York & North Yorkshire

Species of scorpion found in Harrogate identified

Image caption It is thought the scorpion arrived in Harrogate through imported goods from China

A two-inch long scorpion which was found on a street in Harrogate has been identified as a species commonly found in eastern China.

The animal, which was discovered dead in the Mayfield Grove area in September, prompted a police appeal to trace its origin.

Scientists have identified the species as Mesobuthus martensii, the Eastern Chinese Armoured Tailed Scorpion.

It is thought it arrived in Harrogate through imported goods from China.

Experts from the government's Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) used DNA barcoding to identify the animal.

Fera said the species is known to have a lifespan of around six years.

Its sting is non-lethal and the venom, which is quite strong, is used in traditional Chinese medicines.

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