1) Common Names: Transcapian cobra, central Asian cobra, Oxus cobra, Mittelasiatische Kobra, Caspian cobra. 2) Family: Elapidae, 3) Scientific Names: Naja naja oxiana, Naja tripudians var. caeca (in part), Tomyris oxiana. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Large cobra, adults usually about 1.8 meters long. Body uniform yellowish, brownish, grayish, or black; may have traces of wide dark crossbands. Belly pale, with two dark ventral bands on neck. No distinct hood mark present. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in stony, rocky, shrub-covered foothills. In some areas, found above 3,000 meters in elevation. Westernmost species of the "Asian Cobras." ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly terrestrial and diurnal; most active during evening and early morning. Not generally aggressive. When threatened or cornered, lifts upper body and spreads hood. When biting, holds on and chews savagely. Quick-moving and agile. Lives in holes in embankments, hollows of trees. Oviparous with 6-19 eggs per clutch reported; eats mainly small mammals, amphibians and birds. ~

Venom Characteristics: Primarily neurotoxic. May cause severe local pain and swelling immediately following bite. Symptoms such as weakness, drowsiness, and paralysis of throat may appear less than 1 hour after bite and rapidly progress to respiratory failure and death. ~

Halys’ Viper

Halys’ Viper Description: Medium-sized, rather stout-bodied, terrestrial pitviper, adults usually 55-70 centimeters long (maximum 90 centimeters). Body pale gray, olive, yellowish or dark brown; marked dark gray crossbands with light olive or pale yellowish intervals between. Belly gray to dark gray with indistinct darker spots. Tail short, its tip yellowish, dark brown or black. Snout rounded, sometimes slightly upturned at tip. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

1) Common Names: Asian pitviper, Alsashan pitviper, Bohme's pitviper, Caucasan pitviper, Gobi pitviper, Halys' viper, Halys' pitviper, Karaganda pitviper, Mumushi, Pallas' viper, Siberian mumushi, Siberian pitviper, Halys-Grubenotter, Halyskaarme, Halysorm, Vipere Halys, Mokasyn hali. 2) Family: Viperidae: 3) Scientific Names: Gloydius halys, Ancistrodon halys cognatus, A. h. stejnegeri, Agkistrodon blomhoffi affinis, A. halys, A. h. affinis, A. h. caraganus, A. h. caucasicus, Coluber halys, Gloydius halys affinis, G. h. boehmei, G. h. caraganus, G. h. caucasicus, G. h. cognatus, G. h. halys, G. h. mogoi, G. h. liupanensis, G. h. stejnegeri, Trygonocephalus affinis, T. caraganus, T. halys, T. h. halys. ~

Habitat: Typically found in dry, rocky areas, from desert shrub to short grass or wooded steppes, coniferous forests, and in mountainous areas usually found at 500-4,000 meters in elevation. Widely distributed at higher elevations in central and southwestern Asia and Iran. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly terrestrial and nocturnal. During warmer months, emerges only after sunset. Reports vary as to aggressiveness. Some say it usually will not strike unless repeatedly disturbed or hurt; others say it will bite with only minor provocation. Ovoviviparous (Clutch size not reported), mainly prey on small mammals and birds. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly hemotoxic with neurotoxic factors. Envenomation usually causes sharp pain at site, followed by edema and necrosis. May develop blood-filled blisters at bite site. Heart rate and blood pressure usually increase. Human deaths are uncommon and usually due to respiratory problems. ~

Saw-Scaled Viper

1) Common Names: Saw-scaled viper, carpet viper, African carpet viper, Egyptian saw-scaled viper, Indian saw-scaled viper, phoorsa, Sandrassselotter, Sochurek's saw-scaled viper, Central Asian saw-scaled viper. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Echis carinatus Echis carinata, Echis carinatus, E. c. astolae, E. c. astoles, E. c. carinatus, E. c. multisquamatus, E. c. sochureki, E. multisquamatus, E. sochureki, Pseudoboa carinata. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Small, rather stout, flat, sand viper, adults avg. 20-30 centimeters long (maximum 80 centimeters); body grayish, greenish, or yellowish brown; belly white speckled with brown or black. Moveable front fangs. Series of middorsal white cross-bars edged with black and whitish zigzag along each side. Distinctive cruciform white mark on top of head (differs for each recognized subspecies). ~

Habitat: Found mainly in open, dry or semi-desert areas, dry savannahs, or even forest edges. Found under small thorny plants, leaf litter, rocks, and in dry scrub jungle. Mainly found in semi-arid regions of southern Asia, India, and Astola Island off the Pakistan coast. Despite some of its common names, it does not occur in Africa. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly nocturnal in hot weather; often diurnal in cool weather. Mainly terrestrial (semi-fossorial; buries itself in sand) but climbs up to 2 meters into bushes. When alarmed, throws itself into double coil like a figure-8 and rubs sides of body together, producing violent rustling sounds. Very nervous; quick to strike at slightest provocation. Reportedly oviparous with usually 4-20 eggs per clutch. Main preys on lizards and small mammals. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly hemotoxic. Fangs rather large compared to size of snake. Common cause of snake bites in its range. Local symptoms generally include pain, swelling, and enlarged tender lymph glands. After 10-12 hours, some victims begin to bleed from gums and later develop deep-organ or cerebral bleeding (sometimes fatal). ~

Central Asian Saw-Scaled Viper

1) Common Names: Central Asian saw-scaled viper. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Echis carinatus multisquamatus, Echis multisquamatus. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Small, fairly stout, flat, sand viper, adults usually 40-60 centimeters long (maximum 85 centimeters). Body usually grayish, greenish, or yellowish-brown; belly white, speckled with brown or black. Well-defined pale, continuous, undulating line along flanks. Distinctive cruciform white marking on top of head. ~

Habitat: Mainly found in open scrubby, dry, sandy, and rocky areas. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly nocturnal in hot weather; sometimes diurnal in cool weather. When alarmed, throws itself into double coil somewhat like a "figure 8" and rubs sides of body together, making a violent rustling sound. Very nervous; quick to strike at slightest provocation. Probably oviparous, and probably preys on available small animals. ~

Venom Characteristics: Little known about venom. Characteristics likely similar to other Echis spp. Probably mainly hemotoxic. Fangs relatively large compared to size of snake. Local symptoms include pain, swelling, and enlarged tender lymph glands. Serious envenomation can cause bleeding in places distant from bite site or in deep organs or the brain. Human fatalities have been recorded. ~

Sochurek's Saw-Scaled Viper

1) Common Names: Sochurek's saw-scaled viper, Sochurek's (or Sind) sand viper, carpet viper, Indian saw-scaled viper, phoorsa, Asian saw-scaled viper, Sandrasselotter. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Echis carinatus sochureki, Echis carinata (in part), Echis carinatus (in part), Echis sochureki. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Small to medium-sized stout, flat sand viper, adults usually 40-75 centimeters long (maximum 85+ centimeters), with a pair of upper front fangs, rather large for its body size. Body grayish, yellowish-brown (rarely greenish) above, belly white, may be speckled with brown or black. Has well-defined continuous, pale, undulating line along flanks and dictinctive cruciform white marking on top of head. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in dry or semi-desert opensites, usually on sandy and rocky soils. Often found in margins of oases or edges of dry forests or scruby thorny bushes. Limited to semi-arid and arid regions of southern Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and western India. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly terrestrial (may climb more than1 meter up into bushes) and nocturnal (often diurnal in cool weather or season). If alarmed, throws its body into double coil (figure-8) and rubs sides together, making violent rasping or rustling sound. Nervous, quick to strike with slight provocation. Regional medical experts report it is often very aggressive. Oviparous with less than20 eggs per clutch. Mainly eats available lizards and small mammals. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly hemotoxic with possible cytotoxic factors. Very often envenomates humans within its range, and causes many human deaths annually. No effective specific antivenom against it currently available. Symptoms 10-12 hrs. after bite may include: local pain at bite site, lymph glands swollen and tender, bleeding from gums, deep organs, and sometimes in the brain (this is often fatal). ~

Central Asian Pit Viper

1) Common Names: Asiatic pit viper, Central Asian pit viper, Amur viper. 2) Family: Viperidae, 3) Scientific Names: Gloydius intermedius, Ancistrodon blomhoffi intermedius, Agkistrodon blomhoffi intermedius (in part), A. halys cognatus, A. h. intermedius, A. intermedius intermedius, Halys intermedia, Trigonocephalus intermedius. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized, fairly stout pit viper, adults up to 80 centimeters long; body whitish, grayish, brownish, reddish, or olive; pale dorsal crossbands with dark edges which may not meet exactly at vertebral line. Belly may be heavily or lightly speckled with gray. Head dark, with dark postocular stripe and various lighter longitudinal striping. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in open woodlands, rocky grasslands and scrublands in mountainous areas of eastern Asia. ~

Activity and Behavior: Little known. For generalized behavior and habit of closely-related species, See Gloydius blomhoffi. ~

Venom Characteristics: Not much known. Likely hemotoxic and with neurotoxic factors. Clinical symptoms may be similar to those of G. blomhoffi envenomation, with pain and slight bleeding at site, swelling, and rapid tender enlargement of local lymph nodes. No confirmed fatalities reported, but no known specific antivenom currrently available. ~

Himalayan Pit Viper

1) Common Names: Himalayan pit viper, Asiatic pit viper. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Gloydius himalayanus, Ancistrodon himalayanus, Agkistrodon himalayana, A. himalayanus, Halys himalayanus. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized, rather stout, terrestrial pit viper, adults usually 60-70 centimeters long (maximum 90 centimeters); body usually darkish brown. Dorsal surface with series of dark longitudinal lines interrupted by paler crossbands. Belly white with black and red flecks. Relatively narrow dark postocular stripe. ~

Habitat: Mainly found in forest and rocky areas in high mountains at 1,500-5,000 meters in elevation, in the Hymalayian and nearby mountains of southern Asia. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly terrestrial and mainly nocturnal. Often seen close to hiding place to which it retreats when disturbed. Takes refuge under fallen timber, in crevices in or under rocks, beneath boulders, ledges, stones, and fallen leaves. Usually sluggish and inoffensive; moves slowly. Ovoviviparous (litter size not reported), mainly preys on small mammals (and sometimes birds). ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly hemotoxic. Symptoms may include immediate burning pain, blood blisters, and edema. Victims generally recover within a few days. Human fatalities from envenomation by this species are not common. No known specific antivenom currently produced. ~

Renard’s Viper

1) Common Names: Renard's viper, Steppe viper, Steppenotter. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Vipera renardi, Pelias renardi, P. renardii, Vipera (Pelias) renardi, V. renardi bashkirovi, V. r. parursinii, V. r. renardi, V. ursinii (in part), V. u. renardi. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized, fairly slender-bodied viper, adults max. 70 centimeters long, dorsal scales highly keeled, 21 midbody rows, each scale is "wavy" in cross section. Head not distinct from neck, with broad dark occipital and postocular stripes on top and sides, snout concave above. Body ash-gray, yellow-brown, or olive-gray with dark zigzag (with "corners" rounded) dorsal stripe, often broken into spots or saddles. Dark markings often edged with thick black line. Sides light with dark blotches or spots. Belly dark. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in microhabitats with dry grass tussocks, but often found in dry plains, flatlands with few trees or bushes, moist grasslands, and open areas with dry clay or loamy soil, hilly grassland with occasional rock outcrops and near water. Range includes much of eastern Europe and western Asia: China, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan; found mainly at low to moderate (200-1,000 meters) elevations. ~

Activity and Behavior: Not much known, but probably mainly terrestrial and mainly diurnal (most active in warm conditions). Probably not very aggressive toward humans unless disturbed or stepped on. Probably ovoviviparous with small clutch of less than10 young. Prey on insects, lizards and small mammals; chosen food apparently is proportional to relative current local availability (often seasonal). ~

Venom Characteristics: Not much known, but probably mainly hemotoxic and similar to venom of closely-related species, V. ursinii. Not very common. Few reported bites or envenomations of people (and no reported human deaths) due to this species, so far. ~

Levantine Viper

1) Common Names: Levantine viper, Blunt-nosed viper, Levantenotter, Lebetine viper, Lavantadder, Vipere lebetine, kufi. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Macrovipera lebetina, Coluber lebetinus, Daboia lebetina, D. l. lebetina, D. l. obtusa, D. l. peilei, D. l. transmedeterranea, D. l. turanica, Macrovipera lebetina cernovi, M. l. lebetina, M. l. obtusa, M. l. peilei, M. l. transmediterranea, M. l. turanica, M. deserti, M. mauritanica, Vipera euphratica, Vipera lebetina, V. l. euphratica, V. l. lebetina, V. l. mauritanica, V. l. obtusa, V. l. peilei, V. l. schweizeri, V. l. transmedeterannea, V. l. turanica, V. mauritanica, V. obtusa, V. xanthina. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium to large, robust snake, adults usually 70-115 centimeters long (maximum 180 centimeters); body usually light gray, khaki, or buff, to reddish-brown, with double row of opposing or alternating dorsal spots from head to tail. Dark lines usually form a "V-mark", pointing forward, on top of the head. Females usually darker, background color brownish; males usually lighter, background color grayish. Belly light gray to yellow, with small dark brown spots; tail short, tapers abruptly, underside of tip yellow. ~

Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats from marshes and plains at sea level to mountainous areas up to 2,000 meters in elevation. Also semi-desert areas and rocky, hilly country at moderate elevations, with scattered bushes and adequate water supply. Often near farms. Rather wide spread in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly nocturnal and terrestrial. Most active and alert at night, usually very slow-moving and almost oblivious to stimuli during day, but temperament unpredictable, and may suddenly strike quickly and savagely. ~

Venom Characteristics: Venom mainly hemotoxic. Envenomation causes sharp pain at site of bite, followed by local swelling and necrosis. Numerous serious envenomations and deaths of humans reported each year. ~

European Viper

Description: Short, with fairly-stout body, a bit flattened dorso-ventrally, adults avg. 55 centimeters (maximum 90 centimeters) long, dorsal scales strongly keeled, in 21 midbody rows. Body color varies by geographic location. Males usually smaller and lighter, gray with more vivid black zig-zag dorsal pattern; females usually larger and darker; usually light-brown with dark brown zig-zag dorsal pattern. Juveniles usually red-brown with darker dorsal zig-zag pattern. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

1) 1) Common Names: Northern cross adder, common adder, cross adder, adder, European viper, Kreuzotter, northern viper, vipera rossa, Vipera Peliade, Balkan cross adder, Iberian cross adder. 2) 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Vipera berus, Berus vulgaris, Coluber berus, Chersea vulgaris, Pelias berus, Vipera berus berus, V. b. bosniensis, V. b. pseudoaspis, V. b. sachalinensis, V. b. soeonei, Vipera seoanei (in part). ~

Found in diverse habitats, like rocky or bushy hillsides, open fields, woods, shady areas, moors, swamps, marshes, and bogs. In northern parts of range, found mainly near sea level; to nearly 3,000 meters in elevation in southern parts of range. Most wide-spread species of viper in the world. Found in suitable habitats throughout most of Europe and Asia; from the Arctic Circle to below 40 degrees North latitude, and from 5 to 145 degrees East longitude. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly diurnal in cold months; nocturnal in warm months. Cold-adapted in northern range, may crawl over melting snow in Spring. Basking behavior is complex. Mainly terrestrial, but climbs low bushes. Generally timid; not aggressive. Tends to freeze when danger present; but easily alarmed and bites if threatened or stepped on. Usually congregates into groups ("colonies") during annual hibernation (in rocky dens) during cold months. Mainly eats available small mammals and birds. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly hemotoxic, with neurotoxic factors. Envenomation usually causes sharp pain or severe burning at bite site, followed by swelling and inflammation of lymph system. Victim usually develops nausea, headaches, vomiting, chest pains and labored breathing. Humans are sometimes bitten, and fatalities have been reported, but are not common. ~

Orsini’s Viper

Description: Smallest true viper found in Europe, adults fairly slender, usually 40-50 centimeters long (maximum 80 centimeters). Body usually gray, yellowish, greenish, or light brown. Belly light or dark gray, maybe with yellow markings or small dark spots. All-black specimens occur. Dorsal (vertebral) pattern usually dark, wavy, zig-zag line with black edges, sometimes discontinuous; flanks usually darker than middle of back, 19 midbody dorsal scale rows. Snout rounded, slightly upturned. Females larger than males. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

1) Common Names: Orsini’s viper, Steppe viper, meadow viper, field viper, Vipere d'Orsini, Vipers-de-Stepa, Wiesenotter, Ostromunucesta, karst viper, Italian meadow viper, Danubian meadow viper, French meadow viper, Ebner's viper (for a subspecies), Wettstein's viper (for a subspecies). 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Vipera ursinii, Pelias ursinii, Vipera ursinii ebneri, V. u. graeca. V. u. macrops, V. u. moldavica, V. u. rakosiensis, V. u. renardi, V. u. ursinii, V. u. wettsteini. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in dry plains, grasslands, flatlands with few trees or bushes, and montane grasslands; more common at higher elevations (i.e., 2,000-3,000 meters). Also found on wooded hillsides in mountainous regions. Generally seeks open areas on limestone slopes, near dry clay or loamy soil (found on some sandy islands in the Danube River delta). Often hides in rodent dens and small animal burrows. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly diurnal, but may be nocturnal during hot summer months. More active than most other vipers; can move rapidly. Hibernates in aggregated groups ("colonies") during winter months. Not aggressive; usually avoids humans. Seldom bites, even when bothered, but will bite if continuously molested. Ovoviviparous with usually 5-8 young in a litter (18 for one captive-reared female). Eats mainly beetles, grasshoppers, lizards and small rodents. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mildly hemotoxic. Rarely encountered by people in recent years. Rare cases of known human envenomation by this species have caused mainly local pain and swelling, followed by dizziness and nausea. Recovery is usually relatively rapid. No human fatalities reported, so far. ~

Persian Horned Viper

1) Common Names: Persian horned viper, Persian desert horned viper, eye-horned viper, horned desert viper, horned snake, shepipon, Field's horned viper, Persiche Trughornviper, False-horned viper. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Pseudocerastes persicus, Cerastes persicus, Daboia persica persica, Pseudocerastes bicornis, P. fieldi (in part), P. persicus fieldi, P. p. persicus, Vipera persica persica. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized, wide-bodied viper, with blunt snout and small scale-covered horn above each eye; adults usually 50-70 centimeters long (maximum 90 centimeters). Body usually pale gray or bluish-gray to khaki; with dorsal gray or brownish-gray blotches or crossbands. Alternating faint spots on throat and sides. Belly white; tail slender and black. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in desert bushes, and in sandy, rocky terrain or flat sandy areas with limited vegetation, and in burrows and crevices, up to 2,000 meters in elevation. Widespread in the Middle East and Southwestern Asia. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly nocturnal. Usually sluggish, placid, less likely to bite during day; but dangerously active and aggressive at night. Hisses loudly (often makes typical "rustling" noise by rubbing side scales together) if disturbed, but will usually try to escape first. Often travels over sand by sidewinding. Frequently hides in rodent tunnels and underneath bushes. Feeds mainly on small mammals, and occasionally lizards. ~

Venom Characteristics: Venom varies for different named subspecies, mainly hemotoxic, possibly with neurotoxic factors. Most bites to humans produce limited envenomation, with mainly local symptoms of minor pain, mild local tingling and stiffness. Serious envenomation can cause internal hemorrhaging, extensive progressive swelling, weakness and ptosis. Victim may be conscious but can't respond due to paralysis. Reports of human envenomation fairly common, but fatalities not very common. ~

McMahon’s Desert Viper

1) Common Names: McMahon’s desert viper, Macmahon-viper, Asian sand viper, leaf-nosed viper. 2) Family: Viperidae. 3) Scientific Names: Eristocophis macmahoni, Eristocophis macmahonii. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Small, stout-bodied, sand viper, adults usually 60-70 centimeters long (maximum 80 centimeters); Body usually pale reddish-brown, tan or khaki, with lateral rows of dark spots with pale edges. Belly may be uniform or marked with faint irregular spots. Relatively large broad head with scattered dark flecks on top. ~

Habitat: Found almost exclusively on sand dunes below 1,200 meters in elevation, in southwestern Afghanistan, southeastern Iran, and western Pakistan. ~

Activity and Behavior: Terrestrial (semi-fossorial). Most active during twilight and at night. Alert, bad-tempered. Buries itself in sand. Resorts to sidewinding movement when hurried or alarmed. When aggitated, hisses loudly, raises head and loop of body well above ground, and strikes with great vigor. Rarely encountered. ~

Venom Characteristics: Venom shows strong hemorrhagic activity. Symptoms may include local swelling and inflammation; abdominal pain and distention; and inability to swallow and open the eyes, suggesting possible neurotoxicity. Has caused serious human envenomations and deaths. No known antivenom currently produced. ~

Common Krait

1) Common Names: Common krait, Indian krait, blue krait. 2) Family: Elapidae. 3) Scientific Names: Bungarus caeruleus, Boa lineata, Bungarus arcuatus, B. candidus var. caerulus, B. sindanus, Pseudoboa caerulea. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium to large, adults usually 100-150 centimeters long (maximum 180 centimeters); scales smooth, shiny, mid-dorsal row large, hexagonal, and obvious mid-dorsal ridge (true for all kraits). Body usually black, brownish black, or bluish black, with about 40 thin white crossbars, which may be indistinct or absent anteriorly. Belly usually white. Head flat, neck not very obvious. Has a pair of fixed, upper front fangs. ~

Habitat: Found mainly in open country, cultivated areas, and scrub jungles in southern Asia, up to 1,700 meters in elevation. Avoids very rocky and sandy terrain. Often found in termite mounds, rat holes, rubbish heaps, and roofs of buildings. ~

Activity and Behavior: Mainly terrestrial. Strictly nocturnal; seldom seen during day. Moves quickly at night. Specimens disturbed during day rarely bite, but instead, press their head against the ground. At night, extremely dangerous and aggressive. Often enters human dwellings, may try to crawl under sleeping persons; eats mainly other snakes (and their eggs). ~

Venom Characteristics: Potent neurotoxin. Most victims bitten while asleep in huts at night. Bites may produce invisible or barely perceptible puncture marks. Few local symptoms; may produce mild pain or numbness with little or no local swelling. Human mortality rate is high without use of antivenom. ~

Black Scorpion

1) Common Names: Black scorpion. 2) Family: Buthidae. 3) Scientific Names: Hottentotta alticola, Buthus alticola (in part). [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized scorpion, adults usually 50-70 millimeters long (maximum 80+ millimeters). Body usually very dark brown above (sometimes tinged with green or dull yellowish-brown), lighter greenish or yellowish along sides. Legs and pedipalps yellowish-green; cauda mainly yellowish-green, except 5th segment very dark. Tips of pincers dark brown. ~

Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats, from seasonally dry to semiarid sites (sometimes in desert margins), with mainly sandy and rocky soil and scattered vegetation. Has been reported from some agricultural sites, but is not common in urban settings. Found mainly at moderate to higher elevations (mainly at 500-1,000+ meters) in various parts of its fairly extensive geographic range in south-central Asia. ~

Activity and Behavior: May be both diurnal (in colder months) and nocturnal (during warmer months), and mainly terrestrial (but often climbs rough surfaces). Ovoviviparous, and preys on available insects and arthropods. Tends to avoid humans (and other larger animals) but will sting quickly if molested, stepped on, or trapped within clothing being donned. ~

Venom Characteristics: Not well studied, but probably mainly neurotoxic with some cytotoxic factors. Has reportedly caused a number of painful human envenomations, with localized swelling, redness and discoloration, but no human fatalities documented, so far. ~

Marten’s Scorpion

1) Common Names: Martens' scorpion. 2) Family: Buthidae. 3) Scientific Name: Buthus martensi. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Small to Medium-sized scorpion, adults usually about 35-50 millimeters long (maximum 60+ millimeters). Cephalothorax and preabdomen brown to blackish dorsally, legs, pedipalps and postabdomen (cauda) and telson usually yellow (except 5th caudal segment darker). Pincer tips and telson spine (sting) very dark. Distinct "H-shaped" and "lyre-shaped" pattern of keels on top of carapace. Young specimens (juveniles) often have a distinct reddish tinge in their legs, pedipalps, and cauda. ~

Habitat: Mainly found under stones or in similarly cool, moist sites within relatively dry or seasonally dry and sparsely-vegetated areas. Mainly occur naturally in sites outside human habitations, but sometimes found inside buildings. Distribution includes some seasonally very cold regions (e.g., Mongolia, North Korea), where it is most active during the summer (hotest) months. ~

Activity and Behavior: Usually remain relatively inactive during colder months, usually nocturnal but sometimes diurnal; depending on ambient temperatures, any recent rains, and the habits and abundance of locally available primary prey insects and arthropods. Terrestrial, but climb well. Tend to avoid humans, but sting readily if molested, stepped on, or trapped inside clothing being donned. Ovoviviparous, typical litter size not reported. ~

Venom Characteristics: Mainly neurotoxic, with cytotoxic (and possibly also cardiotoxic) factors. Stings usually cause localized pain, swelling, and redness (and occasionally discoloration). This species causes a considerable number of stings of humans annually in parts of its range, but serious envenomations are not common, and human fatalities (reported to have been caused by this species) have not been well documented. ~

Lesser Asian Scorpion

1) Common Names: Lesser Asian scorpion. 2) Family: Buthidae. 3) Scientific Names: Mesobuthus eupeus, Buthotus eupeus, Buthus eupeus. [Source: Armed Forces Pest Management Board ~]

Description: Medium-sized scorpions (adults usually 50-80 millimeters long). Body usually medium yellow-brown to darker brown dosally, with legs and cauda lighter brown or yellowish-brown (often with greenish tinge), 5th caudal segment often dark. Median dorsal ocular tubercle prominent, 2 darker brown longitudinal stripes on dorsal cephalothorax. Dorsal keels form distinct "H-shaped" and lyre-shaped designs on top of carapace. ~

Habitat: Typically found under stones and similar cool, moist sites within relatively dry, rocky, sparsely vegetated places, and usually remote from human habitations. Very wide-spread geographically in the Palearctic region. May be present but not yet documented from additional Middle Eastern and southwestern Asian countries (e.g., Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, Iseael, northern India). ~

Activity and Behavior: Nocturnal (but sometimes active at dawn or dusk), and mainly terrestrial, but can climb well. Ovoviviparous, and preys on locally available insects and arthropods. ~

Venom Characteristics: Not well documented, but mainly neurotoxic, with cytotoxic (and possibly cardiotoxic) factors. Envenomations by this species usually cause localized pain, swelling, redness, and often discoloration. Stings of nomadic and rural humans are fairly common in remote locations (usually due to their disturbing stones in sandaled feet, or while sleeping on the ground), but serious systemic effects or fatalities are reportedly rare. ~

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

Last updated April 2016

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