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The Stinging Scorpion

A Stinging Scorpion Dared Enter The Home

The human eye is designed and effective, when healthy and operable, towards picking up movement. Last night while I was next door talking to my Mother about this and that, I suddenly stopped mid sentence for having noticed something, but I didn't know what it was just then.

Why look at that little DEVIL!

My emphasis on the word "devil," of course, got my Mother's attention, and she was probably just then forming a very educated and experienced notion of just what it was I was seeing. I only weigh about a hundred and fifty pounds, but I'm a pretty fit buck fifty, and my best right footed stomp on the stinging scorpion I'd spotted by Mom's chair, and very close to her uncovered feet - had left the creature inoperable, but not yet dead. I picked him up gingerly with some toilet paper, and sent him on his way to the great septic tank in ...well, it's in the ground in the yard outside.

The Stinging Scorpion - This is the size and species of the typical Texas Stinging Scorpions.

Centruroides vittatus

Centruroides vittatus

Finding a Stinging Scorpion In My Work Boots, The Hard Way

I used to work in Dallas, Texas; and for the Dallas Independent School District. It was the single worst job that I'd ever had. If you want to learn to hate the human race - then the DISD is just the place for you to work.

Anyway - the job was horrific, and the entire place is one of the largest criminal organizations in all of the USA, so I slept as late as possible, and got up in order to rush myself ready for work. Once I was forcing on a pair of very nice boots for my job....and, well, I came out of one of those boots with such a quickness and a scream that you'd have thought the devil were inside of it. It wasn't Mephistopheles, but rather, a stinging scorpion inside my work boot.

That is Not My Leg - But Some Folks Are Allergic To Stinging Scorpion Venom


The Deathstalker Of Israel - A Nasty Critter, But The Name Is A Bit Of An Exaggeration

Now, I'll not have you think the stinging scorpion my least favorite bug, it isn't. My least favorite bug under the Sun is actually the red wasp, and his cousin the yellow jacket is my second least favorite bug. I'm certain those two fiends and the stinging scorpions all fill valid ecological roles, but for the life of me - I don't care.

For the record - I'm not allergic to the stinging scorpion's venom, not the kind that live here in Texas. I'm somewhat allergic to red and yellow wasp's stinging poison, and I do sometimes swell and turn purple as a result of those satan spawn insects, but maybe I shouldn't be complaining much? I'm not allergic, and here in Texas - our scorpions are mere annoyances when compared to some scorpions that live in other parts of the world. The Deathstalker comes to mind here - that scorpion looks very similar in shape and colour to the ones living here in Texas, but the sting and toxins transferred therein are quite a lot different. Though The Deathstalker scorpion that lives in Israel and the greater Palestine area can kill someone, most adults, if healthy, would not die from it's sting, they'd only be very sorry for having been stung.

The Deathstalker Scorpion of Palestine (Leiurus quinquestriatus)


The World's Deadliest Scorpion

The Stinging Scorpion

Of course stinging scorpions are not insects, but rather, stinging scorpions are arachnids. All stinging scorpions look very similar - but size and color is the chief difference in these bugs. There are twenty five separate species of stinging scorpion with venom enough to kill a human being. While you may read this and think twenty five deadly species of scorpion is a lot - then please let me help you out with a bit more perspective: There are fourteen hundred species of scorpion in this world - so a mere twenty five deadly species isn't so bad.

Thanks to the wonders of maritime transportation - all major land masses save Antarctica now are populated with stinging scorpions. How fortunate the British were to have no scorpions to speak of - how horrified they must have been when these super nasty and hideously repulsive bugs were first noticed living among them! The scorpions of the United Kingdom - located on the Isle of Sheppey are completely harmless. Well played, you Brits - you must have saw it coming, and picked the least dangerous species.

Globally, there are scorpions for all climates. Some prefer caves, others prefer trees, there are scorpions that prefer rocks, and scorpions that live in thick forests.

The Asian Forest Scorpion


Bothriuridae - An example from a family of stinging scorpion

This scorpion of Patagonia can tolerate extreme cold temperatures.

This scorpion of Patagonia can tolerate extreme cold temperatures.

Euscorpius - A Genus Of Scorpion

This Central European scorpion can tolerate very low temperatures, and is often referred to as a "wood scorpion."

This Central European scorpion can tolerate very low temperatures, and is often referred to as a "wood scorpion."

The Lives of Stinging Scorpions

Stinging scorpions may well be almost all over the planet Earth, but there is a ton of information that we simply do not know about them. The facts are that even basic information such as the life spans of various and sundry species of scorpion - is all just conjecture. It is not known in most cases, but scorpions tend to live quite a long time. Reported life spans for stinging scorpions are between four and thirty years.

Hadrurus arizonensis the largest of the scorpions in North America is known to live lives of twenty five years. The good news about the giant desert scorpion of the Americas is that it eats lots of it's kin folks.

Some things that are known about all scorpions is that they are all nocturnal, and they all give birth to live baby scorpions that live on their mother's back for weeks prior to setting off on their own scorpion lives.

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While all scorpions prefer to live in climates with temperatures of around sixty eight to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, there are many species that can tolerate sub freezing temperatures and scorching desert heat.

The major benefit stinging scorpions provide to this world is that of sustenance - yes, that is correct, scorpions make great food. No no, do not shudder - I'm not talking about human cuisine - but yes indeed, scorpions are often eaten by people, and well they should be - but rather, many a bird enjoys the taste and flavor of stinging scorpions. Here at the Shaw farm our chickens absolutely love scorpions, and possibly they are the very favorite treat a chicken can have. Centipedes, lizards, mice, possums, and rats all love to dine on scorpion too.

Hadrurus arizonensis - A Long Lived North American Stinging Scorpion Species


Scorpions - Their Unique Manner Of Eating

Stinging scorpions are opportunistic predators one and all - but what is truly unique about these nasty little critters is the way in which they eat. Of course the obvious thing is that these scorpions use their large lobster like pinchers to catch their prey, and they use their neurotoxin injecting tail to kill the prey for food. Small lizards and mice can even be killed and consumed by larger stinging scorpions. Of course we've already went over how humans can be killed by scorpions - but I think we are largely too large and the scenarios rather far fetched in which a human is consumed as food for any scorpion - or overly large party of scorpions. I'd like to not have this last bit of idea tested.

The following paragraph is a copy and paste job from Wikipedia. I'm using this method as it is simple and the text includes the links needed for anyone wishing to further investigate the semi unique way in which scorpions consume their victuals:

Scorpions have a relatively unique style of eating using chelicerae, small claw-like structures that protrude from the mouth that are unique to the Chelicerata among arthropods. The chelicerae, which are very sharp, are used to pull small amounts of food off the prey item for digestion into a pre-oral cavity below the chelicerae and carapace. Scorpions can only ingest food in a liquid form; they have external digestion. The digestive juices from the gut are egested onto the food and the digested food sucked in liquid form. Any solid indigestible matter (fur, exoskeleton, etc.) is trapped by setae in the pre-oral cavity, which is ejected by the scorpion.

Scorpion and Snake Wine - Chinese Analgesic Elixir!


Eating Stinging Scorpions

Literally, I hate stinging scorpions, and I am very quick to kill each and every last one of them that I see. I've laid in bed next door at the Shaw residence when I lived in there and saw those things crawling across the ceiling. They are common in Texas - and they can crawl up your walls and across your ceiling here - no problems at all there for the scorpions. It is said that because stinging scorpions tend to live in the Earth - under rocks and such - that whenever construction in an area is going on that it drives the scorpions about looking for new dwelling places. I tend to doubt this as they are always somewhat present regardless.

I've never found a scorpion in my travel trailer home - maybe being a bit off the ground precludes them from being interested. Certainly there is nothing in my tiny home for a scorpion to eat, and only death awaits them here in my domain. I'd much rather squash them and see them die than even bother walking one out to the chickens for a quick peck to death and bird dining scene.

Rather than go on and on about mundane science that would possibly bore you silly concerning the proteins that make up scorpion toxins - I'd rather leave you with the notion that scorpions can be made use of. Which came first, was it the chicken or the egg? I don't care - the chickens eat scorpions and I eat the chicken's eggs.

© 2012 Wesman Todd Shaw


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on June 29, 2014:

I figure the anti-venom cost ten bucks to make...but when all the middle men are paid, it's only a few thousand for consumers! Isn't insurance wonderful? :D

Lorenzo on June 28, 2014:

Hey, I have not seen much written on the "Bark Scorpion", famous in AZ for having a really powerful sting!!!! Also, nobody seems to focus on the prices of "Anti-venom" here in the U.S.A. versus the other countries like Mexico... The price here in AZ was $1000's more than across the border.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on July 31, 2012:

Thanks very much Pretty Housewife!!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder if where you live not so very far away - you have the same scorpions about as I do here?

I've smashed a ton of them between my tiny home and my folk's house next door this Summer, and especially in the evenings.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 30, 2012:

Fascinating! I love scorpions...I have a tat of one on the top of my left foot:) lol They can kill but usually don't...just like me:) hahhaha j/k

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 14, 2012:

Thanks very much, Sir!!!!!

There are just too many dang scorpions to talk about all of them and still have a readable page....well, unless someone is just a bug nut!

epigramman on April 13, 2012:

..this is the ultimate and definitive SCORPION hub to be sure and I just posted your entire hub homepage to our music and cinema group at FB with a direct link back here so hopefully more people can appreciate and admire the great work you are doing here - lake erie time 12:29am ontario canada

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 09, 2012:

You've got that right, Sir!!!! People are unpredictable!!!

Glad to see you online here again. I need to get back into writing more purely controversial things again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've got one coming up sometime that I hope you'll like or find interesting!

Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on April 09, 2012:

Glad to hear you went to church. I guess you can say your job is conditional. At the very least, you know what to expect from scorpions, wasps and spiders; people are much more unpredictable. Good luck, hopefully this will lead to you getting additional orders.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 08, 2012:

Jason - I'm TRULY thankful to have never been bitten by a brown recluse. Those things are all over the place here, and I see them fairly often, but as of yet haven't been bitten by one.

Hey - I went to church today, and got offered a very nice part time job at a very good rate of pay! You could say I got blessed, but the job (hvac repairs) - will put me squarely back into the daily path of scorpions, wasps and spiders!

Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on April 08, 2012:

Hey Wes, when I lived in Arizona, those Bark Scorpions are mean little ninja's. They are one of the rare species that can climb walls and ceilings. When a big monsoon rolled through town, these critters would get stirred up and make their way inside our home. Once when grabbing my dogs bed, I happened to put my hand right on top of one of these bastards. Wow, what a sharp and quick sting. Luckily all the pain and discomfort went away within hours. Sure felt like I was holding my heart in my hand the way the pressure and pain throbbed. I can say I been there and done that, oh yeah, Brown Recluse, done that too, much worse than a scorpion. Good writing mate. Get a black light for your shoes…lol.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

ICK!!!!!!!!!! I totally agree with that statement!!!!!!!!! ICK!

Sondra from Neverland on April 07, 2012:

Ok ok ok. As long as I don't see a scorpion I'm all over singing! And yes, yes my brother is indeed freaky. He also had one of those 8 inch long millipede things that was fatter than my thumb and hissing cockroaches. He and his girlfriend had an exotic pet store in WA. Ick.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 07, 2012:

Corsicana - Cross eyed banana

Don't ask me. That's what they used to call it.

Christopher - What did you do with the babies?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 07, 2012:

Gosh Chris - no paternity tests eh? You sure there weren't nocturnal visitations? That thing might have been walking the street even - and sneaking back home with that innocent look on it's face...

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on April 07, 2012:

You can buy them in exotic pet stores. I was given mine as a present. She lived in a vivarium for about two years and had about twenty babies.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 06, 2012:


That is funny - but what specifically did she refer to as that?

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 06, 2012:

My sisters used to call it Cross-eyed Banana. LOL

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 06, 2012:

Heck yeah! I don't doubt any of that. Corsicana, Texas - is the idiot community where Iron Maiden photos was "proof of satanism" used to murder Cameron Todd Willingham!!!

One must know intellectual depravity before one can know the light when they see it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 06, 2012:

Yep, Corsicana is a hop, skip and a jump from you. It's a pretty creepy town stuck back somewhere in the 1950s. I have heard some amazing tales of odd behavior in that town.

I have heard that War Admiral (the racehorse) is buried there, that my great Aunt once owned a whole town near there and that it is still the Texas hub for the Klan.

Probably many of these tales are BS but I always felt very odd living among those oddballs.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 06, 2012:

LOL! Well you aren't too far away then - I can't recall the last time I've been to Denison, but I'm forever hearing about the place on the news or on the radio!!!


Brandon E Newman from North Texas on April 06, 2012:

We have scorps in Denison too. Don't see em much, but we have em. So, Rattlesnake Tequila is more than just a song. I learn something every day- if only a new word from the NYT xword. I had to google-cheat today- Friday puzzles can be a real booger.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Ardie I don't keep scorpions in my little trailer home!!!!!! You can come visit MEeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

We'll drink beer and sing "Kum Bye Ya" and ....and....and not see any scorpions!

Also, your brother is a freak - just sayin'

Sondra from Neverland on April 05, 2012:

I am disturbed and I will not be traveling in your direction like...ever. Scorpions give me the heebidy-jeebies. My big brother has a giant scorpion he keeps in a huge tank and when I go visit him this summer I will not be staying at his house. No way no how. Nice Hub though

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Hey thanks Alastar Packer!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I'd imagine that most of the Southern States have the same scorpion - the last full sized photo of a scorpion on this hub is the one that is dominant in the Arizona and New Mexico desert - I didn't fixate much on venom.

I know there are some others besides the Deathstalker that I could have mentioned and pictured that have massive and deadly venom.

With fourteen hundred species of scorpion - WOW! It would be very difficult to get too deep into the subject without ....going nuts and making a five to ten thousand word hub - and my experience here is that 3,000 words is the very top end for an internet reader's attention span.

So while I wanted to write about scorpions for my own satisfaction - I'd have drove myself sort of crazy trying to get too into it, and also creating a "decent" web page about it.

So many compromises to face in online web page creation.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on April 05, 2012:

To be honest about it Wesman I don't care either. Awesome Scorp hub you've written. Must have had some serious trouble with the little devils in a previous life 'cause of the intense interest in them since forever. Even named my Scout patrol Scorpion. Dislike the creepys which is funny 'cause i love snakes. Anyway, in the Georgia Mts. they look just like your Texas stingers. Isn't there one in Ariz.-N.Mex. that has some pretty potent venom?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

CORSICANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That isn't far from where I live - I dunno, forty miles or so.

I don't think I'd want to live there - but then again I doubt I'd ever pick my hometown as a place to live either.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 05, 2012:

Born and raised in Houston. I did spend a little time in this crazy town called Corsicana. My mom was from there. But mostly I learned to drive at 14 and haven't let my feet hit the ground since.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Aw.....I thought you was one of them thar country gals!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 05, 2012:

WTS - I am a total city girl. I don't know nothing about raising no chickens.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Austinstar - all ya gotta do is raise chickens! Anyone that raises chickens winds up with all kinds of extra roosters - you just let the extra roosters go free range around the house - and they'll find and eat ALL those scorpions!!!!!!!!!! :;

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 05, 2012:

I totally HATE scorpions. Apparently, my house was built over the largest colony of brown stinging scorpions in the state of Texas.

I've had two of the little demons sting me in bed. Since then, I pay an exterminator to come out here every 3 months to spray. It seems to work.

Now, I have heard that scorpions eat red ant eggs. Well, that is very darn nice of them, but I wish the red ants would eat them!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Thanks very much, Maw Maw - let us get some beer so that I can attempt to sell guitars today on Xobba Tribune!

Maw Maw Pat on April 05, 2012:

Great article Todd--very interesting! Great relief is felt in knowing the deadly type do not live in our domain. I think the reason chickens are not stung is because they are so selfish--chickens run like crazy and gang up on any new food introduced into their pen. The funniest sight I ever saw was those chickens fighting over grasshoppers when I emptied a can full into their pen!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Hey JKenny, did you see the bit about the scorpions on the Isle of Sheppey? Supposedly that marks the furthest North that scorpions live in the entire world - they'd got their by boat, of course, and weren't native to the U.K.

I think the chickens are immune maybe? In any case - the chickens are hundreds of times faster moving than any scorpion around here

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 05, 2012:

Hey Chris!!! Where the heck did you get one of those things for a pet? Pet store?

These we have here in Texas are very small - full grown with their tail stretched out, I'd say they get about two inches long.

Chickens can move incredibly quick at times! I dunno if they are immune to the sting or not - but they don't waste time, if they see a scorpion they seem to just instantly peck/eat the thing on instinct!

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on April 05, 2012:

Hey Wes, great article. Fortunately we don't have scorpions here in Britain, the only time I've ever seen one is behind the plexi-gass of a tank in a zoo, and even then they look frightening. I was actually thinking the same thing as christopher; How do your chickens avoid being stung?

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on April 04, 2012:

I used to have a pet Asian Forest Scorpion. I got quite fond of her after a while. Watching her eat was gross though.

How do your chickens avoid being stung?

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 04, 2012:

Well as a mostly Brit DNA having sort of person - I can't help but agree!

John Harper from Malaga, Spain on April 04, 2012:

We Brits have the sting in OUR tail! our scorpions may be wimps, but we can be lethal.... as proven!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on April 04, 2012:

Oh come on now Tracy - we've only one life to live! Let us eat, drink, and enjoy scorpion/snake wine together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tracy on April 04, 2012:

Will NOT be drinking that elixir! O_o !!!

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