Urodacus novaehollandiaeCommon name: Sand Scorpion

Meaning of name: The meaning of Urodacus is not known. Novaehollandiae means from New Holland.

Distribution: Found in coastal dunes and sands from Adelaide to Perth. In Perth the scorpion ranges further inland as the sandy soil suits its needs.

Description: 70 – 100mm long. The pincers and head are slightly darker than the rest of the body.

Notes: These scorpions are rarely seen, as they are nocturnal. They dig a burrow to protect themselves from low humidity. The burrow can be up to 1 metre deep, depending on the moisture content of the soil. During summer the scorpion may block the entrance to the burrow to keep a higher humidity in the burrow.

This scorpion is an ambush hunter. The scorpion waits at the entrance to its burrow and grabs prey as it walks past. The prey animal is not always subdued with a sting – sometimes they eat it live.

This scorpion becomes mature at around 4 years of age. It carries its young for 12 – 18 months before giving birth. The young stay on their mother’s back for the first few weeks before dispersing.

This species of scorpion has been known to live to 12 years of age and it is likely that they can live to 20 years old.

References: A Guide to Keeping Australian Scorpions in Captivity. Mark A Newton. 2008.