A woman from Aberdeen had a nasty surprise when she woke up to find a scorpion just inches from her face with its tail raised.

Vicky Raitt, 23, had been travelling in Borneo and said she believes the three-inch Asian forest scorpion came home with her as a stowaway in her suitcase.

Raitt said: "I opened my eyes and the scorpion was literally a hand's length away from my face with its tail raised. I jumped out of bed and, after doing a double take to make sure I hadn't imagined it, I ran to the kitchen to get a plastic tub to put it in.

"My suitcase was damaged on the way home from Borneo so I think it crawled inside through the hole. I'd been back for five days before I found the scorpion so it must have been living with me all that time.

"Once I got over the initial shock of finding it I was okay, but it's still quite scary to think what could have happened if I hadn't woke up and it had stung me."

Asian forest scorpions are not deadly, although their sting can cause a severe reaction in humans, ranging from pain equivalent to a bee sting through to intense swelling and sickness.

The zoology student contained the scorpion in a plastic tub and contacted the Scottish SPCA, where it is currently being cared for.

Deadly Deathstalker scorpion in Skegness

Inspector Fiona McKenzie said: "It must have been a real shock for Vicky to wake up and find this scorpion in her bed and she did very well to safely contain it before contacting us.

"Given Vicky has recently been to Borneo, it's most likely the scorpion has come over to Scotland inside her suitcase."

The scorpion will be rehomed with Nick Martin, who runs an exotic animal rescue charity in Inverness.

Most of the 1,500 known species of scorpion are not deadly to people. Just a handful of species are able to deliver stings that can kill humans.

Last August a family from Skegness found the second most deadly type of scorpion - the Deathstalker scorpion - had returned with them in a suitcase following a holiday to Spain.

Teresa Jeyes told the Lincolnshire Echo: "I was in and out of the case taking clothes out and hanging them up in wardrobes.

"It could have clung on to a piece of clothing and ended up anywhere. I think it is fair to say we diced with death."