Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spiders, Scorpions, and What Not, Part 2: Scorpions

Scorpions are predatory arachnids of the order Scorpiones. They have eight legs can be easily identified by their pair of pedipalps that resemble pincers and their narrow, segmented tail that is often carried in the famous curved fashion and ends with a stinger. The are there are about 1750 different described species of scorpion to date, and these scorpions are separated into 13 extant families. Scorpions can range in size from 9 millimeters (Typhlochactas mitchellito 23 centimeters (Hadogenes troglodytes).

Hadogenes troglodytes

Scorpions have a direct relationship between size and venom potency. The rule is that the bigger the scorpion is, the less potent the venom they produce is. This results in several different outcomes. One of these would be that while the bigger scorpions are unreasonably feared, the smaller ones are unreasonably belittled.  Another outcome is the larger scorpions are often captured and sold as exotic pets.

Depending on the potency of the venom that the scorpion injects, a scorpion sting can have different side effects. The sting of a large scorpion would usually just result in some pain and a bit of swelling. The sting of a medium sized scorpion could result in nausea, dizziness, and other minor side effects. The sting of a small scorpion could result, depending on what the venom consists of, in paralysis, heart failure, heart attack, or even death.  A scorpion with the most potent venom is called Leiurus quinquestriatus, commonly called the deathstalker.

Leiurus quinquestraitus

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