma 3.3-4.2mm., mesosoma 7.1-8.9mm., metasoma 14.6-15.5mm.
Habitat and distribution: It was collected from Petra
and Wadi Al-Hasa, Shaumari, Wadi Sheib, Amman, Bqueuiah and Quasr Burga
(Kinzelbach, 1984; Amr and El-Oran 1994; El-Hennawy, 1988; Kovařík, 2003). This
species was recovered from pellets of the Eagle Owl in the Eastern Desert of
Jordan (Rifai et al., 2000). Other records are from Ajlun,
ΑΙ Manshiyya, ΑΙ Mazar al Janubi, W Azraq, Jerash, N Shuna, Um Quays, Wadi
Musa, Zai park (Stathi and Mylonas,
Petra (Kovařík and
Whitman, 2004). Figure 3 shows the distribution of C. werneri in Jordan.
11: Hottentotta judaicus.
Diagnosis: Black to dark brown in colour. Prosoma:
heavily granulated. Mesosoma: with densely granulated tergites. Metasoma: dorsal
segments smooth, while the lateral and ventral sides are granulated. Sole of
tarsi with small spines. Pectines 27-33 in males and 22-27 in females.
Measurements: Total length 5-7cm (average 5.9cm.),
prosoma 6.4mm., mesosoma 16.6-19.9mm., metasoma 27.5-38mm.
Habitat and distribution: This species was reported
from Irbid and Salt (Wahbeh, 1976), Kinzelbach 1984) and Amman (El-Hennawy,
1988), and Ajlun, Jarash and Ν Shuna (Stathi and Mylonas, 2001). It seems that
this species is confined to mountainous areas of Jordan with relatively high
rain fall (Amr and El-Oran, 1994). It is quite common in the Ajlune mountains,
and associated with the terra rosa soil, where it coexist
maurus palmatus. It constructs burrows that are usually located
under stones and also found under rocks without burrows.
12: Leiurus jordenensis.
Modry & Amr, 2002 Figure
Diagnosis: Body coloration generally blackish brown.
Prosoma: black and heavily granulated. Mesosoma: five keels present on the
first and second tergites. Metasoma: crests are strongly marked and inter
crestal spaces smooth to shagreened. Ventral side of tarsi with numerous setae
not arranged in straight rows. Pectines 30 in females.
Measurements: Total average length 7.4cm, carapace
length 0.85cm, length of metasomal segment I 0.6cm, length of metasomal segment
V 1.06cm, vesicle width 0.34cm, length of movable finger 1.36cm.
Habitat and distribution: the species was described
from a desert habitat composed of sandstone cliffs surrounded by flat sand
dunes from southern Jordan on the basis of a female specimen (Lourenço et al.
2002). According to Lourenço et al. (2002) the species distribution appears
limited to an enclave within the area in which its most related species (Leiurus
quinquestriatus) is distributed. Figure
4 shows the distribution of L. jordenensis
Figure 13: Leiurus quinquestriatus.
Diagnosis: Yellow in colour. Prosoma granulated.
Mesosoma: the first two tergites have 5 keels. Metasoma: segments 1-4 yellow in
colour, segment 5 black. Pectines 31-36 in males and 26-32 in females.
Measurements: Adult specimens
may reach 9cm
. in length (average 6cm.), prosoma
3.8-9.6mm ., mesosoma 16.8-19.8mm .,
Habitat and distribution: This is the most common
species in Jordan. Wahbeh (1976) reported that L. quinquestriatus constituted 85%
of the scorpions collected from 13 different localities. Warburg et al. (1980)
noted that L.
quinquestriatus is quite common in the Northern Jordan Valley. It
was collected from Mafraq (Levy et al., 1970), Wadi Dabaa' (Levy and Amitai,
1980), and from Wadi Musa, Wadi Al-Mujib, Aqaba, Wadi Ram and Jabal Nebo
(Kinzelbach, 1984), and Azraq and Wadi Sheib (El-Hennawy 1988), Dair Alla,
Bireen, Dana Reserve, Wadi Musa, Shemakh (Shoubak), Tafilah, Karak, Mashreh
Dam, El-Karameh, Dair El-Warak (Mafraq), Wadi El-Yotom (Aqaba), Okader, Irbid
(Amr and El-Oran, 1994). Other localities include southern part of the
Dead Sea, Manshiyya, ΑΙ Mazar al JanιIbi, Dana Nature Reserve, Wadi Zarqa (Dead
Sea), Ν Shuna, Wadi Zarqa (Ν of Sihan), Perra, Thagrat al Jubb, SE of Um Quays,
Zai National Park, King Talal Dam, Wadi Rum (Stathi and Mylonas, 2001) and Wadi
Rum, Petra (Kovařík and
Whitman, 2004). Figure 4 shows the distribution of L. quinquestriatus in Jordan.
Leiurus quinquestriatus has rather scattered
populations. It was collected from Dana area (between Shoubak and Petra), where
it was the only scorpion species with dense populations. Similar observations
were seen near El-Hemma in the North, Wadi Al-Walah, Madaba area and Karak. We
have few collections from southern Jordan (Amr and El-Oran, 1994). High number
of individuals was also collected from Wadi Al Mujib Nature Reserve. It is
usually found under stones or rocks with no definite burrows. Stone walls are
preferred hiding places for this species. Several specimens were brought from
houses in Irbid and surrounding villages. This is the most poisonous species in
the area (Amr et al., 1994). Warburg (1997) stated that this scorpion
penetrated deeper into the Mediterranean biotope in Palestine.
Figure 14: Orthochirus
Diagnosis: Black in colour. Prosoma: entirely smooth.
Mesosoma: densely granulated. Metasoma: tail segments covered with small
depressions. Pectines 19-20 in males and 15-18 in females.
Measurements: Total length can reach up to 3 cm.
(Average 2.6 cm), prosoma 3mm., mesosoma 7.6mm., metasoma 15.2mm.
Habitat and distribution: Wahbeh (1976) reported this
species from Madaba area. Amr and El Oran (1994) listed several localities for
this species from arid and mid regions in Jordan. Collected also from Azraq,
Jerash and Thygrat al Jubb (Stathi and Mylonas,
2001) and from Wadi Rum (listed as Orthochirus innesi)
by Kovařík and
Whitman (2004). Figure 4 shows the distribution of O. scrobiculosus in
Orthochirus scrobiculosus negebensis is the known subspecies
occurring in Jordan, Palestine and Sinai (Levy and Amitai, 1980), while other
subspecies occur in Iraq, Iran and Turkestan. This is a desert inhabitant;
where it is usually found in small crevices under stones and burrows. High population
densities were noticed in Azraq area. Specimens from Wadi Rum were found in
deep sand burrows that extends more than 50 cm deep. Other specimens were
observed during the early morning hours basking on small shrubs, perhaps to
The pentagonal sternum is the prominent feature of
this family. Species of the genus Scorpio lack subaculear tubercle on
the telson, while present in Nebo. In the Middle East, members of this
family are not considered venomous.
According to Vachon and Kinzelbach (1987), three
subspecies of the genus Scorpio occur in Jordan, namely: Scorpio
maurus fuscus distributed in the north, Scorpio maurus palmatus south
western Jordan and Scorpio maurus kruglovi occurring
in the Eastern Desert.
Figure 15: Nebo hierichontichus.
Diagnosis: Dark-brown in colour. Pedipalps thick and
long. Prosoma smooth with granules on the lateral side. Mesosoma entirely
smooth. Metasoma: tail segments long and narrow, subaculear tubercle present on
the telson. Pectines 14-22 in males and 11-17 in females.
Measurements: Adult may reach 14 cm. (average 7.3cm.),
prosoma 7.1-12.9mm., mesosoma 17.4-35.2mm., metasoma 20.2-47.4mm.
Habitat and distribution: This species is endemic to
Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Arabia (Vachon and Kinzelbach, 1987).
Wahbeh (1976) collected this species from Madaba and Karak. Levy & Amitai
(1980) reported other localities in Amman and Petra. Kinzelbach (1984)
collected specimens from Petra. Other records in our collection are from
several localities in Wadi Araba, Jordan Valley and near Jarash (Amr and
El-Oran, 1994). Also collected from W Karak, Al Mazar Al Janobi and Wadi Rum
(Stathi and Mylonas, 2001) and from Wadi Rum (Kovařík and Whitman, 2004). Nebo hierichontichus has a scattered distribution.
The localities indicated represent a wide range of biotops. It constructs its
own burrows and could be found under rocks and between crevices. Figure 7 shows the distribution of N. hierichontichus in Jordan.
Figure 16: Scorpio maurus fuscus.
maurus fuscus (Hemprich
& Ehrenberg, 1829) Figure
Diagnosis: Dark brown in colour. Pedipalpal claw
similar to the lobster. Prosoma entirely smooth. Mesosoma smooth and without
crests. Metasoma tail segments yellow brown with scattered hairs and telson is
usually yellow in colour. Pectines 9-11 in males and 6-10 in females.
Measurements: Total length may reach 8cm (average 6.),
prosoma 6.5-9.1mm, mesosoma 18.6-20.3mm, metasoma 19.1-25.7mm. Pectines 9-10
Habitat and distribution: This species construct its
burrows either under stones or in the tera rosa soil. It was collected
from areas with high rain fall and cold winters. It is usually found in dense
populations within the same area (Amr and El-Oran 1994; Stathi and Mylonas,
2001). At Zubya, an oak forested area, over 15 specimens were collected within an
area of about 500 m2 (Amr and El-Oran, 1994). However, Warburg
(1997) stated that, this oak wood scorpionid, formerly the most abundant
scorpion in the Mediterranean region, showed a marked decline in numbers. Figure 7 shows the distribution of S. m.
fuscus in Jordan.
Figure 17: Scorpio maurus palmatus.
maurus palmatus (Hemprich
& Ehrenberg , 1829) Figure
Diagnosis: Yellow to light olive brown in colour.
Pedipalpal claw similar to the lobster. Prosoma entirely smooth. Mesosoma
smooth and without crests. Metasoma: tail segments yellow brown with scattered
hairs. Pectines 9-13 in males and 7-13 in females.
Measurements: Total length 5-7 cm (average 5.25cm),
prosoma 7.6-8.3mm, mesosoma 14.9-18.6mm, metasoma 18.9-22.9mm.
Habitat and distribution: Scorpio maurus palmatus is of
African origin that penetrated into southern Jordan. It was reported from Wadi
Musa, Theban, Amman and Ajlun (Wahbeh, 1976; El-Hennawy, 1988; Amr and El-Oran
1994). This species was recovered from pellets of the Eagle Owl in the Eastern
Desert of Jordan (Rifai et al., 2000) and from Wadi Rum (Kovařík and Whitman, 2004).
Figure 7 shows the
distribution of S. m.
palmatus in Jordan.