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European Yellow-Tailed Scorpion
Graphite on Paper
Approx 42x59cm (unframed)

This drawing continues the Invasive Species of London series, combining specimen studies with drawn historic maps of the capital. Here, euscorpius flavicaudis is seen with the Port of London, as it was c1882.

Yellow-Tailed Scorpions are a surprising and exotic-looking addition to the various invasive species found in and around London. They appear to have been resident for over 150 years, with some reports suggesting they first arrived hidden amongst shipments of Italian masonry. The main colony today can be found on the Isle of Sheppey, in the dock walls at Sheerness where they can be fairly readily discovered at night, with the aid of a UV light; the scorpions fluoresce. Estimates suggest there are around 10,000 scorpions in this small area.

Although they look quite intimidating, this species actually only grows to around two inches in length, and to humans, the sting is less potent than that of a bee.