Scorpions are insectlike creatures (arthropods) that release venom
when they sting with the end of their narrow tail. Most scorpion stings are not
serious. But the venom of a few species can cause severe, sometimes
Scorpions are about
3 in. (7.6 cm) in length, have
4 pairs of legs, a pair of pincers like what a crab has, and a long abdomen (generally
called the tail). The bulb-shaped structure at the end of the tail contains the
venom and stinger.
One species of scorpion in Arizona and southeastern California of
the United States, and other species found in North Africa, the Middle East,
South America, India, and Mexico, have venom strong enough to be dangerous to
adults. A bite from one of these scorpions can cause pain and swelling where a
person was stung, numbness, frothing at the mouth, trouble breathing, muscle
spasms, and convulsions.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine