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the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Liochelidae

[= Ischnuridae]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Scorpiones (scorpions) > Superfamily: Scorpionoidea

The family was until recently known by the old name Ischnuridae. It has recently be transferred to the new family Hemiscorpiidae but this has been rejected and the correct family name is Liochelidae.

This family includes the genera Opisthacanthus, Hadogenes and Cheloctonus and are not venemous to people. With the Scorpionidae, they belong to the group commonly referred to as the thin-tail scorpions and a sting from one of them should, at worst, be no more than a bee sting. This family was previously a subfamily of the Scorpionidae. It is distributed through Africa, south-east Asia, Australia and South America and its associated islands. Common names include the flat rock scorpions, creeping scorpions and tree scorpions.

Genera indigenous to southern Africa

Hadogenes (flat rock scorpions)

Hadogenes is a southern African endemic (occurs nowhere else) with species occurring in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. There are currently 18 described species with more in preparation.

Cheloctonus (turf burrowing scorpions)

Cheloctonus occurs in the eastern regions of South Africa, Lesotho and Mozambique. These are small to medium scorpions with round shiny chelae. They are pelophilous burrowing into hard soil using their chelicerae and chelae. They are not aggressive and stings have little or no venom effect.

Opisthacanthus (creeping scorpions)

Opisthacanthus occurs in the Caribbean, central and South America, Africa and Madagascar. The subgenus Opisthacanthus is restricted to the Caribbean, central and South America with one species occurring in West Africa. The southern African and Malagasy species are in need of revision and belong to the subgenus Nepabellus.

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Text by Norman Larsen .