About

The emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is one of the largest scorpions and arachnids in the world. Due to their impressive size, mild venom, and friendly behavior, emperor scorpions were hunted to near-extinction in the wild by the mid 1990s, with wild-caught specimens being sold into the pet trade. Though they were placed on the CITES II list along with their cousins, the larger and more uncommon dictator scorpion (Pandinus dictator) and the preciously rare Pandinus gambiensis, habitat destruction in their native regions have prevented Pandinus scorpions from ever returning to their uninterrupted abundance.

For more information about the range and classifications of rare Pandinus species and their conservation statuses, please visit: Semantics Scholar

Significance

The extinction or near-extinction of any species generates a ripple effect in the ecosystem to which that species belongs. This is doubly true for predators, as well as for invertebrates, both of which describe members of Pandinus.

Scorpions are often vilified by media, whether they are sensationalized as diabolical or shown to be household pests. However, arachnids are known to eat insects that are often harmful to humans. Scorpion venoms are often medicinal. Though the emperor scorpion’s sting, if even inflicted, is relatively benign to humans, the chemical compound within P. imperator venom known as Scorpine is known to destroy malaria.

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