Scorpions have eight legs and a long tail which curls back over its body. These insects have a venomous stinger attached to their tails, which are used to disable prey. They also have a pair of claws at the front of their body. Only about 25 species are known to have venom powerful enough to kill a human; though most will cause discomfort in the wake of a sting. You can find these predators living on most continents. They belong to the Arachnida class.
Even though they have four sets of eyes, these creatures do not see very well. They can range in size from a measly one inch to a grandiose scale of fifteen inches depending on the species. Even though they are classed as Arachnids, they may eat spiders and other large insects. Some females have also been known to eat their mates after reproduction, much like the black widow spider.
Scorpion Holding a Cockroach
Scorpions prefer warmer climates for habitation. They typically live comfortably in temperatures that range from 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some species, such as the bothriurid scorpion, may survive in harsh winter climates (as little as thirteen degrees below zero Fahrenheit). This adaptable nature lends them to desert conditions particularly well, where days are blistering hot and nights are incredibly cold.
Scorpions are nocturnal predators and are considered fossorial. This means that they are able to locate shelter during daylight hours and hunt at night. Scorpions hunt and feed on live prey. They are photophobic, which means they do not like light. They can live up to an entire year without eating, which means they are particularly hardy.
Life Cycle of Scorpions
Scorpions hatch when born, and are carried on their mother’s back (known as a brood) until they are old enough to fend for themselves. Much like many other insects, scorpions also molt. This means they shed their skin to allow for rapid growth. A hatchling will often leave its mother’s side after the first molt. They are a very social species and young will often stay with their mothers for longer durations of time.
Emperor Scorpion With Babies
The size of a litter will depend greatly on the environmental conditions. In desirable conditions with an abundance of food, a female may have a larger litter size. Her litter may also show stronger endurance. Anywhere up to one hundred scorplings have been known to hatch from a single litter, but usually a litter size will be between two to eight.
Scorpions will typically molt up to eight times before they reach maturity. This process is measured in instars. Each instar phase is a developmental phase which ends in a molt. When they are freshly molted, they are highly vulnerable, because they rely on their hard shells for protection. They will continue to stretch their softer skin to make sure they are comfortable when they grow into their next shell.
Scorpions and Humans
Scorpions are sometimes feared by human. With their unusual look and venomous sting; they can inspire mixed reactions. While some people choose to keep them as exotic pets, scorpions are also eaten in certain eastern regions as a local dish.
In the Middle East, the scorpion is traditionally viewed as an incarnation. In Islam, they are promoted as protection from evil or from the dervish’s (devil’s) power. They are also one of the twelve zodiac signs. In North Africa, they are a motive used in art and in ancient Egypt, the goddess Serket was often drawn as a scorpion.
Scorpions often end up in houses where they will hide in shoes or another dark place. While most scorpions aren’t deadly there are a handful that are including the Arizona Bark scorpion. If you find one scorpion in your house chances are that there are more. It is important you read our scorpion control page for more information.
Scorpion Scientific Name: Scorpiones
Scorpions belong to the Animalia kingdom. They are part of the Arthropdoa family and belong to the sub-phylum Chelicerata. They are classed as Arachnida due to their eight legs and common characteristics of spiders. They also belong to the order of Scorpiones in their own right.They are closely related to ticks, mites and spiders.
These small creatures pack a powerful punch in their sting. This may range from an unpleasant experience to death, depending on the sting bearer. There are currently 1,500 known species, but only 20 are known to be lethal. The strength of their sting is due to venom. They excrete this venom into the wound via their tail. This venom debilitates the prey sometimes to the point of death through neurotoxins. Severe side-effects may include paralysis, convulsions and difficulties breathing or labored beating of the heart. Medical attention is generally advised, even if severe reactions are not currently present.