This hole gives away many secrets if you know what to look for. Often you can see scratchings at holes like these and a little fan of sand which are not clear in this photo. Besides that, the first biggest clue is the little white and black rings lying around the mouth of the hole (visible in the right hand picture). These are rings from devoured millipedes. The creature that lives in the hole just LOVES eating millipedes.
The final and easiest clue is the shape of the hole itself. An oval hole with a rounded bottom and a wavy top.
This is the home of a ……… scorpion.
Both of you drop me a line at hills(dot)jackie(at)gmail(dot)com with your postal addresses and I’ll send you a little something from our area.
We have over 160 species of scorpion in South Africa.
Out of all our scorpions, only 3 have even caused human fatalities. On average 8 to 12 people die from scorpion stings annually. Their strong neurotoxic venom affects the nervous system and causes heart palpitations, respiratory problems and slurred speech, intense pain and hyper sensitivity. We also have the world least venomous scorpion and coincidently the world longest. These giants attain lengths of over 21cm but their venom causes no more than a pin prick.
These amazing creatures can be found sheltering under rocks, logs, they make burrows and even live in trees. Their secretive nature and behaviours means that you probably do not know that there are scorpions around you, but they are there. Some species can live without food or water for more than a year. During harsh times they simply wait it out. When the good times return, they emerge and carry on.
- Hunting scorpions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park (gadling.com)