About all

Can a scorpion sting more than once: Scorpion Sting Treatment, Symptoms, Pictures & First Aid

Scorpions Management Guidelines–UC IPM

UC IPM Home >
Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf >
Scorpions

Scorpions

Revised
12/11

In this Guideline:

  • Identification
  • Life cycle
  • Impact
  • Management
  • About Pest Notes
  • Publication
  • Glossary

Adult scorpion, Vaejovis species.

Bark scorpions, which are the only dangerous species in California, differ from other species with their thin tail, their narrow chelae (or pincers), and the little bump (or tooth) just below the stinger.

Arizona hairy scorpion.

Stripedtail scorpion.

Scorpions are nocturnal, predatory animals that feed on a variety of insects, spiders, centipedes, and other scorpions. Large scorpions occasionally feed on vertebrates such as small lizards, snakes, and mice. Most scorpions live in warm, dry climates, and many of the species found in North America occur in Arizona, adjacent areas of California, and parts of New Mexico. Of the 70 or so species found in North America, only one, the bark scorpion, Centruroides exilicauda (formerly C. sculpturatus), is considered dangerous to people.

IDENTIFICATION

Scorpions are easily distinguished by their crablike appearance, pair of pincers, four pairs of legs, and long, segmented tail ending with an enlarged segment bearing a stinger. Although they have two eyes in the center of the head and usually two to five more along the margin on each side, they don’t see well and depend on touch. When running, they hold their pincers outstretched, and the posterior end of the abdomen is usually curved upward. Scorpions that hide under stones and other objects during the day tend to carry their stinger to one side, whereas burrowing scorpions hold their stinger up over their backs.

Scorpions are arthropods in the class Arachnida and order Scorpionida. Notable species of scorpions in the southwestern United States include the bark scorpion, which has venom that is dangerous to people; the Arizona hairy scorpion, the largest of the North American scorpions; and the stripedtail scorpion, one of the most common species. Other less common species of scorpions also occur in California and can be found from sea level to elevations above 7,000 feet. Like the Arizona hairy scorpion and the stripedtail scorpion, these species play a beneficial role in the environment and pose no real danger to humans.

The bark scorpion is found throughout Arizona, in the extreme southeastern portion of California near Arizona, and in southwestern New Mexico. In Mexico, the bark scorpion is found in Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, and Sonora. Bark scorpions reach a length of 3 inches and have a very thin tail only 1/16 inch wide; the body is yellow without stripes or patterns. The bark scorpion is the only common climbing scorpion and does not normally burrow but usually lives above ground under tree bark and in palm trees and crevices of rocky cliffs. Because it can ascend slump block walls or stucco, this species is the scorpion most likely to enter dwellings. The bark scorpion is attracted to moisture around homes and in the house. It also may be found in stacked lumber or bricks, firewood piles, cellars, and attics. It needs only a crack of 1/16 inch to enter a home.

The Arizona hairy scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis, is a common desert species found in Southern California and throughout Arizona. In Southern California it has been reported in Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. At maturity it can be 5 to 7 inches long. Like many other desert scorpions, the Arizona hairy scorpion is a burrower but may also be found under rocks, logs, sleeping bags, and other surface objects. This scorpion can often be found around homes and in garages. It is a night feeder attracted to water, swimming pools, irrigated areas, or outside lights where food prey such as beetles, cockroaches, crickets, moths, and other insects are attracted as well. During the day it may be found in woodpiles, palm trees, and decorative bark or under loose boards, woodpiles, rocks, or the bark of trees. Like some other scorpions, the Arizona hairy scorpion may enter homes in search of water. Common indoor places where it might be found are dark, cool areas in the bathroom or kitchen as well as crawl spaces, attics, and closets.

The stripedtail scorpion, Vaejovis spinigerus, is one of the most common scorpion species in Southern California, Arizona, and the United States. It is a burrowing scorpion that is often found in sandy soil but can survive in a variety of habitats from desert floor to rocky hillside. At maturity, the stripedtail scorpion is about 2 1/2 inches long, and the body is striped on the upper side. This scorpion is venomous but not considered dangerous. It may be found under common objects such as sleeping bags, shoes, and other similar items.

LIFE CYCLE

Scorpions grow slowly. Depending on the species, they may take 1 to 6 years to reach maturity. On average scorpions may live 3 to 5 years, but some species can live as long as 10 to 15 years.

Scorpions have an interesting mating ritual. The male grasps the female’s pincers with his and leads her in a courtship dance that may last for several hours. The exact nature of this courtship dance varies from one species to the next. In general, the male deposits a sperm packet and maneuvers the female over it. The sperm packet is drawn into the female’s genital opening located near the front on the underside of her abdomen. The female stores the sperm packet, and the sperm is later used to fertilize her eggs. After mating, unless he is quick and able to escape, the male is often eaten by the female.

Once the female is impregnated, the gestation period may last several months to a year and a half depending on the species. A single female may produce 25 to 35 young. Scorpions are born live, and the young climb onto their mother’s back. The young scorpions remain on their mother’s back until their first molt. They assume an independent existence once they leave their mother’s back. Scorpions molt five or six times until they become full-grown adults.

Scorpions generally hunt at night and use their stinger to paralyze prey. However, if the scorpion is strong enough to overpower its prey, instead of injecting its venom it will simply hold the prey and eat it alive. This conserves venom, which can take up to 2 weeks to regenerate, during which time the scorpion’s main defense is inactive.

Outdoors during the day, scorpions hide in burrows or debris, under wood, stones, or tree bark, and under floors of buildings in crawl spaces. Indoors, scorpions may be found in cracks and crevices of woodwork, behind baseboards, in closets and attics, and inside walls. Scorpions gain entry into buildings through poorly sealed doors and windows, cracks in foundations, attic vents that aren’t properly screened, and through plumbing and other openings.

IMPACT

The effect of a scorpion’s sting depends primarily on the species of scorpion involved. The sting of scorpions in Vaejovis and Hadrurus genera is usually no more serious than stings of ants, bees, or wasps, unless a person has an allergic reaction. Normal reactions include an immediate intense, localized, burning sensation with little redness or swelling; symptoms usually subside after about 30 minutes.

The sting of a bark scorpion, however, can be serious, producing severe pain and swelling at the site of the sting, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficulty breathing, respiratory paralysis, muscle twitching, and convulsions. These symptoms are signs for the need of immediate medical attention. Especially at risk are children and the elderly. In California, the bark scorpion occurs only in the extreme southeastern part of the state, along the Arizona border.

Anyone stung by a bark scorpion or experiencing an allergic reaction to a sting should seek medical attention. Keep the sting victim calm and relaxed, and don’t allow the consumption of alcohol or other sedatives. It may be helpful to apply pressure compression as well as an ice pack to the sting site. Capture the scorpion for identification if you can do it without risking your safety. Antivenins are available to treat severe reactions to stings.

Death from scorpion sting is rare, because stinging encounters are uncommon and antivenin is effective. During a 10-month period in the Southwest, physicians reported 1,573 cases of scorpion stings. The last reported death in Arizona, where scorpions are common, was in 1948.

MANAGEMENT

To prevent stinging encounters with scorpions, don’t leave shoes, boots, clothing items, or wet towels outdoors where scorpions can hide. Shake towels around the swimming pool and shake all clothing and shoes before putting them on. Wear gloves when working in the yard. Wear shoes outdoors, especially during the evening hours. A portable black light (UV light) may be used to survey for scorpions in and around the home. Scorpions glow brightly under black light and are therefore easily found and removed.

How to safely capture a scorpion

Scorpions can be captured by placing a quart-sized glass jar over the scorpion and sliding a sheet of heavy construction paper under the jar. With the sheet of paper securely over the mouth of the jar, invert the jar; the scorpion will fall to the bottom of the jar. Screw a secure lid over the mouth of the jar. Scorpions can also be picked up safely with forceps that are 10 to 12 inches long, or with other long mechanical devices made for picking up small objects, and placed in a glass jar secured with a screwtype lid. Glue boards measuring 8 x 5 1/4 inches may also be useful in trapping scorpions.

Scorpions can enter buildings through openings around plumbing fixtures and loose-fitting doors and windows as well as cracks in foundations and walls. Outdoor lights attract insects and thus the scorpions that feed on insects. Yellow outdoor lighting is less attractive to insects and is recommended in areas where scorpions are prevalent. The first strategy for control is to modify the area surrounding a house, because scorpions are difficult to control with insecticides. Use the following checklist to protect your home:

  • Clean the yard by removing all trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks, and other objects from around the foundation of the home.
  • Prune overhanging tree branches away from the house, because they can provide a path to the roof for scorpions.
  • Don’t store firewood inside the house; bring in only wood to be directly placed on the fire, and check for scorpions before bringing the wood inside.
  • Install weatherstripping around loose-fitting doors and windows.
  • Caulk around roof eaves, pipes, and any other cracks that allow entrance into the home.
  • Make sure window screens fit tightly in the window frame, and keep the screens in good repair.

Pesticides aren’t always effective against scorpions, because they hide in cracks and crevices during daylight hours. Adult scorpions are more difficult to kill with pesticides because of their larger body size and thicker cuticle. Read and follow label directions, and use pesticides only in combination with other control measures outlined above. Don’t overuse pesticides out of frustration just because they appear to be working too slowly at label rates of application. If you choose to use pesticides, apply them to exterior walls around the foundation of the house from the ground up to 1 foot; also make applications around doors, window eaves, and other potential points of entry. Follow directions on the package for dosage, mixing, and application methods.

WARNING ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES


REFERENCES

Goddard, J. 2007. Physician’s Guide to Arthropods of Medical Importance. 5th ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press Inc.

Levi, H. W., and L. R. Levi. 2001. Spiders and Their Kin. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Mallis, A., D. Moreland, and S. A. Hedges 2004. The Mallis Handbook of Pest Control. 9th ed. Richfield, OH: GIE Media Inc.

Smith, R. L. 1982. Venomous Animals of Arizona. Tucson: Univ. Ariz. College of Agric., Bulletin 8245.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION

Pest Notes: Scorpions

UC ANR Publication 74110
       

Author: E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial Co.

Produced by UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Editor: M. Fayard

Technical Editor: M. L. Flint

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

PDF: To display a PDF document, you may need to use a
PDF reader.

Top of page

Scorpion Control Services | Hawx Pest Control

20,000+ 5-STAR REVIEWS

read more

Get $150 Off Scorpion Service

Call hawx pest control for help today!

Scorpions sport those trademark lobster-like pincers and curved tail with menacing stinger at the end. But are their stings dangerous to humans? Where should you watch out for them? Learn more about different types of scorpions, what they eat and where they live, and how to prevent them from coming inside your home.

Get help with your scorpion problems by calling the scorpion control pros at Hawx Pest Control! Dial (888) 372-9514 today.

What Are Scorpions?

Scorpions are in the arachnid family, meaning they’re closely related to spiders and ticks. Well known for their large stinger-crowned tail and painful venom, these pests are common in desert environments and, sometimes, for their penchant to wander inside homes.

Scorpions have six legs, two large pincers, and a long, segmented tail with a stinger. Their coloring can vary from tan to yellow to brown, and sometimes even red, which allows them to camouflage themselves effectively in arid, desert climates. Typically around 2-6 inches in length, there are some newly discovered scorpion species that are on the larger side and also produce a hissing noise to intimidate predators.

Where Do Scorpions Live?

Scorpions can be found worldwide. They prefer scuttling in the sand or chilling in dark, secluded areas within their hot and dry environments. While they love desert climates as well as rainforests and caves, scorpions are also quite happy making a home for themselves in your house, in spaces that are dark and secluded, such as:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Curtains
  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces
  • Potted plants

Pro tip: Scorpions light up under black light, so you can use a black light flashlight to find them pretty quickly around your home in the dark.

Types of Scorpions

There are 35 types of scorpions around the world. Here are a few of the most common types of scorpions you might find in the U.S.

Arizona Bark Scorpion

Native to Arizona, the Arizona bark scorpion has a highly-potent venom that can cause severe symptoms. This scorpion shows up fluorescent when exposed to ultraviolet light, but is tan in color in normal circumstances. It is around 2–3 inches long and is considered to be the only lethal scorpion in the region. They thrive most in desert climates, but only have a noticeable presence in Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

Arizona Hairy Scorpion

These yellow scorpions can be found in Arizona and Southern California. They’re generally 5–7 inches long and sometimes have darker coloring on their backs. They also have small brown hairs that cover their bodies. These scorpions sting and although it is venomous, their venom is not very strong.

Stripe-tailed Scorpion

These scorpions are also sometimes called the devil scorpion. They are also found in Arizona and Southern California as well as other southern states. They are light brown in color with stripes on their backs. These scorpions are a bit smaller, at 2.5 inches in length. They are technically considered venomous but aren’t classified as dangerous.

Northern Scorpion

This is the most cold-tolerant scorpion found in the U.S. It is tan with dark stripes on its back and can be found in most of the western and midwestern states near sandstone cliffs. They are also venomous but their stings aren’t very dangerous.

Common Scorpion Behavior

Scorpions give live birth to their babies; they don’t lay eggs. The scorpion babies live on their mother’s back until their first molting (scorpions shed their skin similarly to the way snakes and other reptiles do).

As these nocturnal creatures grow, they can become cannibalistic as well as predatory toward other species. Their aggression is what keeps them alive and instills fear in humans and other small mammals alike. When it comes to their prey, they aren’t much of a match without their stingers and venom, which paralyze their food and allow them to eat it slowly due to their weak jaws. Scorpions typically eat:

  • Lizards
  • Mice
  • Beetles
  • Wasps
  • Centipedes
  • Spiders
  • Katydids
  • Other scorpions (likely an attempt at population control)

There is an assortment of larger insects and mammals that eat scorpions. As scary as scorpions appear, they’re no match for these larger (and often surprisingly aggressive) animals. Predators of scorpions include:

  • Centipedes
  • Owls (and some other birds)
  • Tarantulas
  • Lizards
  • Bats
  • Shrews
  • Grasshopper mice

Are Scorpions Dangerous?

Certain types of scorpion bites can be fatal, depending on the species, and are responsible for as many as 3,250 deaths per year worldwide. But, with the exception of the Arizona bark scorpion’s sting, which can cause severe reactions, other U. S. scorpions don’t have very potent venom. In fact, their stings tend to produce symptoms like spider bites.

While most scorpion bites are not deadly, if you live in a climate where scorpions are part of the landscape, it’s important to keep scorpion populations under control in and around your home.

More common symptoms of a scorpion sting include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Some swelling
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • High blood pressure

If someone has an allergic reaction to a scorpion sting, symptoms can range from anaphylaxis, trouble breathing, nausea, and vomiting. Even though less than 5% of scorpion stings are dangerous to your health, there are certainly risks that come with scorpion contact, especially if you get stung more than once (which is how allergies can develop).

How To Treat a Scorpion Sting

The best at-home treatment for a non-lethal sting is similar to how you’d treat other bug bites or skin irritations. Start by cleaning the affected area, then apply a cold compress. It can also be helpful to keep the stung part of the body above your heart. You can also try an over-the-counter pain killer paired with an antihistamine to reduce swelling and irritation.

If you think you’re having an allergic reaction or are concerned about what type of scorpion it was, seek medical attention.

How Do I Get Rid of Scorpions?

The key to getting rid of scorpions in or around your home is to make your home and yard uninhabitable for them. Since they prefer wet areas, clean up any standing water around your home to detract them from the area. Here are some other things to clean up to deter scorpions:

  • Objects they can hide under
  • Compost heaps
  • Other pest infestations (scorpions love feasting on other bugs)

For any pest control prevention, it’s always smart to seal up any cracks or openings to your home that might allow unwanted guests inside.  

If scorpions keep showing up on your property or inside your home, calling a pest control professional may be the best option. They may recommend a topical treatment to apply at the infected areas around your home to ensure all entry points are addressed and scorpions can’t find food or shelter.

Get $150 Off Scorpion Service

Read more about scorpions

How to Deal With Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasps appear in backyards across the U.S. during summer. These ground-dwelling wasps are large and intimidating but aren’t aggressive like yellow jackets. Still,

What Are Blue Mud Wasps?: Everything You Need to Know

The sight of wasps around your home may be unwelcome due to concerns about stings. However, not all wasps are aggressive, including the blue mud

What is a Cicada? Their Appearance, Behavior, and More

If you’re outdoors in the summer and early fall, you may hear a distinct humming sound coming from areas where there are hardwood trees. That

Load More

Need help with your scorpion problem in Atlanta east, Atlanta west, Charlotte, Raleigh, Riverside, Sacramento, or beyond? Contact Hawx Pest Control today!

5 Scorpion Facts That Will Surprise You

Education

October 22, 2022

Why this arachnid glows under ultraviolet light and what happens if it loses its tail.

1. Scorpions can shed their tails and then die of constipation

If you ask anyone what animal sheds their tail to distract a predator, the answer is likely to be: “Lizard!”. In general, not all of these reptiles are able to do this, but many really are saved in this way.

But lizards don’t have a monopoly on this ability. Scorpios can also sacrifice a little to be saved.

So, when a predator grabs a representative of the species Ananteris balzani by the tail, it easily throws it away and runs away. But this does not bring happiness to the scorpion. The fact is that the anus of the arachnid is located next to the sting, and with a torn off tail, the scorpion simply cannot defecate.

Therefore, the tailless scorpion is urgently looking for a female in order to mate with her and have time to leave at least some memory of himself before he dies of constipation. The crippled poor man has little chance, but his perseverance rises sharply.

2. Scorpions glow under ultraviolet light

The Emperor Scorpion fluoresces under ultraviolet light. Image: Wikimedia Commons

If you look at a scorpion under an ultraviolet lamp – or by the light of the moon – it will shine with a bright blue-green light. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is happening, but there are three good reasons.

First, the glow helps arachnids find a mate in the dark. These creatures are active at dusk and at night, and the ability to quickly detect their own kind when there is a lack of light is very useful to them.

Secondly, the substances that produce the outer integument of the scorpion reflect ultraviolet and can serve as a kind of sunscreen. It won’t hurt when you live in a hot climate.

And, finally, phthalic acid ester, which is part of the fluorescent compounds on the body of a scorpion, perfectly protects the animal from fungi and parasites.

3. Previously, scorpions lived in the oceans and reached three meters in length

Silurian period scorpion from the USA. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Modern scorpions are not impressive in size: the largest, imperial, can reach a length of only 20-23 cm.

But the ancestors of today’s insects were much more severe creatures. Eurypterids, they are also racoscorpions, who lived in the Paleozoic (from 467 to 248 million years ago), reached a length of 2–3 m. They ate fish and smaller aquatic arthropods.

They didn’t have poisonous tails yet. And who needs poison when you are the heaviest predator on the planet?

Later, during the Great Permian extinction, large eurypterids disappeared, and small ones learned to breathe atmospheric air, came to land and began to slowly turn into modern scorpions.

4. In Pakistan, scorpions are used instead of tobacco.

A scorpion in a rocky hideout. Image: Wikimedia Commons

What use do you think scorpions can have? Stuff pots with them and throw them at the advancing Roman army, as the defenders of the besieged city of Hatra are said to have done? Or eat them fried, as is traditionally done in China’s Shandong province? Or create a cure for skin diseases and autoimmune diseases from their poison?

However, the inhabitants of sunny Pakistan have gone further – they smoke scorpions. The fact is that the poison of some species has hallucinogenic effects. And locals who want to experience new sensations use this.

Scorpions are dried, ground into powder and stuffed into tubes, sometimes mixed with herbs or dried mutton dung. Naturally, smoking poison does not add health to people, but arachnid lovers do not think about this – in terms of medicine, Pakistan is still a little behind other countries.

5. Scorpions carry offspring on their backs and sometimes snack on them.

Female scorpion with cubs. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Scorpions are weird guys who don’t have things like their relatives, the spiders. Unlike the latter, they do not lay eggs and do not weave cobwebs and cocoons, but immediately give birth to live cubs.

Sometimes the female’s pregnancy can last up to a year. And when the time comes to give birth, she puts her back part of the body under herself and wraps her claws around it in order to quickly pick up the babies and put them on her back. There they will ride from 5 to 25 days, depending on the species. If the cub falls off his mother or runs away, sensing danger, he will later try to come back.

True, scorpions cannot be called exemplary parents: if the female is hungry and cannot find prey, she can easily take off one or two offspring from her back and dine on them.

Read also 🧐

  • 6 amazing facts about frogs that inspire respect and awe
  • 12 creepy myths about spiders that will scare anyone
  • Killing zombies and growing mushrooms: 9 weird things ants can do

Interesting facts about scorpions 🦂

Although scorpions are classified as “stinging insects” (a category that includes bees and wasps), these venomous arthropods are to the class of arachnids. There are over 1,700 species of scorpions in the world, but there may be 1,000 more undiscovered species. Keep reading to find out more interesting facts about scorpions that terrify many people.

Contents

  • 1 They are the oldest known arthropods on the planet
  • 2 Most modern species are quite small
  • 3 Scorpions live on every continent except Antarctica
  • 4 They have poor eyesight
  • 9006 1 5 Scorpions use different hunting methods

  • 6 Their tiny mouth is adapted only for sucking up liquids
  • 7 Scorpions do not eat every day
  • 8 The body of a scorpion is covered with many tiny sensory hairs
  • 9 Scorpions do not have a true tail
  • 10 Scorpion venom can contain up to 45 different toxins
  • 11 Scorpions glow in ultraviolet light her smell
  • 14 Scorpions are viviparous animals
  • 15 Did you know?

They are the oldest known arthropods on the planet

Scorpions have lived on Earth for a very long time and are among the first animals to adapt to life on land. Scorpion fossils have been found in beds from the Paleozoic era, many of which look very little different from the descendants that crawl the Earth today. This means that if you were to jump into a time machine and travel 430 million years ago, you would instantly recognize scorpions. At the moment, paleontologists have described about 130 extinct species of scorpions. There are fossil records of sea scorpions up to 1 meter long!

Photo: Getty Images

Most modern species are rather small

Their body length varies from 6.5 mm to 20 cm. Unfortunately, the smaller the scorpion, the more powerful or deadly its venom. The largest scorpion in the world is the long-tailed African scorpion, the smallest is the Middle Eastern scorpion, and the heaviest is the emperor scorpion (60 grams).

Scorpions live on every continent except Antarctica

Scorpions survive in a variety of habitats, from tropical rainforests and grasslands to deserts and semi-arid regions. Many species dig small and cozy burrows. Others may climb trees or hide under bark, leaf litter, rocks, logs, or debris. On hot days, scorpions enter homes through gaps in walls and take refuge in cool, damp places.

They have poor eyesight

The body of a scorpion consists of two main parts: the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The cephalothorax is protected by a head shield (chitinous shell), in which the eyes are located. Most species have two to five pairs of lateral eyes. The sensitivity of the eyes of a scorpion is one of the highest among all arthropods and depends on the habitat. But even with all these virtues, the eyes of a scorpion do not see well! They basically recognize movement and distinguish between light and dark. And some individuals have no eyes at all. Eyeless scorpions tend to dwell in caves and rely on sensory hairs.

Scorpions use different ways of hunting

Like all arachnids, scorpions have special body parts that help them hunt. Pedipalps (claws-claws) help them grab prey and protect themselves from predators, and four pairs of legs located behind the pedipalps give the scorpion the ability to quickly pursue its prey.

They are very patient hunters, sitting motionless for hours in one place, waiting for prey to approach. They usually guard the victim at their burrow with open pedipalps and a raised sting. Other individuals can lure prey with the help of collected food, and some species can even pull out traps in the sand. Scorpions have such sensitive hairs on their pedipalps that they can even find and grab insects in flight.

Their tiny mouth is adapted only to sucking up liquids

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

As soon as the victim is within reach, it is grabbed with pincers and crushed. Most scorpions only use their venomous stings when absolutely necessary, as it takes a lot of energy to produce venom. Younger and smaller individuals use their sting more often than older and larger scorpions.

Powerful pedipalps convey crushed prey to the chelicerae, the mouthparts of the scorpion. Chelicerae have their own pincers, which serve to tear off small pieces from the prey. The food is then dissolved in the preoral cavity by enzymes, after which it is finally absorbed in liquid form by the scorpion. This process may take up to an hour.

Scorpions do not eat every day

Scorpions are nocturnal hunters, so they hide during the day and are most active at night. They play an important role in their ecosystem by keeping a low population of small vertebrates and invertebrates. They feed mainly on insects, especially crickets and cockroaches, spiders, mice and lizards. Usually scorpions go hunting at least once every two to three weeks. Some species in drier habitats are able to go without food for up to 12 months. How is this possible? It turns out these tiny arachnids have fat pads on their exoskeleton that make them resistant to water loss. They can also slow down their metabolism when food is scarce.

The body of a scorpion is covered with many tiny sensory hairs

Scorpions have “pectins” along their belly that can best be described as sensory ridges. These ridge-like organs have fine sensory hairs and nerve ramifications that detect surface vibration and determine the proximity of objects. Peculiar tactile organs warn the avid hunter of prey or danger. Males also use pectins to find an available female, and newborns use them to recognize their mother.

Scorpions do not have a true tail

Photo: ePhotocorp / Getty Images

The abdomen of a scorpion consists of 12 segments, the last five of which (the metasoma) are commonly referred to as the tail. The tail of a scorpion curves up and over its head, unlike other creatures whose tails are usually tilted towards the ground. At the end of the abdomen is the bulbous telson, which houses the glands that produce the notorious scorpion venom. At the end of the telson is a curved sharp sting, with which arthropods stab the victim, opponent or unwilling partner.

Scorpion venom can contain up to 45 different toxins

All scorpions produce venom, but only 25 species are considered dangerous to human life. The sting of most scorpions is enough to kill an insect or spider, but healthy adults will easily survive it, although the bite will be very unpleasant. Expect severe radiating pain near the bite site. Some people describe it as burning skin. Numbness and tingling are also common symptoms. The worst reactions (especially in young children) include difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, vomiting, drooling, and muscle twitching.

The first and subsequent scorpion stings contain different toxins. The former is usually strong enough to stun vertebrate prey or predators; subsequent bites are deadly to insects, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Some animals, such as meerkats and mongooses, are immune or resistant to their venom.

In addition, scorpions can control the amount of venom released with each bite, so some stings are less venomous or contain no venom. It is generally accepted that the amount of poison secreted by a scorpion depends on what danger, in his opinion, he is.

Scorpions glow in ultraviolet light

Photo: Kelsey Dody

When ultraviolet light hits the proteins in a scorpion’s exoskeleton, they glow a blue-green fluorescent color and become visible to the naked eye. The purpose of this glow is still unknown and is widely discussed in the scientific community. Some scientists believe that this helps scorpions locate their congeners. Others think the glow is used to confuse prey, or perhaps a reaction to the natural “sunscreen” that ordinary desert dwellers produce. Either way, it’s cool and useful for spotting scorpion nests around human dwellings.

There are pseudo-scorpions

Oddly enough, there are a few arachnids that are difficult to distinguish from scorpions. One example of a pseudo-scorpion is the solpuga (also known as the wind scorpion, camel spider), which is considered neither a spider nor a scorpion. While it cannot sting, it is capable of delivering a nasty bite, often resulting in an allergic reaction. Salpugs have the characteristic claw-shaped pedipalps of a scorpion, but lack a true tail and the ability to produce venom.

Whip scorpion may look like a black scorpion, but instead of a stinging tail, it has a whip used for defense. It can shoot acetic acid at its prey. There are also numerous other scorpion spiders, most of which are extremely beneficial to the environment, primarily because they eat cockroaches.

The male locates the female by her scent

Mating rituals vary from species to species, but in general, if the female is interested, the male invites her to a courtship dance: he grabs the female’s pedipalps and spins her around in a choreographed dance. The pair raises the metasomes over the back, touching or gently hitting each other, but not pinching. This dance can last from several minutes to several hours.

Photo: Paul Starosta / Getty Images

The male touches the ground with his pectins to find a flat surface on which to deposit his sperm packet, called the spermatophore. Then he brings the female to the bag, which she inserts into the genital opening. After that, the male immediately retreats, because an overly aggressive female may decide that a tasty snack will come out of him!

Scorpions are viviparous

Unlike most other arthropods, female scorpions give birth to live young 2-18 months after mating, depending on the species. The brood consists of 25-50 cubs. Newborns are similar to miniature adults except for coloration, a hard body, and the ability to sting or eat. The cubs immediately climb onto the mother’s back, where they remain for three weeks before the first molt. At this time, they absorb food from the yolk sac, their mother carefully guards them.

Most juveniles, after the first molt, crawl away to develop their own territories.