Pandinus Dictator - Just The Facts Nothing But The Facts


Old Timer
Nov 20, 2006
I've been watching a certain Thread about Pandinus dictator and seeing it go on topic off topic and into lands of speculation and theory. (even invoking the ire of some) So I was wanting to dedicate a thread solely to information about this Pandinus sp.

here are Quotes from the other thread to start it off: If I'm being too presumptuous here please forgive me, and allow this thread to die off by not posting to it, if not post away with cold hard facts please.

I have been doing some small research on this species and as always, they are incredibly rare. In fact I thought it was just something someone made up. Apparently not, they are indeed a living arachnid.

The link to the picture on scorpion files-

Their known origins are: Cameroon , Congo , Equatorial Guinea , Gabon , and Nigeria.

There common name is Kaiserskorpion (which I believe is German).

They are currently protected by CITES and their distribution through the pet trade to me is still unknown.

I will continue to post back when I find more then just basic information on them. If you know anything, post back! :?
Hello again;

here is a Link to a PDF that may be of interest to you, it is titled "On the Scorpions of Gabon and Neighboring Countries..." and has 32 references to P dictator in it. an excerpt "Although P. dictator has not been redescribed since its original description, the diagnostic characters of this species have been thoroughly elaborated in three papers." It list the papers, you could dig deeper and search those papers out for more info.

here is a pic of the distribution of 3 of the Pandinus spp

FIGURE 13. Map of West Africa illustrating the known distributional ranges of Pandinus dictator (Pocock, 1888) (triangles), Pandinus gambiensis Pocock, 1899 (circles), and Pandinus imperator (C. L. Koch, 1841) (squares), based on data from Vachon (1970), Lamoral and Reynders (1975) and the present contribution.
...There is an original description published, as well as several records of specimens in collections. Size, appearance, habitat and distribution are waiting there for someone to dig them up...

Pandinus dictator:

Here is a large male specimen of P. dictator from the Congo:

From the specimens I’ve seen P. dictator is nearly identical in size to specimens of P. imperator, with the maximum size of each being extremely large. The biggest get to 20+ cm in length. The two species are separated by the number of trichobothria on the ventral surface of the tibia (22 in dictator, >30 in imperator). Both species are black and shiny, not any more blue then any other scorpion species. Its unlikely they'd be anymore interesting to keep then P. imperator, they may already be the hobby but your average hobbyist would not be able to separate them from P. imperator.

Here are the distributions of the 2 species:
Image edited for size by Thaedion
(from: Lourecno W. R. & Cloudsley-Thompson J. L., 1996, Recognition and distribution of the scorpions of the genus Pandinus accorded protection by the Washington convention, Biogeographica, 72(3), 133-143)
...As for the citation, there are actually dozens of documents out there that relate to P.dictator in some way. There are only a few that are readily accessible, though.


I found this excerpt in a PDF Titled "On the Scorpions of Gabon and Neighboring Countries,"

Although P. dictator has not been redescribed since its original description, the diagnostic characters of this species have been thoroughly elaborated in three papers. Belfield’s (1956) key reviewed traditional diagnostic differences in the pectinal tooth count and the surface ornamentation of the carapace, terga and pedipalp chela manus between P. dictator and the closely related P. imperator and P. gambiensis (as P. imperator gambiensis). Vachon (1974) presented a new key, wherein diagnostic differences in the numbers and relative positions of pedipalp trichobothria were demonstrated among the three species, transferred P. dictator to a new subgenus, Pandinopsis, and retained the other two species, which are evidently more closely related, in the subgenus Pandinus. Lourenço and Cloudsley-Thompson (1996) summarized the differences presented by Vachon (1974) and discussed the known distributional range of the three species.

So these are three sources that describe P dictator. Anyone have these available?

Thaedion {D
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