Scorpions in Australia

Scorpions are common arachnids found in gardens and forests throughout Australia.

They are found under logs, rocks and in shallow burrows in earth banks.

There are also desert species that construct deep spiral burrows in desert sand.

Scorpions are mostly nocturnal but they can be active during the day, especially during prolonged wet weather.

Scorpions tend to be larger and more venomous in the northern parts of Australia.

The largest Australian scorpions can grow to 12 cm long, but many forest dwellers are only small.

  • Brown scorpion

    Brown scorpion
    (Urodacus manicatus)


    • Are usually dark brown, sometimes black in colour with a body length of around 55mm
    • females can take 2 years to reach maturity and can live for a further 8 years
    • These scorpions are native to Australia
    • Can be found in burrows under logs and rocks
    • Diet consists of cockroaches, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, spiders and occasionally earthworms, they also prey on other scorpions
  • Desert scorpion

    Desert scorpion
    (Leiurus quinquestriatus)


    • Also known as the death stalker or yellow scorpion
    • The venom of this scorpion produces a number of severe symptoms, these are fever, coma, convulsion, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and increased fluid secretion into the lungs and bronchioles, also in some cases can lead to death
    • Known for its aggressive behaviour and will use its sting frequently
  • Marbled scorpion

    Marbled scorpion
    (Lychas marmoreus)


    • Most commonly encountered scorpion species in Australia
    • Can be found in many urban environments as well as natural habitats
    • Known to wander into houses, causing alarm when discovered hiding under everyday household objects
    • Can be found sheltering under the bark of trees, in leaf litter, under rocks or under fallen logs and sometimes in houses
    • Diet consists of small insects but particularly fond of termites
  • Forest scorpion

    Forest scorpion
    (Cercophonius squama)


    • A thick set scorpion that can be creamy yellow to orange brown with darker brown or light brown patterning
    • Can be found in forest habitats in litter and logs (sometimes in suburban gardens)
    • At least 6 species of forest scorpion occur in Australia
    • Prefers habitats with high levels of moisture and usually spends much of the summer months in its burrows
    • Diet consists of small invertebrates
    • Their sting can cause inflammation and pain for several hours