Androctonus australis is a hardy desert scorpion from North Africa, Somalia, the Middle East, Pakistan and India. A. australis, along with A. amoreuxi and Pandinus imperator, is the most commonly available scorpions found in the exotic animal trade.
Unlike most other animals that live in deserts, Androctonus does not dig burrows to protect itself from a sandstorm. Instead, it can withstand sandstorms powerful enough to strip paint off steel, without any apparent damage. The resistance of Androctonus to sandstorms is suspected to be due to the discovery of its odd exoskeleton surface. Its armour is covered with dome-shaped granules that are 10 µm (0.0004 in) high and 25–80 µm (0.0010–0.0031 in) across. When its odd surface is translated into other materials it protects them to a certain degree as well, which has led to the possibility of the applicability of imitation surfaces in such objects as aeroplanes and helicopters.
Androctonus australis has very potent venom and is one of the world's most dangerous scorpions due to its relative toxicity and temperament. It claims several lives each year.