Fauna Details

Common Name Cape Docile Scorpion , Black Scorpion
Family Hormuridae
Date Observed 15-09-2023
Category Scorpions & Spiders
Catalogue No. Z8005RG
Breeding/ Spawning Time Spring,Summer
When Observed DAYTIME
Locations Observed
Nature Reserve
Small Holding
Village Few
Greater Rooiels

Opisthacanthus capensis


Cape Docile Scorpion, Black scorpion

Cape Docile Scorpion, Black scorpion (Opisthacanthus capensis)
Opisthacanthus capensis is a Cape Province and Zimbabwean species of scorpion with robust chelae, dark brown to black in colour, turning green when under cover for some time. Opisthacanthus scorpions are arboreal and ground-dwelling, and found mainly in moist habitats in dense vegetation, pine plantations and forests, and hiding under bark and rocks.
Ref. Wikipedia
Scorpions are tough and adaptable, handling very extreme temperatures. They normally live under rocks or in burrows and tend to be very secretive. Scorpions naturally will hide away from predators such as meerkats, frogs, lizards, and in particular, baboons, which find them excellent crunchy food.
A Scorpion has a highly efficient metabolism, eating slowly, they dissolve their prey with powerful stomach juices. The Black Scorpion in the photo above (taken at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in October) is slowly devouring an earthworm. Around him are skeletons of other prey. A single meal can increase a scorpion’s weight by as much as a third. Some Scorpion species can live on a good meal for a year, because they burn energy at a quarter of the speed of spiders.
If you use a UV torch, scorpions are easy to find as they are fluorescent under ultraviolet light due to a special protein in their exoskeletons – so they stand out from their environment.
Ref. Helderberg Eco-Rangers