Scorpions are fascinating creatures that have been around for millions of years. They are predatory arachnids that are easily recognized by their curved tails and venomous stingers.
Scorpions are found on every continent except Antarctica and are most common in deserts. There are around 2,000 species of scorpions worldwide, but only a few are venomous and even fewer are deadly to humans.
In this article, we will explore six of the deadliest types of scorpions, their habitats, and the effects of their venom on humans.
6 Deadly Types Of Scorpions
The deathstalker scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus) is one of the most dangerous species of scorpions in the world. It is also known as the Palestine yellow scorpion, Omdurman scorpion, and Naqab desert scorpion, among other colloquial names.
The deathstalker scorpion is native to North Africa and the Middle East, and it is commonly found in desert regions. Its venom is a powerful mixture of neurotoxins, which can cause severe pain, paralysis, and even death.
The venom of the deathstalker scorpion is so potent that it is used in medical research to develop drugs for treating diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
The deathstalker scorpion’s venom is also one of the most expensive liquids in the world, costing $39 million per gallon. Despite its deadly reputation, most people recover from deathstalker stings following the administration of antivenom.
Arizona Bark Scorpion
The Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) is a small, light brown scorpion that is common to the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
It is the only scorpion species in the United States that is considered deadly. The Arizona bark scorpion can grow up to 8 cm in length for males and 7 cm for females.
It has a slender body, two pincer-like appendages called pedipalps, and a curled tail with a stinger at the end. The venom of the Arizona bark scorpion can cause severe pain, numbness, convulsions, and breathing difficulties, and it can be fatal to young children and the elderly.
Arizona bark scorpions are nocturnal and can be found in many places, including under rocks, in rock crevices, in trees, high on rock walls, and even inside people’s homes. They are eaten by a wide variety of animals, such as pallid bats, birds, reptiles, and other vertebrates.
If you live in an area where Arizona bark scorpions are present, it’s important to take precautions to avoid being stung, such as wearing protective clothing and shoes, shaking out clothing and bedding before use, and sealing cracks and crevices in your home.
The fat-tailed scorpion, also known as the fattail scorpion, is a dangerous group of scorpion species in the world. The fat-tailed scorpion belongs to the genus Androctonus, which was first described in 1828 by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg.
They are found throughout the semi-arid and arid regions of the Middle East and Africa. The fat-tailed scorpion is moderate in size, attaining lengths of 10 cm (just under 4 in), and has a distinctly fat metasoma, or tail, which gives it its common name.
The venom of the fat-tailed scorpion contains powerful neurotoxins and is especially potent. Stings from Androctonus species are known to cause several symptoms, including severe pain, swelling, and breathing difficulties, and can be fatal.
There are several species of fat-tailed scorpions, including the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus crassicauda) and the black fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus bicolor).
The black fat-tailed scorpion is less venomous than its relative, the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion, and is considered non-life-threatening.
Spitting Thicktail Black Scorpion
The spitting thicktail black scorpion, also known as the Parabuthus transvaalicus, is a species of venomous scorpion found in semi-arid parts of southern Africa.
It is also known as the black thick-tailed scorpion or the giant deathstalker. The spitting thicktail black scorpion is one of the most dangerous scorpions in Africa and is known for its ability to spit venom.
Its venom contains a potent neurotoxin that can cause severe pain, swelling, and breathing difficulties, and it can be fatal. The spitting thicktail black scorpion is nocturnal and rests in a shallow burrow under rocks during the day.
It grows to a length of 90-110 millimeters (3.5-4.3 inches) and is dark brown or black in color, with a thickened tail and a sting segment as wide as the rest of the tail.
The spitting thicktail black scorpion is one of the most toxic and dangerous scorpions in South Africa.
Yellow Fattail Scorpion
The yellow fattail scorpion (Androctonus australis) is a medium-sized scorpion that can grow up to 10 centimeters in length. It is a hardy desert scorpion found in North Africa, Somaliland, the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.
The yellow fattail scorpion is also known as the yellow fat-tailed scorpion. The genus Androctonus, to which the yellow fattail scorpion belongs, is one of the most dangerous groups of scorpion species in the world.
The yellow fattail scorpion is a burrowing scorpion that can withstand sandstorms powerful enough to strip paint off steel, without any apparent damage. Its armor is covered with dome-shaped granules that are 10 μm (0.0004 in) high and 25–80 μm (0.0010–0.0031 in) across, which protect it from sandstorms.
The venom of the yellow fattail scorpion contains powerful neurotoxins and is especially potent. Stings from Androctonus species are known to cause several symptoms, including severe pain, swelling, and breathing difficulties, and can be fatal.
Brazilian Yellow Scorpion
The Brazilian yellow scorpion (Tityus serrulatus) is a species of scorpion that is native to Brazil and is considered the most dangerous scorpion in South America.
Its venom is extremely toxic and can cause severe pain, swelling, and breathing difficulties, and it is responsible for the most fatal cases of scorpion stings in Brazil.
Adult specimens typically measure between 5-7 cm (2-3 in) in length and have a pale-yellow coloration on their legs and pedipalps, with a darker shade of yellowish-brown on the trunk, fingers, and tip of the tail.
The Brazilian yellow scorpion is a burrowing scorpion that is usually parthenogenetic. It is widely found throughout Brazil and is becoming increasingly common in urban areas, including the city of São Paulo, where scorpion stings have increased threefold over the last two decades.
The Brazilian yellow scorpion is also used in medical research to develop drugs for treating diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
1. What are scorpions?
Scorpions are arachnids that have been around for millions of years. They have four pairs of legs, an exoskeleton, and two main body parts – a thorax and abdomen. Scorpions are characterized by a pair of pincers and a curved, multi-segmented tail that ends in a stinger for injecting paralyzing venom into their prey.
2. How many types of scorpions are there?
There are around 2,000 types of scorpions worldwide, but only a few are venomous and even fewer are deadly to humans.
3. What are the deadliest types of scorpions?
The six deadliest types of scorpions are the deathstalker scorpion, Arizona bark scorpion, fat-tailed scorpion, spitting thicktail black scorpion, yellow fattail scorpion, and Brazilian yellow scorpion.
4. Where are these scorpions found?
These scorpions are found in various parts of the world, including North Africa, the Middle East, South America, and southern Africa.
5. What are the symptoms of a scorpion sting?
Scorpion stings can cause severe pain, swelling, and breathing difficulties. In some cases, scorpion stings can be fatal, especially to young children and the elderly.
6. How can I avoid being stung by a scorpion?
To avoid being stung by a scorpion, wear protective clothing and shoes, shake out clothing and bedding before use, and seal cracks and crevices in your home. If you live in an area where scorpions are present, it’s important to take precautions to avoid being stung.