Scorpions are one of the oldest creatures still present today. They’ve been around for almost 300 million years, and during these long years, they haven’t changed much.
The Emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is one of the largest scorpions, growing up to 23 cm in length. Emperor scorpions are glossy black, but they can range from dark brown to green. These scorpions reflect ultraviolet light rays, so sometimes they glow in a blue hue (this can be seen under a black light). Their stinger and claws are of a red hue. This color changes into a darker color with each succeeding molt.
Adult emperors are difficult to distinguish, since males and females look similar. Males, however, are smaller and narrower in size and body structure.
These scorpions are located extensively throughout West Africa and the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Senegal. They dwell in deep subterranean tunnels in the soil of tropical rainforests. They can also be found under rocks, logs, or tree roots.
Emperor scorpions are known to be nocturnal, but can be active during the day if light levels are low. Their venom is mild and it is not known to be very defensive. This scorpion usually feeds on insects such as crickets. However, they will eat any animal that they can catch, even other scorpions. They use their massive claws to grab and crush their prey.