SCORPIONS

 

This yellow to yellowish-brown scorpion, 'Mesobuthus gibbosus' which can reach an overall length of 67-75mm (2.5-3"), can be found in many parts of Europe. It has been reported in Albania, Greece including many of the islands,  Yugoslavia, Turkey (except north), Cyprus, Syria, and Lebanon.

Mesobuthus gibbosus can be found in various habitats. Jan Ove Rein, Medical Library & Information Centre, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, whose article has provided most of the information on this page, states that he has collected it in dry and hot wasteland without any vegetation, both in mountain areas and on the beach, only metres away from the sea. In addition, some papers report of collecting sites located in forests.

 

In Crete, I have seen quite a few small ones hidden away in dark damp and shady places. But I personally have never seen one a big as 3" until recently after a day on the beach when my daughter was bitten by one. We think it must have snuck a ride back home possibly in her beach bag or even camera bag?  Even though this species has a very rural distribution, it may, on occasion, accidentally enter houses and other buildings.

 

Very little data is available on the medical significance of this scorpion. Albeit, we did make a visit to the local health centre where my daughter had a cortisone injection and a strong dose of antibiotics. The medical staff were cautious of a possible anaphylactic shock. The sting is very painful, but is probably not dangerous for healthy humans albeit, I would recommended a visit to the local doctor, health centre or hospital. But beware the injections and side effects of the tablets were worse than the sting itself.
 

 

HABITAT

 
Dry and hot wasteland without any vegetation, both in mountain areas and on the beach. Can also be found in olive groves and, quite likely, in forests

 

DISTRIBUTION

 
Albania, Greece (including many of the Greek islands), Yugoslavia, Turkey (except north), 
Cyprus, Syria, and Lebanon.

  

SOUTH EUROPEAN SCORPION

 

'Euscorpiidae flavicaudis' are widespread in central and southern Europe. These scorpions are found under stones and other suitable objects on the ground. Some individuals were also found under the bark of trees but can also be found in human habitations (in old houses, in cracks and crevices of walls, in ruins etc.). This species has a western distribution in Europe, and is reported from England (introduced), France, Italy and Spain. It is one of the largest members of the genus, and can reach 35-45 mm in length. The trunk is dark (almost black) with lighter coloured legs.

 

EUSCORPIUS CARPATHICUS CANDIOTA

 

This species varies very much in colour. Some  are black with yellow-brown legs and darker sting (telson). Others have dark brown bodies. Some populations are also light brown, almost orangish in colour. Because of these variations, colours are not a safe way to identify Euscorpius. Adults measure 35-45 mm. It is a typical fossorial scorpion with large, strong pedipalps, a stout body, short legs and a short, thin tail (metasoma). This species had previously 23 subspecies and had a very wide and diverse distribution in Europe. The situation for the Euscorpius populations in Crete and some of the other Greek islands is not yet clear, and these Euscorpius should be labled E. carpathicus candiota until the status is resolved. 


The status of some populations in eastern Europe (Balkan, northern Greece) is also still unclear. Little medical data is available, but data from Italy suggest local effects only. Mildly venomous. Harmless scorpion, which rarely will use its stinger.
  

DISTRIBUTION

 
Africa (Egypt, Libya, Madeira, Tunisia), Asia (Turkey), Europe (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, France, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain (including Baleares), Turkey, Ukraine, Yugoslavia).

 

HABITAT

 

Warm, temperate climate in South-Western Europe. It is found in different habitats  gardens, in forests, under stones, in houses, in old walls. Where other scorpions can be found under stones, bark, logs and in cracks and crevices in dead trees, stones and rocks.

  

IURUS DUFOUREIUS DUFOUREIUS

 

This species is divided into two subspecies. I. dufoureius dufoureius, which is endemic to Greece, and I. dufoureius asiaticus, which is endemic to Turkey. No data available, but this species is assumed to be harmless. Sting might be painful.

 

DISTRIBUTION

  

Europe Greece (including islands of the Aegean Sea) and Turkey.

  

HABITAT

  
This species is usually found in humid habitats like compost-based forest floor, shielded from the heat. Large stones are usually used as hiding places, but some specimens are located in natural holes. It hides deep in the ground during the warmest part of the summer and is usually located in lowlands, but there are reports of specimens located at altitudes of 1000-1300 metres and 1680 metres.

 
 

 

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