Tityus (genus)

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Temporal range: Palaeogene–present
Tityus discrepans.jpg
Tityus discrepans
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Buthidae
Genus: Tityus
Koch, 1836

More than 200, see text

Tityus is a large genus of thick-tailed scorpions (family Buthidae), the namesake of its subfamily Tityinae. As of 2021, Tityus contains more than 220 described species distributed in Central America and South America, from Costa Rica to Argentina. [1] [2] Species in the genus Tityus have been studied for hundreds of years, long before the taxonomic classification was put in place. Tityus tend to be of medium size for scorpions, roughly 50 to 70 millimeters long. [3]   They are dark brown or red in color, and can exhibit sexual dimorphism. [3] They can live in a variety of environments, ranging from urban to arid mountains to the Amazon Rainforest. Tityus scorpions are best known for their venom and potent sting. [4] [5] The genus contains several dangerously venomous scorpions, the best known of which is the Brazilian yellow scorpion, T. serrulatus . Its venom can cause severe illness (including pancreatitis), and in the young, old and infirm even death. [6] Some experts have argued that the genus as a whole may be paraphyletic, which could explain the knowledge gaps related to Tityus.   [3] [5]



Scorpions in the genus Tityus can live in several distinct environments across South America. However, there appears to be a clear geographic distinction that exists between species. [7] A species that inhabits the Andes Mountains will not also live in the Amazon Rainforest. In some South American countries, such as Argentina, the geographic range of Tityus scorpions is expanding. [7] [8] This creates a problem for the general public and healthcare. When scorpion stings become more frequent, it puts more strain on hospitals and healthcare facilities. [5]   [7] [8]


The genus Tityus is most well known for its venomous species. [5] Tityus serrulatus venom contains a powerful neurotoxin that affects almost all anatomical body systems. [4] The most dangerous species in the genus Tityus is serrulatus. [9] The nature of their venom and its ability to impact the entire body make Tityus serrulatus a particularly dangerous species. However, their stings are not often lethal, which may be due to low venom mass injected. [4] [10] Young children and seniors are at a higher risk of death than the general population. [4] Many factors are important for determining how dangerous a scorpion sting will be. [11] Variables such as venom composition, location of the sting, and the overall health makeup of the victim in question play a role in determining the lethality of a sting. [11] Scorpion stings are the most common cause of envenomation in Brazil, and are seen as a risk in urban environments. [4] [5] Scorpions in the genus Tityus have been studied by medical researchers for the purpose of identifying and understanding the toxins produced by various species. [4] [8]


Little is known and fully understood about scorpion behavior in the genus Tityus. This is especially true regarding reproduction. However, several species of Tityus (including Tityusserrulatus) is parthenogenic. [12]  Scorpions are oviparous, which means they lay eggs. Parthenogenesis is the process of laying unfertilized eggs. [12]  This survival strategy may contribute to their success in a variety of environments. [12]  It is believed that females use a form of chemical communication to induce male courtship. [13]  After being exposed to compounds associated with female scorpions, male scorpions will alter their behavior and perform behaviors characteristic of courtship. [13]  Tityus scorpions use their stingers for defense, which is a behavior demonstrated by both sexes. [14]  Venom is energetically expensive to create, so scorpions only use their stinger when seriously threatened. [14]


Scorpions in the genus Tityus are carnivores. [3]  They feed on insects such as cockroaches and crickets. [3]  It is believed that members of the genus Tityus can survive for over a year without food, and even give birth after lengthy periods of starvation. [3]  This is another survival technique that helps them outlast unfavorable conditions.


Tityus trinitatis
Trinidad Scorpion (Tityus trinitatis) 2.jpg
Tityus trinitatis
Tityus apozonalli
in amber Tityus apozonalli plosone plate 02 B.jpg
Tityus apozonalli
in amber

Related Research Articles

Tityustoxin is a toxin found in the venom of scorpions from the subfamily Tityinae. By binding to voltage-dependent sodium ion channels and potassium channels, they cause sialorrhea, lacrimation and rhinorrhea.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buthidae</span> Family of scorpions

The Buthidae are the largest family of scorpions, containing about 100 genera and 1339 species as of 2022. A few very large genera are known, but a high number of species-poor or monotypic ones also exist. New taxa are being described at a rate of several new species per year. They have a [cosmopolitan] distribution throughout tropical and subtropical environments worldwide. Together with four other families, the Buthidae make up the superfamily Buthoidea. The family was established by Carl Ludwig Koch in 1837.

<i>Centruroides</i> Genus of scorpions

Centruroides is a genus of scorpions of the family Buthidae. Several North American species are known by the common vernacular name bark scorpion. Numerous species are extensively found throughout the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, the Antilles and northern South America. Some are known for their interesting patterning or large size ; most if not all fluoresce strongly under ultraviolet illumination, except after moulting. They contain several highly venomous species, and fatalities are known to occur. The venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus contains the neurotoxins Cll1 and Cll2.

<i>Ananteris</i> Genus of arachnids

Ananteris is a little-known genus of rare scorpions. Scorpions belonging to the genus can be found from Costa Rica to Paraguay.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scorpion sting</span> Medical condition

A scorpion sting is an injury caused by the stinger of a scorpion resulting in the medical condition known as scorpionism, which may vary in severity. The anatomical part of the scorpion that delivers the sting is called a "telson". In typical cases, scorpion stings usually result in pain, paresthesia, and variable swelling. In serious cases, scorpion stings may involve the envenomation of humans by toxic scorpions, which may result in extreme pain, serious illness, or even death depending on the toxicity of the venom.

The taxonomy of scorpions deals with the classification of this predatory arthropod into 13 extant families and about 1,400 described species and subspecies. In addition, 111 described taxa of extinct scorpions are known.

<i>Hottentotta</i> Genus of scorpions

Hottentotta is a genus of scorpions of the family Buthidae. It is distributed widely across Africa, except for most of the Sahara desert. Species in the genus also occur in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, southeastern Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Cape Verde Islands, and Sri Lanka (introduced).

<i>Heterometrus</i> Genus of scorpions

Heterometrus, whose members are also known by the collective vernacular name giant forest scorpions, is a genus of scorpions belonging to the family Scorpionidae. It is distributed widely across tropical and subtropical southeastern Asia, including Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China (Hainan). It is notable for containing some of the largest living species of scorpions.

<i>Tityus serrulatus</i> Species of scorpion

Tityus serrulatus, the Brazilian yellow scorpion, is a species of scorpion of the family Buthidae. It is native to Brazil, and its venom is extremely toxic. It is the most dangerous scorpion in South America and is responsible for the most fatal cases.

Tityus fasciolatus is a species of scorpion from the family Buthidae. The species are 4.5–8.5 centimetres (1.8–3.3 in) in length and are yellowish-brown coloured. They also have three dark stripes over the mesosoma with either yellowish or orange pedipalps, which have dark spots as well. Their first to third segments of metasoma is yellowish-orange, with the fourth one being reddish. Their fifth and final segment id dark red coloured. The species have yellow coloured legs which have dark spots, which are the same as on pedilap. Their tarsus is dark in colour with pectines that have 17-25 teeth, in which they have 16-18 rows of granules. T. fasciolatus is a species of medical importance, its venom is molecular and very similar to T. serrulatus, its venom contains at least 10 toxic fractions, with molecular masses ranging from 6 to 10-80 kDa, the LD50 for this species is 2.984 mg / kg.

<i>Tityus stigmurus</i> Species of scorpion

Tityus stigmurus is a species of scorpion from the family Buthidae that can be found in Brazil. The species are 4.5–6 centimetres (1.8–2.4 in) in length and are either golden-tan or yellowish-brown coloured. It takes them a year to mature into an adult, which makes them a fast-growing species. They also have a dark stripe over the mesosoma with either yellowish or orange pedipalps.

<i>Uroplectes</i> Genus of scorpions

Uroplectes is a genus of scorpions in the family Buthidae. They are known commonly as the lesser thick-tailed scorpions. There are about 40 species distributed in the Afrotropical realm. They are most diverse in South Africa.

<i>Tityus exstinctus</i> Species of scorpion

Tityus exstinctus is an extinct species of scorpion belonging to the family Buthidae. It is only known from a single male collected in 1884 in the northern range of Martinique. The species epithet based on the fact that this taxon was already extinct when it was described.

<i>Isometrus</i> Genus of scorpions

Isometrus is a genus of scorpion belonging and being eponymous to the family Buthidae. Some species are currently assigned to the genus Reddyanus.

TsIV is a toxin from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus which slows the inactivation of sodium channels.

<i>Opisthacanthus</i> Genus of scorpions

Opisthacanthus is a genus of scorpions in the family Hormuridae occurring in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Madagascar.

<i>Babycurus</i> Genus of scorpions

Babycurus is a genus of scorpions of the family Buthidae.

Tityustoxin peptide 2 (TsPep2) is a peptide isolated from the venom of the Tityus serrulatus. It belongs to a class of short peptides, together with Tityustoxin peptide 1 and Tityustoxin peptide 3.

<i>Tityus pachyurus</i> Species of scorpion

Tityus pachyurus is a species of arachnid endemic to Central America and South America.


Lychas is a genus of scorpions belonging to the family Buthidae. It is one of the most widespread genus of the scorpions, where the species are found throughout in Africa and Seychelles, and in the Oriental region from India to Melanesia.


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