Description: Scorpions are members of the order Scorpionida. Familiar in the South and West, scorpions somewhat resemble miniature lobsters – they have lobsterlike pincers, but their long upcurved “tail” ends in a poisonous stinger.
- These medium-sized to large arachnids, 1 5/8-5″ (40-127 mm) long, have a compact cephalothorax that is broadly joined to a long, 12-segmented abdomen; in fact the last 5 segments of the abdomen are really the “tail.” Scorpions have 2 eyes in the center of the cephalothorax and 2-5 eyes on each side. A few species are blind. The small jaws or chelicerae, have 3 segments.Nocturnal, scorpions use their poisonous stinger to kill spiders and large insects.
- Females give birth to living young that resemble tiny adults. The young ride on the back of the female until they molt for the first time. Then the young become solitary and catch their own prey. They grow slowly, some taking as long as 5 years to become adults. Most scorpions are not dangerous and do not attack people. If disturbed, they will inflict a sting that can cause painful swelling, but the poison of most North American species is not lethal to people. In Egypt and other tropical and subtropical countries where scorpions sting people frequently, an antivenin has been developed. In ancient times the scorpion’s sting was feared almost as much as the lion’s bite. So revered was this animal that it was given a place in the zodiac. The families are distinguished by the shape of the breastplate and the number of spurs between the last 2 abdominal segments. There are more than 70 species in North America, out of 1,500 to 2,000 worldwide.
- Warning: All scorpions possess a sting which is normally used for capturing and subduing prey. When handled roughly or stepped on they may sting in self-defense. The venom of this species is not considered dangerous to humans.