Wood Scorpion (Cerophonius squama): is a widespread species that is found in south-eastern South Australia, Victoria, eastern New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
The Wood Scorpion is from 25 to 40 millimetres long including the tail. The body consists of a pattern of different shades of brown on a light background.
The species often lives in burrows under plant litter. At Yallaroo we usually find Wood Scorpions under rocks and logs.
Wood Scorpions feed on small invertebrates usually less than 10 millimetres long.
They carry a stinger on the end of their long tail. The sting is said to cause inflammation and pain for several hours and medical attention should be sought. Although we encounter many Wood Scorpions, in the course of our horticultural activities, we have only been stung once. This did not occur in the garden but in the kitchen. A Scorpion found its way into the kitchen sink. Medical attention was not required. There was no inflammation and the moderate pain only lasted for an hour or so.
All Scorpions have interesting mating and reproductive mechanisms. They are usually solitary animals and the two sexes find each other by vibration, scent and touch. The male deposits a packet of sperm on the ground. He then grasps the female and positions her over the packet. The female takes this into her genital pore. Males are often eaten by the female after mating.
The gestation period may extend from six to twelve months, depending on the species. The young are born alive and crawl out of motherís body through a small opening behind her head. More than 12 babies are born. They are white and very soft. The mother protects them until they are old enough and hard enough to care for themselves. This caring period last for a few weeks. In a previous garden we found a female Wood Scorpion, under a rock, curled around a cluster of juveniles. See Maternal Arthropods.