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Author Topic: Scorpions: "Only the little ones are dangerous"
Cactus Wren
Jingle Bell Hock


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After receiving two scorpion stings and one near-sting in the space of four months, I did some research on scorpions. I'm trying to reconcile the facts with a bit of "folk wisdom" I've heard: the notion that small scorpions as a group are more dangerous than large ones -- and the smaller, the more dangerous.

The only lethal species in North America (according to several first-aid and wildlife websites) is the bark scorpion, Centruroides exilicauda, which is less than two inches long. Larger species such as the giant hairy desert scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis (up to six inches long), look more threatening but are actually less dangerous.

I think this fact has been "smoothed over" in the folklore: "The only really dangerous species is one of the smaller ones" has been boiled down to "The smaller scorpions are more dangerous than the large ones", and from there to "The smaller they are, the more poisonous". And more than once, I've heard an odd extrapolation on this: the notion that baby scorpions are more dangerous than adults. This is sometimes connected to a vague assertion that the venom is stronger in baby scorpions, and is somehow "diluted" as they grow.

Comments? Has anyone heard any scorpion or scorpion-venom legends?

[ 29. November 2004, 11:47 AM: Message edited by: snopes ]

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Nell
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have heard the same thing in my country: the smaller scorpions are more poisonous, because the venome dilutes when they grow.

I think they are also legends about the relationship between the venom and the scorpion's color. I'm not sure, because there are no scorpions where I live, but I'll ask someone.

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
Jingle Bell Hock


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There are two things at work here:

1) A smaller scorpion is going to be at risk from many more predators. It is evolutionarily advantageous, therefore, to have stronger venom.

2) There is a theory that a young scorpion has not 'learned' how to control the amount of venom injected. This leads to more venom than necessary being injected, therefore, 'stronger'. The same has been hypothesized about young venomous snakes. Youngsters react with an all or nothing injection of venom. Adults have better control on how much, if any, venom to inject.

James Powell

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I thought it depended on the type of the beast.

Snakes for instance: Some snakes are not poisonous, some are poisonous but doesn't kill you if seek attention asap, Some are extremely poisonous and kills after contact within the few minutes depending on how much you weigh. And then there's the swallowing part of the snakes. Anacondas as the movie showed, can swallow the whole man to lay it's eggs.

Like Scorpions. Depending on it's type can tell you the lethal it performs.

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Joseph Z

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Vesta
We Three Blings


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Hmmmm. I've never heard that in regards to scorpians before, just snakes. (Isn't it lovely that one of those evil buggers has Arizona right in the name?) It seems plausable that younger animal might have less control of their venom.

FWIW Cactus Wren, I always used raw onion on scorpian stings, made them feel much better. You have my commiserations.

Vesta

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I love scorpions, and used to play with them as a kid in Turkey, and there are some very dangerous beasties in this part of the world - in fact the middle east and N.Africa are home to most of the potentially deadly species -–though Jay’s Scorpion Circus was rarely occupied by deadly species – which is good because I got tagged a few times I can tell ya! [Wink]

I used to be quite knowledgeable around these arachnids but most of the stuff I learned has slipped away, though I do remember one useful bit of advice – the dangerous scorpies have thin pincers and thick tails, the thin tailed/thick clawed numbers are not considered problematic.

This looks like an informed scorpy page, which mentions the size thing too..

http://www.szgdocent.org/ff/f-scorp.htm

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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[hijack] Good lord Jay Tea, everytime I think you can't appear more intriguing you come up with something like, "I love scorpions, and used to play with them as a kid in Turkey". As a dull American girl who grew up in a small suburb of Boston, who's most interesting vacations were to New Hampshire, I'm jealous! I had to content myself with playing with the occasional cluster of earthworms and baby toads. [Big Grin] [/hijack]

Back on topic though, I honestly can't add much as my only experiences with scorpions were when I looked up pictures of them online so I could design my tattoo.

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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You have a scorpion tattoo Syl'? Can i see? [Wink]

Yeah we lived in Turkey for a while but all I remember was living on an Air Force base, much like a lot of others, only hotter, and with cooler bugs to play with [Wink] My only other experience with them outside of tanks was in N.Africa, slightly more glamorous as we were motorcycling the endless tarmac of the saharan fringe and we had to carefully check our equipment and expell any visitors - desert environments are not the best place to get tagged by a nasty....

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I actually believe I posted my scorpion tattoo before in one of the tattoo threads. If I ever finally get over to the UK, you can be first in line for a private viewing. [Wink]

I think the most dangerous critters around here that I have to worry about are these guys. [Wink]

Syl "Just big furry scorpions really" lavus

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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I'd get an iguana if I could, but I wouldn't have time to feed or care for it in my hours.

Tried birds and they stank up my house and could barely care for them.

Cats and Dogs on the other hand I can handle and tame. Least the dog is easy since she's small, and I can pick her up when I submit to the floor. [Big Grin]

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Joseph Z

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Rainmom
Deck the Malls


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My daughter calls them "Devil's lobsters"! Straight from the gates of hell!! She was stung on the foot by a bark scorpion, no worse than a bee sting. From what I have read, they can live for a long time without food or water. We had our house sealed to prevent them from coming in.

Rainmom

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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Wouldn't something and I'll bold this similar to ant spray work against scorps to rid/kill them off?

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Joseph Z

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DesertRat
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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HERE I AM... ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE....


Oh, wait, wrong Scorpions...

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
Wouldn't something and I'll bold this similar to ant spray work against scorps to rid/kill them off?

Automotive brake cleaner spray...best insecticide known to man (at least this man). Makes wasps instantly drop dead in mid-flight, that's for sure. Better that Raid by far.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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Speaker for the Dead
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
Wouldn't something and I'll bold this similar to ant spray work against scorps to rid/kill them off?

Automotive brake cleaner spray...best insecticide known to man (at least this man). Makes wasps instantly drop dead in mid-flight, that's for sure. Better that Raid by far.
My Dad, a multiclass doctor/farmer, told me that Raid is much weaker than it once was. His Knowledge (insecticide) check could have failed, but it seems plausible. If so, are there any good sprays I could find to kill off anything tough enough to survive a Canadian winter?
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Chiun
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's true that young snakes have less control over how much venom they inject on an bite than do adults, but young snakes only have a very small fraction of the venom that adults have. So, while a youngster may always completely envenomate, an adult can give give several times as much if they feel like it.
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Island Manta
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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There are various scorpion sprays & powders out there. When I happened to see one right beside my toilet (in the bathroom) I almost freaked out. IIRC Pyrethrin is the active ingredient that kills them - and it's in spider spray. When I saw that one (and have seen another since then, and my roommae has seen one as well lately) I sprayed it with....hm....lysol [Embarrassed]

As far as who's sting is stronger - I don't know, nor do I want to find out [Wink]

-k

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"You never know when you will be attacked by a wild tortilla" - José Zavala
"Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat"
Be good and you will be lonesome

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