Venom, scorpion

The potent poison of the scorpion. A sting can be fatal to a person who is allergic to it.

A scorpion is an insect that has an elongated body and a segmented, curved tail tipped with a venomous stinger. Grasping, fingerlike first appendages are other typical features.

The toxicity of scorpion venom varies by species. A given species’ venom may contain many chemicals, some toxic to insects, others toxic to mammals. Scorpion species with smaller and more slender claws generally have more toxic venom.

Scorpion stings are much more dangerous for infants and small children. The toxic effects of the venom include extremely high body temperatures, respiratory paralysis, very low or very high blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).

Scorpions often played the role of evildoers in fables and legends. The respect of the ancient Greeks for the scorpion prompted them to name the constellation Scorpio, a sign of the zodiac.

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