Scorpion found in Hampstead home of Everything But The Girl singer
- Credit: Dave Clarke/ZSL
London Zoo has come to the rescue of an unusual continental visitor in Hampstead.
A scorpion was discovered by musician and writer Ben Watt, formerly of 1980s band Everything But The Girl, in the bedroom of his 16-year-old daughter on Saturday.
The maroon-coloured creature was on the floor of daughter Alfie’s room and has been named Sansa after her favourite character in hit TV series Game of Thrones - who she said “seems to be gentle but has a bit of a sting”.
It has been taken in by London Zoo’s invertebrate keepers.
The zoo’s head of invertebrates, Dave Clarke, believes the arthropod is a European yellow tailed scorpion.
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He said: “Scorpions are the type of invertebrate that tend to cause alarm when found; people automatically fear highly venomous species that are native to much warmer continents and appear as threats in blockbuster films.
“Although European yellow tailed scorpions are capable of stinging, it’s very unusual for them to do so. Their sting is also innocuous, causing hardly any reaction unless a person is specifically allergic to it.’
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The name Sansa is also appropriate as, like the Game of Thrones character, the scorpion is likely to have accidentally travelled a perilous journey in order to arrive in London.
“Yellow tailed scorpions are extremely common in continental Europe and are very occasionally transported to England,” said Mr Clarke.
“Sansa may have hitched a ride in a bag or suitcase from the continent. Although small colonies of yellow tailed scorpions have been previously noted on the Isle of Sheppey.
“We’ll keep Sansa the scorpion in her new home here in the B.U.G.S. (Biodiversity Underpinning Global Survival) exhibit at ZSL London Zoo where she may even go on display for visitors to see.”
Sansa the scorpion is now settling safely into her new home with everything she needs including bark, water and tasty small invertebrates to eat.
She joins the zoo’s collection of formidable invertebrates including orb and bird eating spiders, moon jellyfish and the industrious leaf cutter ants that roam open ropes in the exhibit area.
For more information on the B.U.G.S. exhibit at London Zoo, in Regent’s Park, go to zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/exhibits/bugs.