Meet the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion, or scientifically known as Hadogenes tityrus. This cool critter calls the rocky mountains of Namibia home. It loves to hang out in the nooks and crannies of rocks. Both the boys and girls of this species have long pincers, which is a unique trait of this scorpion.
Where Does It Belong?
In the big family tree of animals, the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion is part of the Arachnids, which means it’s related to spiders. It’s a member of the Scorpiones order, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s a scorpion.
Taxonomic Rank for Hadogenes tityrus
- Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
- Phylum: Arthropoda (Arthropods)
- Subphylum: Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
- Class: Arachnida (Arachnids)
- Order: Scorpiones (Scorpions)
- Family: Scorpionidae
- Genus: Hadogenes
- Species: sp.
If you’re ever in Namibia, (please come and visit us at Agama Lodge), you might get a chance to see these scorpions. They live in the western parts of the country, including our part of the Namib Desert, Fish River Canyon, and the Brandberg Mountains. They love rocky places where they can hide and blend in with their surroundings. Their flat bodies are perfect for slipping into tight spaces between rocks.
One popular activity where you can experience the diverse desert fauna is a Guided Scorpion Walk at Agama Lodge in Namib-Naukluft Park. You embark on this thrilling adventure after dark, allowing you the possibility to encounter the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion in its natural habitat. You will have the opportunity to see scorpions glowing in the dark during this adventure – not to be missed!
What Does the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion Look Like?
The exoskeleton of Hadogenes tityrus displays a striking coloration, featuring alternating dark and light bands running across its back and tail. These bands give the scorpion its common name and help it blend in seamlessly with its rocky surroundings, offering excellent camouflage against predators.
It was once thought to be the longest scorpion in the world, reaching up to 20 cm in length, but another species called Heterometrus swammerdami has taken that title.
Is This Scorpion Species Dangerous?
Even though it’s big, the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion isn’t dangerous to humans. Its venom is pretty weak, and it mostly uses it to catch its dinner, which includes insects, spiders, and smaller scorpions. Its stinger, located at the end of its tail, is large and curved. But don’t worry, these scorpions are not aggressive and would rather hide in cracks and crevices than fight with you.
What Does It Eat?
The Banded Flat Rock Scorpion is not a picky eater. It likes to munch on a variety of small insects and other critters found in its rocky home. Its long pincers help it catch and hold onto its food.
How Does It Reproduce?
While we don’t know much about their behaviour and life cycle, it is worth noting that the reproduction process in this species is unusual. The male punctures the female’s body wall with his sexual sting, carefully reaching around the side of her body to deliver it. The male has to be careful not to get crushed by the female’s strong pincers during this manoeuvre.
After mating, the female carries the eggs inside her until they’re ready to be born. The babies are born live and then climb onto their mother’s back until they’re ready to venture out on their own.
Is It Threatened?
As of now, we don’t know if the Banded Flat Rock Scorpion is threatened or not. Some people collect scorpions for pets, which could be a problem, but more research is needed. To help protect these scorpions, we can work on preserving their habitats, conducting more research, and regulating the pet trade.
So please, if you should come across one during your visit, please be kind.