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Whopper Heterometrus | by antonsrkn
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Whopper Heterometrus

Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus) - Danum Valley, Malaysia

 

Without a doubt the most impressive species of scorpion I have seen to date is the Asian forest scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus). Its going to be tough to top this species as the genus Heterometrus contains some of the largest scorpions in the world. An adult is about as long as my hand, and while they look impressive they are not dangerous. I would frequently see them at night as they sat in the entrance of a hole in the ground or more often in a rotten log, if disturbed they would scuttle backwards into the hole and disappear, usually even illuminating one with my headlamp was enough to make it take shelter. Oftentimes they could be persuaded to pop back out by taking a piece of grass and wiggling it infron of the hole to simulate an insect moving about, the scorpion would sometimes then emerge and attempt to grab the moving grass. This individual was seen high up on a dead tree, and unlike the majority of others of this species I had encountered wasn't sitting by a hole it could beat a hasty retreat to. I was able to find a long stick and reach high enough to move the stick about above the scorpion and influence it to descend to a distance that I could photograph it at. While doing this and standing below the scorpion, I was really hoping that it wouldn't fall down on my face as I cajoled it to descend. Despite being physically not dangerous, if this critter had fallen on my face I might have been mentally scarred for life.

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Taken on September 19, 2014