Schaller’s wood scorpion: New scorpion species discovered in Tripura

Scientists have discovered new scorpion species named Schaller’s wood scorpion (Liocheles schalleri) from at Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura. It has been named in honour of celebrated wildlife biologist George Schaller who has studied wildlife across the world, including the snow leopards of the Himalayas and central India’s tigers.

Wood scorpions

Wood scorpions are also called dwarf scorpions. They are smaller than commonly seen large scorpions. They are only about three cm long. They live in small burrows on the ground, making them very difficult to spot. They have fairly large and powerful pincers with which they crush their prey.

Schaller’s wood scorpion

Schaller’s wood scorpion is the eleventh wood scorpion species to be discovered in India. 9 of India’s 11 wood scorpions are endemic to the country. India is home to more than 125 species of scorpions.
Schaller’s wood scorpion is distinctly different from other recorded wood scorpions. It has large and powerful pincers. The mid-portion of its pincers is differently-shaped as well as placement of its eyes and they were far darker (a glossy black). Schaller’s wood scorpion is found in low elevations in parts of Tripura, including Trishna and Bison National Park. It is likely to be found in Bangladesh too, which is three km away from Tripura border.