Scorpions are among the most feared arachnids on the planet. But in reality, this fear is pretty misplaced. They’re often used in movies to indicate an impending threat or danger. Even though all scorpions have a poisonous sting, only 25 species contain venom capable of killing a human being. And they usually don’t pose a threat unless you disturb their peace.
It’s easy to identify scorpions since they have two pedipalps, eight legs, and erectile tails with a stinger at the end.
All about scorpions
Scorpions are found in six of the seven continents – there are no scorpions in Antarctica. You can find them in every habitat, including tropical and sub-tropical habitats, except sub-arctic climates with very high altitude. They prefer areas with a temperature range of 20 to 37 °C (68 to 99 °F). Across the globe, there are close to 1500 known species and about 13 families of scorpions.
Here are the different varieties of scorpions spread across the world.
1. Arizona Bark Scorpion
This scorpion is found in North America and is one of the most venomous scorpions in the world. It belongs to the largest scorpion family, which is the Buthidae. An adult measures about 2.7 to 3.1 inches. You can easily identify an Arizona bark scorpion as it has a yellow appearance and marked horizontal lines in the mesosoma.
If you spot this type of scorpion, stay far away from its habitat. The scorpion’s venom is very toxic and dangerous to humans. It’s a common scorpion in Arizona, but it can also be found in New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Chihuahua in Mexico. You can find it lying under rocks or trees, but it usually hibernates during winter.
2. Deathstalker Scorpion
This is one of the most feared scorpions on the planet. It’s also called the Palestinian yellow scorpion, but commonly known as Deathstalker. As the name suggests, it’s dangerous – the type of scorpion you never want to encounter. The Deathstalker’s poison is composed of neurotoxins and cardiotoxins that can cause cardiovascular and respiratory dysfunction.
It can’t actually kill a healthy adult human. Still, its sting is extremely painful. Children and older people are vulnerable because of their weakened immunity. It’s a common scorpion in North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa.
3. Emperor Scorpion
The Emperor Scorpion is among the largest and most popular scorpions in the world. It measures about 7.9 inches and weighs 30 grams. Its appearance is dark blue or black, with some areas of its body-colored brown. Emperor scorpions are usually found in the African savannahs and tropical forests. This common scorpion lives in West African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria.
4. Fat-tailed Scorpion
The Guinness World Records ranks this scorpion as the deadliest scorpion on the planet. The scorpion’s venom is very toxic and can cause paralysis or respiratory failure. It’s of the genus Androctonus, which is comprised of 18 species. Its appearance is dark throughout the body, but some may be dark brown or black.
The Fat-tailed scorpion measures about 3.1 to 3.9 inches. It’s usually found in arid and semi-arid areas, temperate regions, tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is a common scorpion in Morocco, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and middle eastern countries.
5. Tanzanian Red Clawed Scorpion
The Red Claw Scorpion is among the least venomous scorpions in the world. Some people even keep this scorpion as a pet. However, they can be aggressive at times, and their sting has the same intensity as that of a bee sting.
6. Red Scorpion
The Red scorpion is considered one of the most dangerous scorpions in the planet. Its appearance is often orange or red throughout its body. A fully grown adult Red scorpion can grow up to 3 inches in length. Red scorpions are common in India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
7. Giant Forest Scorpion
This scorpion is often mistaken for an Emperor scorpion because they look so similar. However, it’s much more aggressive than the Emperor scorpion. Its appearance is usually black throughout its body. A Giant Forest scorpion can grow up to 5 inches long and is generally found in Malaysia and India.
Scorpions are a remarkable species that have survived the test of time by learning to adapt to the environment. There are so many other varieties of scorpions around the world that we haven’t even mentioned. Annually, thousands of people are stung by scorpions. You should definitely exercise caution when spending time in places where these creatures like to hang around.