Secret inhabitants: carinthia’s scorpions

Worldwide are more than 1.400 species of scorpions known. Carinthia has the highest number of these arachnids in Austria. The three native species are interesting representatives of their species, but unlike their tropical relatives, they are small and harmless to humans.

Who wants to meet a scorpion in Carinthia, which could be found in Federaun near Villach. The area around the castle ruins is a perfect habitat for the "Trieste Scorpion".

Domestic scorpion species

The "Triestine scorpion" has conquered a new habitat in Carinthia

The "Triestine scorpion" may have been introduced from the south in the Middle Ages, at a time when scorpion oil was still considered a precious miracle cure. The species has conquered a new habitat here and can also be found in the area of the Warmbad and near Hochosterwitz. A sting from such a domestic scorpion is – unless you are allergic – harmless.

Zoologist: At worst, like a wasp sting

The head of the zoological department at the Landesmuseum, Christian Wieser, commented, "With our native scorpions you don’t need to worry or fear at all, these are completely harmless, hardly aggressive and if they should really bite, then at worst it’s like a mosquito or wasp bite".

Native scorpion species

Feels at home in the Karawanken: The "Gamma Scorpion"

"Gamma scorpion": fierce territorial fights

In the Karawanken the "Gamma scorpion" feels at home. If one of these specimens meets a second, then turf wars are on the cards. Because scorpions are loners. Only in the mating season they show themselves "friendly" to conspecifics.

Native scorpion species

"Gamma scorpions fighting for territory

The third native species is the "German scorpion". No matter what species it is, the general rule is that animals love rocks or scrap wood, which provides them with a perfect hiding place during the day and night.

Domestic scorpion species

The German Scorpion: a human hand – even if it belongs to an expert – is only a short resting place

Scorpion friendly: The Carinthian climate

The fact that Carinthia is the province with the most scorpions in Austria is probably due to its climatic conditions. On the other hand, if you want to see the large and sometimes highly poisonous tropical scorpions, the Happ Reptile Zoo in Klagenfurt is the place to be.

Domestic scorpion species

The emperor scorpion does not exist in the wild in Carinthia. It is one of the largest scorpions

The "emperor scorpion", for example, is native to Africa and is one of the largest scorpion species in the world. When it uses its sting, it becomes extremely unpleasant for the person concerned. This also applies to the crevice scorpion, which – to live up to its name – prefers to hide away all the time.

Native scorpion species

The crevice scorpion: its sting is extremely poisonous

Scissor-to-tail ratio indicates toxicity

Helga Happ: "There is a rule of thumb: If I see a scorpion that has large, thick claws and a slender tail, then it is weakly poisonous. But if I meet a scorpion that has slender claws and a thick tail, then that is a dangerous scorpion. Dangerous because then the poison gland is very large and he has large amounts of poison."

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