Androctonus australis is a hardy desert scorpion from North Africa, Somalia, the Middle East, Pakistan and India. A. australis, along with A. amoreuxi and Pandinus imperator, is the most commonly available scorpions found in the exotic animal trade.
Unlike most other animals that live in deserts, Androctonus does not dig burrows to protect itself from a sandstorm. Instead, it can withstand sandstorms powerful enough to strip paint off steel, without any apparent damage. The resistance of Androctonus to sandstorms is suspected to be due to the discovery of its odd exoskeleton surface. Its armor is covered with dome-shaped granules that are 10 µm (0.0004 in) high and 25–80 µm (0.0010–0.0031 in) across. When its odd surface is translated into other materials it protects them to a certain degree as well, which has led to the possibility of the applicability of imitation surfaces in such objects as aeroplanes and helicopters.
The name Androctonus australis is derived from the Greek word Androctonus (roughly translated as "man-killer") and the Latin word australis (translated as "south") which together translate as "southern man-killer".
Androctonus australis is a medium-sized scorpion which can grow up to 10 centimetres in length. It has a very thick and powerful tail, and stripes on the sides of its dome for better vision while attacking another animal or for the use of self-defense.
- Benjamin Gantenbein & Carlo R. Largiadèr (2003). "The phylogeographic importance of the Strait of Gibraltar as a gene flow barrier in terrestrial arthropods: a case study with the scorpion Buthus occitanus as model organism" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 28 (1): 119–130. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00031-9. PMID 12801475.
- Androctonus australis
- "Not a scratch: scorpions may have lessons to teach aircraft designers". The Economist. February 4, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Steve Backshall (2011). Venom: Poisonous Animals in the Natural World. New Holland Publishers. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-84773-870-7.