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The Hemiscorpiidae are a family of scorpions with 72 described species in 12 genera. Their old name was Ischnuridae, which had to be changed due to a naming conflict with the damselfly family of the same name. They at one point also held the name Liochelidae.


Most species have a very flat and broad body plan, due to their main habitat in tight rock crevices. Some long-lived species can reach more than 20 cm in length.


Hemiscorpiidae are distributed throughout the world's tropics and subtropics. The family's center of distribution appears to be Africa where several genera are found, although it is also known from Australasia, the Middle East, and South America

Human interaction

Many species are held as pets. Species in this family are some of the less venomous scorpions. Only genusHemiscorpius has a strong venom; especially that of Hemiscorpius lepturus can result in deadly accidents.


  • Cheloctonus Pocock, 1892
  • Chiromachetes Pocock, 1899
  • Chiromachus Pocock, 1893
  • Habibiella Vachon, 1974
  • Hadogenes Kraepelin, 1894
  • Hemiscorpius Peters, 1861
  • Heteroscorpion Birula, 1903
  • Iomachus Pocock, 1893
  • Liocheles Sundevall, 1833
  • Monodopisthacanthus Lourenço, 2001
  • Opisthacanthus Peters, 1861
  • Paleocheloctonus Lourenço, 1996
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