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Distinguished Author

Bocage-JV-Barbosa-du-1823-1.jpg

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage
  (1823–1907).

A Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. His work at the Museum consisted in acquiring, describing and coordinating collections, many of which arrived from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, etc. He published more than 200 taxonomic papers on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor. He was responsible for identifying many new species, which he named according to the naturalist who found them.

Species of the month

Death Stalker Scorpion

Leiurus quinquestriatus

Leiurus quinquestriatus

Some facts on this scorpion:

Length: 80-110 mm.

Life span: 5 years

Diet: Small insects, spiders, centipedes, earthworms, and other scorpions.

Range: From the Middle East to the northern zones of Africa, especially Egypt.

Habitat: Scrub land and deserts; hide in small natural burrows or under stones.

Gestation Period: 2 to 5 months.

Number of Offspring: Up to 30.

First described: By the German naturalists Wilhelm Hemprich and Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, in 1829. It was originally named Androctonus (Leiurus) quinquestriatus.


If you're searching for an unusual pet to impress your friends with, consider Leiurus quinquestriatus. This is one of the most venomous scorpions around. Its sting can be extremely painful for adults and fatal for children. The venom is a powerful cocktail of neurotoxins, with a low lethal dose. One component of the venom, the peptide chlorotoxin, has shown potential for treating human brain tumors. This aggressive arachnid comes in different shades and hues depending on the specific locality. By being active at night, it manages its temperature and water balance, important functions for survival in dry habitats. The flat body helps it hide under stones, bark, wood, or other objects on the ground where it searches for prey or waits in ambush, sensing approaching victims by touch or from the vibrations they cause. The literal translation of the binomial name of this species is "five-striped smooth-tail". Leiurus quinquestriatus belongs to the family Buthidae which contains 89 genera and 971 species.

See also: Species of previous months

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