Four people have been arrested after allegedly bringing live scorpions into New Zealand.
After one black rock scorpion was discovered in April, investigations by Ministry for Primary Industries staff found that another five had been smuggled into the country from Australia.
The ministry says they were taken through Christchurch Airport and then into Queenstown.
A compliance manager, John Slaughter, says the scorpions could have survived in New Zealand so there would have been serious biosecurity implications had they escaped.
The maximum penalty for such an offence is five years in prison or a fine of $100,000.