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Scorpion
Fossil range: Silurian–Recent
Asian forest scorpion in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Dromopoda
Order: Scorpiones
C. L. Koch, 1837
Superfamilies
Pseudochactoidea
Buthoidea
Chaeriloidea
Chactoidea
Iuroidea
Scorpionoidea
See classification for families.
Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida. .There are about 2,000 species of scorpions, found widely distributed south of about 49° N, except New Zealand and Antarctica.^ There are about 50 species of Loxosceles in the Western Hemisphere, and according to W. J. Gertsch (correspondence), identification depends almost exclusively on a study of the genitalia.
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^ In 1969, this species was found in Sierra Madre, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, where about 190 spiders were collected in an 8-block area.
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^ This species occurs at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) or more elevation in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.
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The northernmost part of the world where scorpions live in the wild is Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey in the UK, where a small colony of Euscorpius flavicaudis has been resident since the 1860s.[1][2] The word scorpion derives from Greek σκορπιός – skorpios.[3]

Contents

Anatomy

.The body of a scorpion is divided into two parts: the cephalothorax (also called the prosoma) and the abdomen (opisthosoma).^ This species is 7 to 10 mm in body length, and has a pale-brown cephalothorax and white abdomen.
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The abdomen consists of the mesosoma and the metasoma.

Cephalothorax

.The cephalothorax, also called the prosoma, is the scorpion's “head”, comprising the carapace, eyes, chelicerae (mouth parts), pedipalps (claws) and four pairs of walking legs.^ Spiders have an anterior pair of pedipalps and a pair of chelicerae with horny fangs at their tips ( figure 207 ).
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^ This species is in an order (Scutigeromorpha) in which all species have 15 pairs of long legs and long antennae, and are the only centipedes with compound eyes, the others having clusters of ocelli.
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The scorpion's exoskeleton is thick and durable, providing good protection from predators. Scorpions have two eyes on the top of the head, and usually two to five pairs of eyes along the front corners of the head. The position of the eyes on the head depends in part on the hardness or softness of the soil upon which they spend their lives.[4]

Metasoma

.The metasoma, the scorpion's tail, comprises six segments (the first tail segment looks like a last mesosoman segment), the last containing the scorpion's anus and bearing the telson (the sting).^ Normally, the "tail" of a scorpion is extended horizontally, and the stinger, situated in the bulbous last segment, curves downward.
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.The telson, in turn, consists of the vesicle, which holds a pair of venom glands, and the hypodermic aculeus, the venom-injecting barb.^ Venom from modified salivary glands is injected through the hollow tips of the fangs ( figure 208 , D).
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^ Allergic reaction may result from venoms secreted in venom glands or from salivary secretions that some arthropods inject subcutaneously.
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On rare occasions, scorpions can be born with two metasomata (tails). Two-tailed scorpions are not a different species, merely a genetic abnormality.[5]

Reproduction

.Most scorpions reproduce sexually, and most species have male and female individuals.^ Mating flights of male and female ants will occur from large mounds during warm days of most months of the year (Green, 1962).
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^ The latter is the smaller of the 2 species, with both males and females averaging about 7.5 mm in length.
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^ Most males of L. hesperus weigh between 8 and 18 mg, while most of the adult females weigh between 120 and 400 mg (Kaston, 1970).
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.However, some species, such as Hottentotta hottentotta, Hottentotta caboverdensis, Liocheles australasiae, Tityus columbianus, Tityus metuendus, Tityus serrulatus, Tityus stigmurus, Tityus trivittatus, and Tityus urugayensis, reproduce through parthenogenesis, a process in which unfertilized eggs develop into living embryos.^ Centipedes are long-lived, some species living as long as 5 or 6 years.
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^ Diseases like yaws (a spirochete infection) and certain eye infections such as "pinkeye" can also be transmitted mechanically by some species of flies.
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^ The allergic response can develop only in some individuals, but anaphylactic response can be obtained in all individuals of a species.
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Parthenogenic reproduction starts following the scorpion's final moult to maturity and continues thereafter.
.Sexual reproduction is accomplished by the transfer of a spermatophore from the male to the female; scorpions possess a complex courtship and mating ritual to effect this transfer.^ Mating flights of male and female ants will occur from large mounds during warm days of most months of the year (Green, 1962).
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.Mating starts with the male and female locating and identifying each other using a mixture of pheromones and vibrational communication.^ Mating flights of male and female ants will occur from large mounds during warm days of most months of the year (Green, 1962).
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Once they have satisfied each other that they are of opposite sex and of the correct species, mating can commence.
The courtship starts with the male grasping the female’s pedipalps with his own; the pair then perform a "dance" called the "promenade à deux". In reality this is the male leading the female around searching for a suitable place to deposit his spermatophore. .The courtship ritual can involve several other behaviours such as juddering and a cheliceral kiss, in which the male's chelicerae—clawlike mouthparts—grasp the female's in a smaller more intimate version of the male's grasping the female's pedipalps and in some cases injecting a small amount of his venom into her pedipalp or on the edge of her cephalothorax,[6] probably as a means of pacifying the female.^ This species girdles small trees and shrubs by injecting formic acid into wounds it makes in the bark with its jaws.
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^ The venom sac of the male is small, and is not functional after he matures.
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^ The adult female's body is not more than 10 mm in width, and the male's is 7 mm at the greatest dimension.
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When the male has identified a suitable location, he deposits the spermatophore and then guides the female over it. This allows the spermatophore to enter her genital opercula, which triggers release of the sperm, thus fertilizing the female. The mating process can take from 1 to 25+ hours and depends on the ability of the male to find a suitable place to deposit his spermatophore. .If mating goes on for too long, the female may eventually lose interest, breaking off the process.^ The females may be winged or wingless, and usually have a long gaster.
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.Once the mating is complete, the male and female will separate.^ Mating flights of male and female ants will occur from large mounds during warm days of most months of the year (Green, 1962).
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.The male will generally retreat quickly, most likely to avoid being cannibalized by the female, although sexual cannibalism is infrequent with scorpions.^ The female avoids light, and during the day may stay under a piece of overhanging board or a clod of earth, or may remain back in her retreat.
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^ Like spiders and ticks, scorpions can withstand starvation for a long period, 4 or 5 months being common.
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^ Although most bites or stings by arthropods are not likely to be dangerous, medical care or advice should be sought in each case.
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Birth and development

Compsobuthus werneri female with young
.Unlike the majority of arachnid species, scorpions are viviparous.^ Few species of scorpions are deadly to humans, but they are all venomous, and envenomation by arachnids should always be considered as potentially dangerous.
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.The young are born one by one, and the brood is carried about on its mother's back until the young have undergone at least one molt.^ This species ranges from about 12 mm in length when the young first leave the mother's back to about 7 cm when full grown, the males being generally longer and more slender.
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.Before the first molt, scorplings cannot survive naturally without the mother, since they depend on her for protection and to regulate their moisture levels.^ They can survive for very long periods without food.
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Especially in species which display more advanced sociability (e.g. Pandinus spp.), the young/mother association can continue for an extended period of time. The size of the litter depends on the species and environmental factors, and can range from two to over a hundred scorplings. The average litter however, consists of around 8 scorplings.[7]
The young generally resemble their parents. Growth is accomplished by periodic shedding of the exoskeleton (ecdysis). A scorpion's developmental progress is measured in instars (how many moults it has undergone). .Scorpions typically require between five and seven moults to reach maturity.^ It requires 10 years for tarantulas to reach maturity.
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Moulting is effected by means of a split in the old exoskeleton which takes place just below the edge of the carapace (at the front of the prosoma). The scorpion then emerges from this split; the pedipalps and legs are first removed from the old exoskeleton, followed eventually by the metasoma. When it emerges, the scorpion’s new exoskeleton is soft, making the scorpion highly vulnerable to attack. The scorpion must constantly stretch while the new exoskeleton hardens to ensure that it can move when the hardening is complete. The process of hardening is called sclerotization. The new exoskeleton does not fluoresce; as sclerotization occurs, the fluorescence gradually returns.

Life and habits

.Scorpions have quite variable lifespans and the actual lifespan of most species is not known.^ The most venomous species in the United States is the deadly sculptured scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus ( plate VII, 1 ; figure 218 ).
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^ This species is probably our most common native ant, but like some other ants, both its actual and.
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The age range appears to be approximately 4–25 years (25 years being the maximum reported life span in the species Hadrurus arizonensis). Lifespan of Hadogenes species in the wild is estimated at 25–30 years.
.Scorpions prefer to live in areas where the temperatures range from 20 °C to 37 °C (68 °F to 99 °F), but may survive from freezing temperatures to the desert heat.^ The crevices may also provide moist microclimates, or they may be extended and connected by the scorpions to moist areas in the soil.
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[8][9] Scorpions of the genus Scorpiops living in high Asian mountains, bothriurid scorpions from Patagonia and small Euscorpius scorpions from middle Europe can all survive winter temperatures of about −25 °C. In Repetek (Turkmenistan) there live seven species of scorpions (of which Pectinibuthus birulai is endemic) in temperatures which vary from 49,9 °C to -31 °C.[10]
They are nocturnal and fossorial, finding shelter during the day in the relative cool of underground holes or undersides of rocks and coming out at night to hunt and feed. Scorpions exhibit photophobic behavior, primarily to evade detection by their predators such as birds, centipedes, lizards, mice, possums, and rats.[11]
.Scorpions are opportunistic predators of small arthropods and insects.^ However, their predators may sometimes themselves be vanquished in the encounters and, along with other small arthropods, may serve as food for the black widow.
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^ Scorpions emerge from their hiding places at night and prey upon ground-inhabiting insects and other small animals, including small mice.
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They use their chelae (pincers) to catch the prey initially. .Depending on the toxicity of their venom and size of their claws, they will then either crush the prey or inject it with neurotoxic venom.^ Ennik (1971) found that the color and to some extent the size of the abdomen of L. unicolor depended on the quality and kind of prey it ate.
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This will kill or paralyze the prey so the scorpion can eat it. 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.^ When feeding, spiders inject a predigestive liquid into the wounds of their prey and then suck up the digested food.
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^ It is used to ensnare insects and other small prey, and consists of a network of silken strands that are stronger than those of most spiders.
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.Scorpions can only digest food in a liquid form; any solid matter (fur, exoskeleton, etc) is disposed of by the scorpion.^ When feeding, spiders inject a predigestive liquid into the wounds of their prey and then suck up the digested food.
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Venom

.All known scorpion species possess venom and use it primarily to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture.^ At the base of the stinger is a little blunt thorn that is lacking on all other known Arizona scorpions (Stahnke, 1948).
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^ Almost all spiders possess venom, but relatively few are dangerous to man.
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^ The most venomous species in the United States is the deadly sculptured scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus ( plate VII, 1 ; figure 218 ).
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It is also used as a defense against predators. The venom is a mixture of compounds (neurotoxins, enzyme inhibitors, etc.) each not only causing a different effect, but possibly also targeting a specific animal. Each compound is made and stored in a pair of glandular sacs, and is released in a quantity regulated by the scorpion itself. Of the over thousand known species of scorpion, only a few have venom that is dangerous to humans. [12]

Medical use

The key ingredient of the venom is a scorpion toxin protein.
.Short chain scorpion toxins constitute the largest group of potassium (K+) channel blocking peptides; an important physiological role of the KCNA3 channel, also known as KV1.3, is to help maintain large electrical gradients for the sustained transport of ions such as Ca2+ that controls T lymphocyte (T cell) proliferation.^ As in the control of spiders, the elimination of harborage places, such as piles of wood and trash, is important.
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Thus KV1.3 blockers could be potential immunosuppressants for the treatment of autoimmune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis)[13].
The venom of Uroplectes lineatus is clinically important in dermatology.[14]
Toxins being investigated include:

Fossil record

Scorpions have been found in many fossil records, including marine Silurian deposits, coal deposits from the Carboniferous Period and in amber. The oldest known scorpions lived around 430 million years ago in the Silurian period, on the bottom of shallow tropical seas[17]. These first scorpions had gills instead of the present forms' book lungs. Currently, 111 fossil species of scorpion are known. .Unusually for arachnids, there are more species of Palaeozoic scorpion than Mesozoic or Cenozoic ones.^ Few species of scorpions are deadly to humans, but they are all venomous, and envenomation by arachnids should always be considered as potentially dangerous.
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^ However, more than 1 female is involved in founding a new colony; there may be as many as 12 or more reproductive females (R. R. Snelling, personal communication).
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^ There are only a few records of this species wounding man, resulting in pain no more severe than that of a bee sting (Curran, 1946b).
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The eurypterids, marine creatures which lived during the Paleozoic era, share several physical traits with scorpions and may be closely related to them. Various species of Eurypterida could grow to be anywhere from 10 to 250 centimetres (3.9 to 98 in) in length. .However, they exhibit anatomical differences marking them off as a group distinct from their Carboniferous and Recent relatives.^ There are usually accompanying differences in gross characters, such as color and markings, but they cannot be relied upon to distinguish a species in all cases.
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^ There is subsequently little if any difference in the markings in the male, even if it has as many as 7 instars; they continue to resemble females of the "light variety" of L. hesperus in the fifth or sixth instars.
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.Despite this, they are commonly referred to as "sea scorpions."^ Despite their usual occurrence in dry climates, scorpions need access to moisture, for they drink water.
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^ Around the home, scorpions are most commonly found in the crawl space under the house and in the attic, which they usually enter by way of the wall voids.
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[18] .Their legs are thought to have been short, thick, tapering and to have ended in a single strong claw; it appears that they were well-adapted for maintaining a secure hold upon rocks or seaweed against the wash of waves, like the legs of shore-crab.^ They have many erect hairs on the legs, scapes, and eyes, and the abdomen appears grayish because of dense, appressed hairs.
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Geographical distribution

Hadrurus spadix – Iuridae, Hadrurinae
Scorpions are almost universally distributed south of 49° N, and their geographical distribution shows in many particulars a close and interesting correspondence with that of the mammals, including their entire absence from New Zealand. The facts of their distribution are in keeping with the hypothesis that the order originated in the northern hemisphere and migrated southwards into the southern continent at various epochs, their absence from the countries to the north of the above-mentioned latitudes being due, no doubt, to the comparatively recent glaciation of those areas. When they reached Africa, Madagascar was part of that continent; but their arrival in Australia was subsequent to the separation of New Zealand from the Austro-Malayan area to the north of it.
.In the United States, scorpions are most common in southern Arizona and in a swath of land extending through central Texas and central Oklahoma.^ Formica fusca ( figure 225 , D) occurs over much of the United States, but only in the mountains in southern areas (in southern California, above 4,500 ft (1,450 m).
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^ This species ranges through southern Texas and the adjacent states of eastern Mexico.
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^ In California, it occurs at lower altitudes from southern California up through the Sacramento Valley, but seldom or never along the coast in the northern or central sections.
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.The common striped scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, reaches from northern and northeastern Mexico to southern Colorado, Kansas, southern Missouri, and Louisiana.^ In Big Bend National Park, Texas, there is a scorpion, Centruroides pantheriensis Stahnke, that superficially closely resembles C. sculpturatus , but has venom more like that of the Big Bend scorpion, C. chisosarius Gertsch, and the common striped scorpion, C. vittatus (Say), which ranges from South Carolina to Kentucky and west to New Mexico and Mexico (Stahnke, 1956a).
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^ This species occurs at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) or more elevation in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.
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^ The brown recluse occurs in the United States in the southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, in Missouri, Kansas, and parts of Nebraska, and southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
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A small population is native to Monroe County, Illinois. .Species of the genus Vaejovis are found from Georgia north to Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Tennessee, and as far west as Washington and California.^ In 1969, this species was found in Sierra Madre, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, where about 190 spiders were collected in an 8-block area.
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^ This common eastern species ranges from Nova Scotia to Georgia and from the Atlantic Coast as far west as Ontario, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
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.Paruroctonus boreus is found through the Northwest U.S. and into Canada (Southern Saskatchewan, Southern Alberta and the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia).^ In California, it occurs at lower altitudes from southern California up through the Sacramento Valley, but seldom or never along the coast in the northern or central sections.
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Scorpions can be found in 31 different states in the U.S., including Hawaii (Isometrus maculatus). .They are absent from areas that were affected by Pleistocene glaciation in the eastern U.S. California and Arizona boast the greatest scorpion species diversity, although areas in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas have 9 species within 100 meters.^ In 1969, this species was found in Sierra Madre, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, where about 190 spiders were collected in an 8-block area.
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^ This species ranges through southern Texas and the adjacent states of eastern Mexico.
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^ This species occurs from California to western Texas, in the chaparral belts and the upper desert mountains.
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.Five colonies of scorpions (Euscorpius flavicaudis) have established themselves in southern England having probably arrived with imported fruit from Africa, but the number of colonies could be lower now because of the destruction of their habitats.^ This species, apparently imported from Europe, now occurs in a number of localities, from New York to Illinois and throughout the southeastern states.
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This scorpion species is small and completely harmless to humans.

Ultraviolet light

A scorpion under a blacklight. In normal lighting this scorpion appears black.
Scorpions are also known to glow when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light such as that produced by a blacklight, due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in the cuticle. The principal fluorescent component is now known to be beta-Carboline.[19] A hand-held UV lamp has long been a standard tool for nocturnal field surveys of these animals. .However, a glow will only be produced in adult specimens as the substances in the skin required to produce the glow are not found in adolescents.^ However, only the larger spiders can penetrate the skin of a human with their fangs.
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[20]

Classification

This classification is based on that of Soleglad & Fet (2003),[21] which replaced the older, unpublished classification of Stockwell.[22] Additional taxonomic changes are from Soleglad et al. (2005).[23]
  • ORDER SCORPIONES
    • Infraorder Orthosterni Pocock, 1911
      • Parvorder Pseudochactida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Pseudochactoidea Gromov, 1998
          • Family Pseudochactidae Gromov, 1998
      • Parvorder Buthida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
      • Parvorder Chaerilida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Chaeriloidea Pocock, 1893
          • Family Chaerilidae Pocock, 1893
      • Parvorder Iurida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Chactoidea Pocock, 1893
          • Family Chactidae Pocock, 1893
            • Subfamily Chactinae Pocock, 1893
              • Tribe Chactini Pocock, 1893
              • Tribe Nullibrotheini Soleglad et Fet, 2003
            • Subfamily Brotheinae Simon, 1879
              • Tribe Belisariini Lourenço, 1998
              • Tribe Brotheini Simon, 1879
                • Subtribe Brotheina Simon, 1879
                • Subtribe Neochactina Soleglad et Fet, 2003
            • Subfamily Uroctoninae
          • Family Euscorpiidae Laurie, 1896
            • Subfamily Euscorpiinae Laurie, 1896
            • Subfamily Megacorminae Kraepelin, 1905
              • Tribe Chactopsini Soleglad et Sissom, 2001
              • Tribe Megacormini Kraepelin, 1905
            • Subfamily Scorpiopinae Kraepelin, 1905
              • Tribe Scorpiopini Kraepelin, 1905
              • Tribe Troglocormini Soleglad et Sissom, 2001
          • Family Superstitioniidae Stahnke, 1940
            • Subfamily Superstitioniinae Stahnke, 1940
            • Subfamily Typlochactinae Mitchell, 1971
          • Family Vaejovidae Thorell, 1876
        • Superfamily Iuroidea Thorell, 1876
          • Family Iuridae Thorell, 1876
          • Family Caraboctonidae Kraepelin, 1905 (hairy scorpions)
            • Subfamily Caraboctoninae Kraepelin, 1905
            • Subfamily Hadrurinae Stahnke, 1974
        • Superfamily Scorpionoidea Latreille, 1802
          • Family Bothriuridae Simon, 1880
            • Subfamily Bothriurinae Simon, 1880
            • Subfamily Lisposominae Lawrence, 1928
          • Family Diplocentridae Karsch, 1880
          • Family Scorpionidae Latreille, 1802 (burrowing scorpions or pale-legged scorpions)
            • Subfamily Diplocentrinae Karsch, 1880
              • Tribe Diplocentrini Karsch, 1880
              • Tribe Nebini Kraepelin, 1905
            • Subfamily Scorpioninae Latreille, 1802
            • Subfamily Urodacinae Pocock, 1893
          • Family Hemiscorpiidae Pocock, 1893 (= Ischnuridae, =Liochelidae) (rock scorpions, creeping scorpions, or tree scorpions)
            • Subfamily Hemiscorpiinae Pocock, 1893
            • Subfamily Heteroscorpioninae Kraepelin, 1905
            • Subfamily Hormurinae Laurie, 1896

References

  1. ^ Benton, T. G. (1991). "The Life History of Euscorpius Flavicaudis (Scorpiones, Chactidae)". The Journal of Arachnology 19: 105–110. http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v19_n2%20/JoA_v19_p105.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  2. ^ Rein, Jan Ove (2000). "Euscorpius flavicaudis". The Scorpion Files. Norwegian University of Science and Technology. http://www.ub.ntnu.no/scorpion-files/e_flavicaudis.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  3. ^ Skorpios, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus
  4. ^ http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l-1678.html
  5. ^ Prchal, Steve. "Pepe the Two Tailed Scorpion". Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute. http://www.sasionline.org/pepe.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  6. ^ Hickman Jr., Cleveland P.; Larry S. Roberts, Allan Larson, Helen I'Anson, David Eisenhour (2005-02-01). Integrated Principles of Zoology (13 ed.). McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math. pp. 380. ISBN 978-0073101743. 
  7. ^ Lourenco, W. R. (2000). "Reproduction in scorpions, with special reference to parthenogenesis". European Arachnology: 71–85. 
  8. ^ Hadley, Neil F. (1970). "Water Relations of the Desert Scorpion, Hadrurus Arizonensis". The Journal of Experimental Biology 53: 547–558. http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/53/3/547.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  9. ^ Hoshino, K.; A. T. V. Moura & H. M. G. De Paula (2006). "Selection of Environmental Temperature by the Yellow Scorpion Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello, 1922 (Scorpiones, Buthidae)". Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 12 (1): 59–66. doi:10.1590/S1678-91992006000100005. http://www.scielo.br/pdf/jvatitd/v12n1/28301.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  10. ^ (Kovařík, František; Štíři (Scorpions), Jihlava 1998, p. 19
  11. ^ "Scorpions". Australian Museum. http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/scorpions.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  12. ^ "ThinkQuest Poisonous Animals: Scorpions copyright 2000". http://library.thinkquest.org/C007974/2_4sco.htm. 
  13. ^ Chandy KG, Wulff H, Beeton C, Pennington M, Gutman GA, Cahalan MD (May 2004). "K+ channels as targets for specific immunomodulation". Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 25 (5): 280–289. doi:10.1016/j.tips.2004.03.010. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=15120495. 
  14. ^ Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. pp. 1315. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0. 
  15. ^ DeBin JA, Strichartz GR (1991). "Chloride channel inhibition by the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus". Toxicon 29 (11): 1403–8. PMID 1726031. 
  16. ^ Deshane J, Garner CC, Sontheimer H (February 2003). "Chlorotoxin inhibits glioma cell invasion via matrix metalloproteinase-2". J. Biol. Chem. 278 (6): 4135–44. doi:10.1074/jbc.M205662200. PMID 12454020. 
  17. ^ When scorpions ruled the world
  18. ^ Waggoner, Ben. "Eurypterida". Regents of the University of California. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/chelicerata/eurypterida.html. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  19. ^ Stachel, Shawn J; Scott A Stockwell and David L Van Vranken (August 1999). "The fluorescence of scorpions and cataractogenesis". Chemistry & Biology (Cell Press) 6: 531–539. doi:10.1016/S1074-5521(99)80085-4. http://www.chembiol.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS1074552199800854. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  20. ^ Hadley, Neil F.; Stanley C. Williams (July 1968). "Surface Activities of Some North American Scorpions in Relation to Feeding". Ecology (Ecological Society of America) 49 (4): 726–734. doi:10.2307/1935535. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1935535. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  21. ^ Soleglad, Michael E.; Victor Fet (2003). "High-level systematics and phylogeny of the extant scorpions (Scorpiones: Orthosterni)" (multiple parts). Euscorpius (Marshall University) 11: 1–175. http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/pubs.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  22. ^ Scott A. Stockwell, 1989. Revision of the Phylogeny and Higher Classification of Scorpions (Chelicerata). Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
  23. ^ Soleglad, Michael E.; Victor Fet & F. Kovařík (2005). "The systematic position of the scorpion genera Heteroscorpion Birula, 1903 and Urodacus Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Scorpionoidea)". Euscorpius (Marshall University) 20: 1–38. http://www.science.marshall.edu/fet/euscorpius/p2005_20.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SCORPION (Lat. .scorpio), the common name for members of the class Arachnida, distinguishable at a glance from all the other existing members by having the last five segments of the body modified to form a highly flexible tail, armed at the end with a sting consisting of a vesicle holding a pair of poison glands, and of a sharp spine behind the tip of which the ducts of the glands open.^ The black widow can be distinguished from all other spiders by the red hourglass figure on the underside of the abdomen ( plate VI, 5 ).
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^ These have strong, piercing, terminal segments with orifices of ducts that lead to venom glands ( figure 219 ).
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^ In the female, the last pair of legs is more than twice the length of the body.
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.Like spiders they have four pairs of walking legs; but the limbs of the second pair form a couple of powerful pincers, and those of the first pair two much smaller nippers.^ When the larvae hatch from the egg, they have 4 pairs of legs.
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^ They have 6 eyes, arranged in pairs in a semicircle unlike most spiders, which generally have 8 eyes.
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.They feed entirely upon animal food, principally upon insects such as beetles or other ground species, although the larger kinds have been known to kill small lizards and mice.^ Scorpions emerge from their hiding places at night and prey upon ground-inhabiting insects and other small animals, including small mice.
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^ There are usually accompanying differences in gross characters, such as color and markings, but they cannot be relied upon to distinguish a species in all cases.
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^ Insects such as wasps that carry animal food or carrion to their nests are more likely to have infective stings than are bees.
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.The large pincers are studded with highly sensitive tactile hairs, and the moment an insect touches these he is promptly seized by the pincers and stung to death, the scorpion's tail being swiftly brought over his back and the sting thrust into the struggling prey.^ Hymenopterous insects were responsible for 229 of these deaths: bees, 124; wasps (yellowjackets and hornets), 101; and ants, 4.
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.Paralysis rapidly follows, and, when dead, the insect is pulled to pieces by the small nippers and its soft tissues sucked into the scorpion's mouth.^ Scorpions emerge from their hiding places at night and prey upon ground-inhabiting insects and other small animals, including small mice.
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.Scorpions vary in size from about in.^ The workers vary greatly in size, from 3.2 to 6.3 mm, the largest being about the size of the soldiers.
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to 8 in.; and the amount of poison instilled into a wound depends principally upon the size of the animal. .But the poison is more virulent in some of the smaller than in the larger species.^ The symptoms and signs of black widow poisoning rarely persist, even in an untreated patient, for more than 2 days (Russell, 1969).
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^ There are only a few records of this species wounding man, resulting in pain no more severe than that of a bee sting (Curran, 1946b).
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Upon mankind the effects of the poison are seldom fatal, though death has been known to follow in the case of patients in a poor state of health at the time. .In small scorpions, like those belonging to the genus Euscorpius, which occurs in Italy and other countries of South Europe, the sting is said to be as bad as that of a wasp; but in many tropical species acute pain, accompanied by inflammation and throbbing of the wounded part, follows.^ However, many species of ants in other subfamilies sting.
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^ Stings by most species of scorpions are not likely to be serious, usually resulting in localized pain and paresthesia, some swelling and tenderness and, on occasion, localized ecchymosis (black-and blue areas) and the formation of vesicles (Stahnke, 1956b; Russell et al.
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^ The sculptured scorpion caused 75 deaths in Arizona from 1926 to 1965, twice as many as from all other venomous animals, including Arizona's many species and subspecies of rattlesnakes and the Sonoran coral snake.
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.But unless molested, scorpions are perfectly harmless, and only make use of the sting for the purpose of killing prey.^ Spraying or dusting of the areas surrounding the house with insecticides of long residual action is useful for killing scorpions and also for reducing the supply of insects upon which they feed.
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The belief that scorpions commit suicide by stinging themselves to death when tortured by fire is of considerable antiquity and is prevalent wherever these animals occur. .It is nevertheless quite without foundation in fact; for it has been proved experimentally of late years that the venom has no effect upon the individual itself, nor yet upon a member of the same species.^ According to F. E. Russell (personal communication), of the millions of stings and bites by arthropods each year in the United States, fewer than 10 persons die as a direct effect of the venom.
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.Scorpions, however, are extraordinarily susceptible to heat, and succumb very rapidly when exposed either to the warmth of a fire or to that of the tropical sun.^ The southern fire ant is largely a ground-nesting species, with nests either exposed or under cover of stones, boards, and other objects.
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.Moreover, when they feel the heat beating upon them they brandish their tails and strike right and left as if to drive off or destroy the unseen enemy; and there can be no doubt that the belief above alluded to is traceable primarily to observation of the sequence of events just described, the final event being the death of the animal, not, however, from a self-inflicted wound but from the heat which provoked the behaviour suggestive of suicidal purpose.^ This is apparently the first record of an alkylated piperidine being described from a venom of animal origin.
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^ There are usually accompanying differences in gross characters, such as color and markings, but they cannot be relied upon to distinguish a species in all cases.
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^ Many species of centipedes can inflict venomous wounds on man, but these rarely result in death.
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.It may be that under such circumstances a random stroke has now and again wounded the animal itself; but a wound so inflicted would be accidental, not intentional, and at most would contribute in a small measure to the creature's death.^ Many species of centipedes can inflict venomous wounds on man, but these rarely result in death.
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^ Some bacteria, such as anthrax ( Bacillus anthracis ) may be disseminated by flesh flies bred in carcasses of animals that have succumbed to the disease.
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.Scorpions are very easily rendered innocuous by scraping off the sharp point of the sting; and specimens, which are handled with impunity by Arabs and Dervishes to impress the uninitiated with their superhuman attributes, have generally been treated in this way.^ The "ligature and cryotherapy" (L-C) technique in the treatment of snake bite or scorpion sting has long been advocated by some authorities, and therefore some mention of it should be made at tliis point.
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At the same time it has been shown that insensibility to the pain of the sting and immunity to the ill effects can be acquired by any one who has the courage to permit himself to be repeatedly stung.
Like many poisonous animals, scorpions are for the most part rendered conspicuous by distinctive coloration of jet-black or black and yellow; and many of them are gifted with stridulating organs, developed in various parts of the body which are functionally comparable to the rattles of rattlesnakes, porcupines and other noxious animals. In habits scorpions are cryptozoic and nocturnal, spending the daytime concealed under stones or fallen tree trunks or in burrows, and only venturing out after sunset in search of food. .Amongst the burrowing kinds are the large African species belonging to the genera Pandinus and Opisthophthalnaus and to the eastern genus Palamnaeus. The yellow scorpions of the genus Butkus, which are common in Egypt and the Sahara, lurk on the watch for prey in shallow depressions which they excavate with their legs in the sand.^ They move about in the vicinity of the nest for several weeks, and many are destroyed by other spiders in search of prey, including their own kind.
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^ With the psammophore they clean their legs and antennae, carry water, and remove sand during the excavation of their nests.
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^ They prey on many species of arthropods, earthworms, snails, and other small animals, killing them with their maxillipeds or toxicognaths, appendages on the first segment behind the head.
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Unlike the majority of Arachnida, scorpions are viviparous. The young are born two at a time, and the brood, which consists of a dozen or more individuals, is carried about on its mother's back until the young are large and strong enough to shift for themselves. The young in a general way resemble their parents and undergo no metamorphosis with growth, which is accompanied by periodical casting of the entire integument. Moulting is effected by means of a split in the integument which takes place just below the edge of the carapace all round, exactly as in kingcrabs, spiders and Pedipalpi. Through the split the young scorpion gradually makes its way, leaving the old integument behind.
Scorpions are of great antiquity. .In coal deposits of the Carboniferous Period their remains are not uncommonly found, and no essential structural difference has been discovered between these fossils and existing forms - a fact proving that the group has existed without material structural modification for untold thousands of years.^ Colonies producing mounds between 25 and 65 cm in diameter might contain between 30,000 and 100,000 workers, and over the period of a year they were found to average 76.3% of the colony (Markin and Dillier, 1971).
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.These Carboniferous scorpions, however, were preceded by others, now occurring in marine Silurian deposits, which evidently lived in the sea and exhibit some anatomical differences marking them off as a group distinct from their Carboniferous and recent descendants and attesting affinity with the still earlier marine Arachnida referred to the group Gigantostraca.^ The voluminous literature on the biology and control of " S. saevissima richteri ," earlier than 1972, refers almost exclusively to what is now known as S. invicta .
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^ There are several other Loxosceles spiders in the country that are similar in size, shape, and coloration to L. reclusa , but their violin-shaped markings are sometimes less distinct, and may be somewhat faint in some species.
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Their legs were short, thick, tapering, and ended in a single strong claw, and were well adapted, it seems, like the legs of shore-crabs, for maintaining a secure hold upon rocks or seaweed against the wash of waves. The method of breathing of these ancient types is not certainly known; but probably respiration was effected by means of gills attached to the ventral plates of the body. At all events no trace of respiratory stigmata has been detected even in well-preserved material. These Silurian scorpions, of which the best-known genus is Palaeophonus, were of small size, only i in. or 2 in. in length.
At the present time scorpions are almost universally distributed south of about the 40th or 45th parallels of north latitude; and their geographical distribution shows in many particulars a close and interesting correspondence with that of the mammalia, their entire absence from New Zealand being not the least interesting point of agreement. The facts of their distribution are in keeping with the hypothesis that the order originated in the northern hemisphere and migrated southwards into the southern continent at various epochs, their absence from the countries to the north of the above-mentioned latitudes being due, no doubt, to the comparatively recent glaciation of those areas. When they reached Africa, Madagascar was part of that continent; but their arrival in Australia was subsequent to the separation of New Zealand from the Austro-Malayan area to the north of it. Moreover, the occurrence of closely related forms in Australia and South America on the one hand, and in tropical Africa and the northern parts of South America on the other, suggests very forcibly that South America was at an early date connected with Australia by a transpacific bridge and with Africa by a more northern transatlantic tract of land.
.In conformity with their wide dispersal, scorpions have become adapted to diverse conditions of existence, some thriving in tropical forests, others on open plains, others in sandy deserts, and a few even at high altitudes where the ground is covered with snow throughout the winter.^ Scorpions emerge from their hiding places at night and prey upon ground-inhabiting insects and other small animals, including small mice.
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^ The southern fire ant is largely a ground-nesting species, with nests either exposed or under cover of stones, boards, and other objects.
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^ J.N. Roney (correspondence) states that, in the control of agricultural ants in Arizona, if insecticide dusts or liquids are applied in the opening of the hill, the ants will make an opening in some other part of the hill.
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In the tropics they aestivate at times of drought; and in the Alps they pass the cold months of the year in a state of hibernation. (R. I. P.)


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also scorpion

Contents

English

The constellation Scorpio(n)

Etymology

From the animal scorpion, from Latin scorpio 'scorpion'

Noun

Singular
Scorpion
Plural
Scorpions
Scorpion (plural Scorpions)
  1. Someone with the Scorpio star sign

Adjective

Scorpion (not comparable)
Positive
Scorpion
  1. (astrology) of, or pertaining to, the Scorpio star sign

French

Etymology

From Latin scorpio 'scorpion'

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /skɔʁ.pjɔ̃/

Proper noun

Scorpion m.
  1. (astrology) The celestial constellation Scorpio
  2. (astronomy) The zodiac sign Scorpio

Anagrams


Romanian

The constellation Scorpion

Etymology

From Latin scorpio 'scorpion'

Proper noun

Scorpion
  1. Scorpio (constellation)
This Romanian entry was created from the translations listed at Scorpio. .It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses.^ Insect remains are generally not seen on the web, suggesting that the black widow may remove them from the web sooner than do other spider species.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The study showed that this protection by hyposensitization may be maintained for years, or may be lost in less than a year.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Please also see
Scorpion in the Romanian Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) January 2009

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

An arachnid resembling a miniature flat lobster, and having a poisonous sting in its tail. It is common in the Sinaitic Peninsula and the desert of El-Tih. .In Palestine, where it is represented by eight species, it swarms in every part of the country, and is found in houses, in chinks of walls, among ruins, and under stones.^ The webs usually found in old barns, sheds, crawl spaces under houses, or in little-used parts of garages and basements are likely to be about 30 cm across and equally as high, but they can sometimes be larger.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Scorpions in a house are found most commonly under the building (crawl space) and in the attic.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Around the home, scorpions are most commonly found in the crawl space under the house and in the attic, which they usually enter by way of the wall voids.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

In Ezek 2:6 "scorpion" is employed as a metaphor of bitter, stinging words; and in 1 Kg 12:11ff it is applied to a scourge which was probably provided with metal points. .A place-name derived from the scorpion may perhaps be seen in Maaleh Akrabbim ("ascent of the scorpions"), occurring in Num 34:4, Josh 15:3, and Jdg 1:36.^ A longlasting insecticide is desirable, for scorpions may remain in such places for a long time.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

In the Talmud the scorpion is said to live in empty cisterns, in dung-heaps, in holes, among stones, and in crevices of walls (Ḥag. 3a and parallels). .It attacks without provocation or warning; and its bite is even more dangerous than that of the snake, because it repeats it (Yer.^ The symptoms and signs of black widow poisoning rarely persist, even in an untreated patient, for more than 2 days (Russell, 1969).
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Most spiders never attempt to bite without the greatest provocation, such as being squeezed or held.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Nevertheless, the bite of a rattlesnake is considered to be more dangerous because of the much greater dose of venom injected.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Ber. 9a). .The scorpions of Adiabene (Ḥadyab) were considered especially (dangerous (Shab.^ Few species of scorpions are deadly to humans, but they are all venomous, and envenomation by arachnids should always be considered as potentially dangerous.
  • Urban Entomology [Ebeling Chap. 9 part 2] Pests Attacking Man and His Pets 16 January 2010 15:34 UTC www.entomology.ucr.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

121b). The urine of a forty-day-old infant and the gall of the stork were used as curatives (ib. 109b; Ket. 50a). The scorpion itself was employed as a medicament in curing cataract (Giṭ. 60a). Among the permanent miracles of Jerusalem was numbered the fact that no one was ever bitten there by a scorpion or a serpent (Ab. v. 5). The anger of the wise is likened to the sting of the scorpion (ib. ii. 10). Metaphorically, "'aḳrab" is used of the iron bit of the horse (Kelim xi. 5, xii. 3).
This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

Simple English

Scorpions
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones

Scorpions are eight legged venomous arachnids. They have a long body with an extended tail with a sting. The average adult scorpion reaches approximately 3 inches in length. The longest scorpion on earth is the African Scorpion, which can reach a total length of 9 inches. There are over 1,300 species of scorpions worldwide.

Contents

Survival in the desert

Scorpions have developed many ways to survive in the desert. They have developed the ability to slow down their metabolism. This allows them to survive on as little as one insect per year. This ability also allows them to shelter from the sun and heat for extended periods of time, using only little amounts of oxygen. Many people also believe that their claws, or pincers, were once front legs that have turned into what they now are by going through evolution. Nevertheless, the scorpions' claws play a crucial part in their hunting and mating rituals. Scorpions also possess a special, feather-like pair of organs, called pectines that they use to sense even the smallest of movements around them. This allows them to effectively track down and hunt their prey, either above or below the surface. This also warns them of possible dangers, such as other bigger hunters. The scorpion’s most feared and recognized feature is its sting. The sting contains a neurotoxin, which the scorpion uses to paralyze the victim, so it would be easier to kill and eat. They also stay hidden under rocks and that makes their body temperature cool.

Physical features

The scorpion’s body is divided into two parts, the prosoma, and the abdomen -which is further divided into the mesosoma and the metasoma- which are both surrounded by the cuticle.

Prosoma

This is the scorpion’s head, the carapace, the eyes, the mouthparts, the claws (or pedipalps), and four legs.

Mesosoma

The front half of the abdomen is made up of six segments. The first segment contains the sexual organs and the other organs which are used in the scorpion’s mating ritual. The second segment contains the feather like pectines, which are used to sense movement in the air and ground. The final four segments each contain a pair of book lungs, which are the lungs found in arachnids, the mesosoma is armored by an extra layer. This extra layer is made up of chitinous plates, which are the plates usually found in the cell walls of fungi, and the exoskeletons of insects and arachnids.

Metasoma

This is the scorpion’s tail, and the second half of its abdomen. A scorpion’s sting is made up of six segments, ending in the telson, or the sting. The telson itself holds the vesicle, which is the gland containing the scorpion’s venom. The scorpion’s venom is classified as neurotoxic in nature. This means that it can be used to either kill or paralyze the victim. The general rule is that the smaller the claws of the scorpion, the more deadly the venom is, as scorpions with deadly venoms don’t need their claws, while those with not-so-deadly venom need to rely on their claws more, so they are bigger and stronger.

Cuticle

This is the scorpion’s tough exterior. It is partially covered by hairs that help the scorpion keep balance. The cuticle is also covered by hyaline layer, which makes them fluoresce green when exposed to ultraviolet light. This layer does not appear on newly molted scorpions, appearing only on hardened and matured cuticles. This hyaline layer can be found intact inside fossils that are millions of years old.

Breeding cycle

The mating ritual of scorpions begins when the male and female connect claws. After this they verify that the other scorpion is of the same species, and is the opposite gender. After this, the male leads the female around until it finds a suitable spot to deposit its spermatophore. Once the male has found a suitable spot, he guides the female over it, where it enters her and fertilizes her. The mating ritual can take anywhere between 1 and 26 hours, depending on the male’s ability to find a suitable spot. Only a scorpion that has reached maturity may go through the mating ritual. A scorpion reaches maturity after it has gone through 5 to 7 moults.

Relationships with others

Scorpions are an independent species, only relying on their mother until they reach maturity. It is not uncommon for a scorpling to kill another one of it’s siblings in a competition for food. How a scorpion chooses its mate is not certain, but many predict it is a random event, depending on chance meetings.

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Look up Scorpiones in Wikispecies, a directory of species


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 29, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Scorpion, which are similar to those in the above article.








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