When people conjure up an image of a Scorpion, they will often picture Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator), the Star of horror and mummy movies. This huge black Scorpion, which is eight inches (twenty centimeters) long, has the widest pincers (pedipalps) of all the Scorpions. Shaped like shovels, these pincers have tremendous crushing power. Furthermore, his huge, long tail with its very obvious and very scary stinger inspires many nightmares.
Surprise! This frightening, creepy Scorpion would rather run away than attack. Quite timid, He prefers scurrying under a rock to facing an opponent. Besides being skittish, Emperor Scorpion has only a mild level of toxicity in his venom, lower than most other Scorpions. (A healthy person may have an allergic reaction to his sting.) Because of his shyness and calm disposition, He is often kept as a pet. (The only time that Emperor Scorpion is aggressive is when a Mother carrying her Scorplings encounters a threat.)
Besides having an amiable nature, Emperor Scorpion further defies "common knowledge," that most people hold about Scorpions. Instead of living in arid deserts, He prefers the tropical rainforests of West Africa. To survive, Emperor Scorpion requires muggy, humid conditions. He makes his home deep under the moist earth in a burrow, in a streambank, or in the forest debris. Undetected in the leaf litter, He usually lives close to people, often in a Colony with his Friends.