What a shock it is to turn a rock over and find a scorpion in the classic defensive position rapidly turning towards whatever activity presents itself. Solidly placed on its eight legs, the tail in the air and claws ready, a deadly combination of weapons. It leaves one thankful that we aren’t of equal size.
As a kid I remember being stung by a white scorpion with small claws. We regarded these as being more venomous purely on the logic of claw size versus potency of venom. We argued that if it didn’t have the strength to hold its prey then it must rely on venom to neutralize it. The sting itself felt like a cigarette burn and left me with a fairly solid headache for a while. There are scorpions that can kill a human, one of which must rank among the most deadly is the Indian Red Scorpion which occur across most of India into parts of Pakistan and Nepal.
The symptoms, subject to the amount of venom received include fluid on the lungs, heart problems and discoloration of the skin. However, if a hypertension drug (prazosin) is administered the likelihood of dying from the sting drops to about 4%. All well and good, that is unless you are part of the 4%!
Other dangerous scorpions are the Bark Scorpion, Death Stalker Scorpion, Arabian Fat Tailed Scorpion and Striped Bark Scorpions.
Scorpions are predatory animals of the class arachnida, making them related to spiders. They are nocturnal and use their claws to grasp their prey and if the insect or animal is large enough to warrant it, they sting the prey. They typically eat insects, centipedes and even other scorpions but fall prey to mammals such as bats, shrews and other rodents.
A strange and unexplained fact about scorpions is that they glow under an ultra violet light.
If you live in an area with scorpions, one finds them in the house from time to time, typically in the bath. scorpions can climb up most surfaces.
So, how do we keep scorpions out of the house? Apparently cinnamon, lavender and cleaning with bleach all helps. Vinegar can help deter not only scorpions but also spiders. The best in my opinion is to get a cat.
It is believed that the male scorpion finds the female through a pheromone that she releases. Once they find each other they hold each others claws and walk or dance together. If the female is agitated the male may drug her using a small amount of his venom.
Once mating has occurred it takes anything from nine to eighteen months before the young are born. Scorpions are live bearers and can have up to 100 babies! Once the babies are born they ride on their mothers back for ten to twenty days during which time their skin hardens.
Most scorpions reach maturity between one and three years and live up to six years. Scorpions eat a lot of food at a sitting and are able to slow their metabolism right down so could live for up to a year without eating.
The again, its not always a one sided meal, especially in china where they are regarded as something of a delicacy…