New Scorpion Species discovered in Samburu
Introducing Neobuthus kloppersi! Unique to Kenya and smaller than a thumbnail, our Samburu manager Johan has made history with his passion for scorpions, literally!
On his nightly rounds, he discovered the minute scorpion, and after years of deliberation by experts, they agreed it was indeed a new discovery, naming the species after him! Read more about the discovery in Johan’s own words, below.
“Two years ago, I went on one of my nightly walks around the lodge with UV-torch in hand, and saw a scorpion I had never seen before around here. With 11 species of scorpion found around the Kalama Conservancy, its’ diminutive size made it stand out from the rest but also made it quite hard to identify. After consultation with some other scorpion enthusiasts in Kenya it became clear that it was a ‘Neobuthus sp.’ which surprised everybody as these are a Horn of Africa species and was not thought to be present in Kenya.
What followed was a journey to establish if said scorpion was indeed a new species specific to Kenya, or merely a range extension on an already known but poorly studied ‘Neobuthus sp.’ that are found in neighboring Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia. After spending a few nights collecting male and female specimens, they were shipped to the Czech Republic where a well-known Scorpion Expert dissected it, compared it to known species from the Horn of Africa and confirmed that it is indeed a new and distinct species for Kenya!
Tiny scorpion next to Johan’s thumbnail
The discovery and confirmation of a new species was published in ‘Euscorpius’ – a science journal that occasionally publishes news in scorpiology. Since I was the one that found and collected the holotype (a single type specimen upon which the description and name of a new species is based) it was named after me: ‘Neobuthus kloppersi’.
‘Neobuthus kloppersi’ has since been found all around the Kalama Conservancy, as well as far north as Marsabit – soon it will be across all of Northern Kenya – I hope!”