MUSEUM VICTORIA INFOSHEET Black Rock Scorpion Urodacus manicatus

The Black Rock Scorpion, as its common name implies, is a dark-coloured species that is often found living under rocks, although it is just as much at home under logs. It is one of three species of scorpions that can be found in the greater Melbourne region. It is a widespread species and can be found in other parts of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland.
Black Rock Scorpion Photographer: Alan Henderson. Source: Museum Victoria

The body length of the Black Rock Scorpion can be up to 55 mm and is normally dark brown, often appearing to be black. It lives in a cleared area beneath rocks or logs, and has a burrow that leads from this area to the outside. This is a relatively long-lived species; females may take over two years to reach maturity and survive for a further eight years. The Black Rock Scorpion survives on a diet of other invertebrates, such as cockroaches, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, spiders and occasionally earthworms. Cannibalism has been observed amongst scorpions. Like most scorpions, the Black Rock Scorpion is a ‘sit and wait’ predator – it sits near the mouth of its burrow and detects passing prey by monitoring the substrate vibrations caused by the movement of the prey. The sting of the Black Rock Scorpion can cause inflammation and pain for several hours, and medical advice should be sought.

Further Reading
Koch, LE 1977. The taxonomy, geographic distribution and evolutionary radiation of Australo-Papuan scorpions. Records of the Western Australian Museum 5(2):83–367. Walker, K. L., Yen, A. L. and Milledge, G. A. 2003. Spiders and Scorpions commonly found in Victoria. Royal Society of Victoria: Melbourne.

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