Scorpion

Scorpion

Overview
Scorpions are predatory arthropod
Arthropod
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton , a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda , and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and others...

 animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnid
Arachnid
Arachnids are a class of joint-legged invertebrate animals in the subphylum Chelicerata. All arachnids have eight legs, although in some species the front pair may convert to a sensory function. The term is derived from the Greek words , meaning "spider".Almost all extant arachnids are terrestrial...

a. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger. Scorpions range in size from 9 mm (Typhlochactas mitchelli) to 21 cm (Hadogenes troglodytes).

Scorpions are found widely distributed over all continents, except Antarctica, in a variety of terrestrial habitats except the high latitude tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

.
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Encyclopedia
Scorpions are predatory arthropod
Arthropod
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton , a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda , and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and others...

 animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnid
Arachnid
Arachnids are a class of joint-legged invertebrate animals in the subphylum Chelicerata. All arachnids have eight legs, although in some species the front pair may convert to a sensory function. The term is derived from the Greek words , meaning "spider".Almost all extant arachnids are terrestrial...

a. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger. Scorpions range in size from 9 mm (Typhlochactas mitchelli) to 21 cm (Hadogenes troglodytes).

Scorpions are found widely distributed over all continents, except Antarctica, in a variety of terrestrial habitats except the high latitude tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

. Scorpions number about 1,752 described species, with 13 extant families recognised to date. The taxonomy has undergone changes and is likely to change further, as a number of genetic studies are bringing forth new information.

Though the scorpion has a fearsome reputation as venomous, only about 25 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 are known to have venom capable of killing a human being.

Etymology


The word scorpion is thought to have originated in Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

 between 1175 and 1225 AD from Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 , or from Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 , both derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word , which in turn has its roots in the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word  – .

Geographical distribution


Scorpions are found on all major land masses except Antarctica. Scorpions did not occur naturally in Great Britain, New Zealand and some of the islands in Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, but have now been accidentally introduced in some of these places by human trade and commerce. The greatest diversity of scorpions in the Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 is to be found in the subtropical areas lying between latitudes 23° N
23rd parallel north
The 23rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 23 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 38° N
38th parallel north
The 38th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean...

. Above these latitudes, the diversity decreases, with the northernmost occurrence of scorpions being the northern scorpion Paruroctonus boreus at 50° N
50th parallel north
The 50th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 50 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

.

Today, scorpions are found in virtually every terrestrial
Terrestrial
Terrestrial refers to things related to land or the planet Earth.Terrestrial may also refer to:* Terrestrial animal, an animal that lives on land opposed to living in water, or sometimes an animal that lives on or near the ground, as opposed to in trees etc.** A fishing fly that simulates the...

 habitat
Habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

, including high elevation mountain-tops, caves and intertidal zones, with the exception of boreal ecosystem
Boreal ecosystem
The term boreal is usually applied to ecosystems localized in subarctic and subantarctic zones, although Austral is also used for the latter....

s such as the tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

, high-altitude taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 and the permanently snow-clad tops of some mountains. As regards microhabitats, scorpions may be ground-dwelling, tree-living, lithophilic (rock-loving) or psammophilic (sand-loving); some species such as Vaejovis janssi are versatile and found in every type of habitat in Baja California
Baja California
Baja California officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is both the northernmost and westernmost state of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North...

 while others occupy specialised niches such as Euscorpius carpathicus which occupies the littoral zone of the shore.

Five colonies of scorpions (Euscorpius flavicaudis
Euscorpius flavicaudis
Euscorpius flavicaudis, or the European yellow-tailed scorpion, is a small black scorpion with yellow-brown legs and tail . Adults measure about long. It is a fossorial scorpion with relatively large, strong claws and a short, thin tail.- Distribution :The native range of E...

) have established themselves in Sheerness
Sheerness
Sheerness is a town located beside the mouth of the River Medway on the northwest corner of the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent, England. With a population of 12,000 it is the largest town on the island....

 on the Isle of Sheppey
Isle of Sheppey
The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, England in the Thames Estuary, some to the east of London. It has an area of . The island forms part of the local government district of Swale...

 in the United Kingdom. This small population has been resident since the 1860s, having probably arrived with imported fruit from Africa. This scorpion species is small and completely harmless to humans. This marks the northernmost limit in the world where scorpions live in the wild.

Classification



There are thirteen families and about 1,400 described species and subspecies of scorpions. In addition, there are 111 described taxa of extinct scorpions.

This classification is based on that of Soleglad & Fet (2003), which replaced the older, unpublished classification of Stockwell. Additional taxonomic changes are from papers by Soleglad et al. (2005).

Systematics


The following classification covers extant taxa to the rank
Taxonomic rank
In biological classification, rank is the level in a taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks are species, genus, family, and class. Each rank subsumes under it a number of less general categories...

 of family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

.
Order Scorpiones
    • Infraorder Orthosterni Pocock
      Reginald Innes Pocock
      Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

      , 1911
      • Parvorder Pseudochactida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Pseudochactoidea Gromov, 1998
          • Family Pseudochactidae Gromov, 1998
      • Parvorder Buthida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Buthoidea C. L. Koch
          Carl Ludwig Koch
          Carl Ludwig Koch was a German entomologist and arachnologist. He was responsible for classifying a great number of spiders, including the Brazilian whiteknee tarantula and Common house spider. He was born in Kusel, Germany and died in Nuremberg, Germany.Carl Ludwig Koch was an inspector of water...

          , 1837
          • Family Buthidae
            Buthidae
            Buthidae is the largest family of scorpions, containing about 80 genera and over 800 species as of mid-2008. Its members are known as, for example, thick-tailed scorpions and bark scorpions. There are a few very large genera , but also a high number of species-poor or monotypic ones...

             C. L. Koch
            Carl Ludwig Koch
            Carl Ludwig Koch was a German entomologist and arachnologist. He was responsible for classifying a great number of spiders, including the Brazilian whiteknee tarantula and Common house spider. He was born in Kusel, Germany and died in Nuremberg, Germany.Carl Ludwig Koch was an inspector of water...

            , 1837
            (thick-tailed scorpions)
          • Family Microcharmidae Lourenço, 1996
      • Parvorder Chaerilida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Chaeriloidea Pocock
          Reginald Innes Pocock
          Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

          , 1893
          • Family Chaerilidae Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

            , 1893
      • Parvorder Iurida Soleglad et Fet, 2003
        • Superfamily Chactoidea Pocock
          Reginald Innes Pocock
          Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

          , 1893
          • Family Chactidae Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

            , 1893
          • Family Euscorpiidae Laurie, 1896
          • Family Superstitioniidae Stahnke, 1940
          • Family Vaejovidae
            Vaejovidae
            Vaejovidae is a family of scorpions, comprising 17 genera, all found in Mexico and the southwestern United States:*Franckeus Soleglad & Fet, 2005*Gertschius Graham & Soleglad, 2007*Hoffmannius Soleglad & Fet, 2008...

             Thorell, 1876
        • Superfamily Iuroidea Thorell, 1876
          • Family Caraboctonidae Kraepelin
            Karl Kraepelin
            Karl Matthias Friedrich Magnus Kraepelin , was a German naturalist who specialised in the study of scorpions, centipedes, spiders and solfugids, and was noted for his monograph in 1899, which was an exhaustive survey of the taxonomy of the Order Scorpiones...

            , 1905
            (hairy scorpions)
          • Family Iuridae Thorell, 1876
        • Superfamily Scorpionoidea Latreille
          Pierre André Latreille
          Pierre André Latreille was a French zoologist, specialising in arthropods. Having trained as a Roman Catholic priest before the French Revolution, Latreille was imprisoned, and only regained his freedom after recognising a rare species he found in the prison, Necrobia ruficollis...

          , 1802
          • Family Bothriuridae Simon
            Eugène Simon
            Eugène Simon was a French arachnologist. His many taxonomic contributions include categorizing and naming many spiders, as well as creating genera such as Anelosimus, Psellocoptus and Phlogius....

            , 1880

          • Family Hemiscorpiidae
            Hemiscorpiidae
            Hemiscorpiidae is a family of scorpions with 72 described species in 12 genera. Their old name is Ischnuridae, which had to be changed due to a naming conflict with the damselfly family of the same name. They at one point also held the name Liochelidae....

             Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock
            Reginald Innes Pocock F.R.S. was a British zoologist.Pocock was born in Clifton, Bristol, the fourth son of Rev. Nicholas Pocock and Edith Prichard. He began showing interest in natural history at St. Edward's School, Oxford. He received tutoring in zoology from Sir Edward Poulton, and was allowed...

            , 1893
            (= Ischnuridae, =Liochelidae) (rock scorpions, creeping scorpions, or tree scorpions)
          • Family Scorpionidae Latreille
            Pierre André Latreille
            Pierre André Latreille was a French zoologist, specialising in arthropods. Having trained as a Roman Catholic priest before the French Revolution, Latreille was imprisoned, and only regained his freedom after recognising a rare species he found in the prison, Necrobia ruficollis...

            , 1802
            (burrowing scorpions or pale-legged scorpions)

Fossil record


Scorpions have been found in many fossil records, including marine Silurian
Silurian
The Silurian is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Ordovician Period, about 443.7 ± 1.5 Mya , to the beginning of the Devonian Period, about 416.0 ± 2.8 Mya . As with other geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period's start and end are well identified, but the...

 deposits, coal deposits from the Carboniferous Period and in amber
Amber
Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

. The oldest known scorpions lived around 430 million years ago in the Silurian period, on the bottom of shallow tropical seas. These first scorpions had gills instead of the present forms' book lung
Book lung
A book lung is a type of respiration organ used for atmospheric gas exchange and is found in arachnids, such as scorpions and spiders. Each of these organs is found inside a ventral abdominal cavity and connects with the surroundings through a small opening. Book lungs are not related to the lungs...

s. Currently, 111 fossil species of scorpion are known. Unusually for arachnids, there are more species of Palaeozoic scorpion than Mesozoic
Mesozoic
The Mesozoic era is an interval of geological time from about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. It is often referred to as the age of reptiles because reptiles, namely dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time...

 or Cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

 ones.

The eurypterids, marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 creatures which lived during the Paleozoic
Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

 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 centimetres (3.9 in) to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length. However, they exhibit anatomical
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 differences marking them off as a group distinct from their Carboniferous and Recent relatives. Despite this, they are commonly referred to as "sea scorpions". 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 a shore crab.

Anatomy




The body of a scorpion is divided into three parts (tagmata): the head (cephalothorax
Cephalothorax
The cephalothorax is a tagma of various arthropods, comprising the head and the thorax fused together, as distinct from the abdomen behind. The word cephalothorax is derived from the Greek words for head and thorax...

), the abdomen
Abdomen
In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

 (mesosoma
Mesosoma
The mesosoma is the middle part of the body, or tagma, of arthropods whose body is composed of three parts, the other two being the prosoma and the metasoma. It bears the legs, and, in the case of winged insects, the wings....

) and the tail (metasoma
Metasoma
The metasoma is the posterior part of the body, or tagma, of arthropods whose body is composed of three parts, the other two being the prosoma and the mesosoma. In insects, it contains most of the digestive tract, respiratory system, and circulatory system, and the apical segments are typically...

).

Cephalothorax


The cephalothorax
Cephalothorax
The cephalothorax is a tagma of various arthropods, comprising the head and the thorax fused together, as distinct from the abdomen behind. The word cephalothorax is derived from the Greek words for head and thorax...

, also called the prosoma, comprises the carapace
Carapace
A carapace is a dorsal section of the exoskeleton or shell in a number of animal groups, including arthropods such as crustaceans and arachnids, as well as vertebrates such as turtles and tortoises. In turtles and tortoises, the underside is called the plastron.-Crustaceans:In crustaceans, the...

, eyes, chelicerae
Chelicerae
The chelicerae are mouthparts of the Chelicerata, an arthropod subphylum that includes arachnids, Merostomata , and Pycnogonida . Chelicerae are pointed appendages which are used to grasp food, and are found in place of the chewing mandibles most other arthropods have...

 (mouth parts), pedipalp
Pedipalp
Pedipalps , are the second pair of appendages of the prosoma in the subphylum Chelicerata. They are traditionally thought to be homologous with mandibles in Crustacea and insects, although more recent studies Pedipalps (commonly shortened to palps or palpi), are the second pair of appendages of the...

s (the pedipalps of scorpions have chelae
Chela (organ)
A chela is a pincer-like organ terminating certain limbs of some arthropods. The name comes from Greek through New Latin . The plural form is chelae. Legs bearing a chela are called chelipeds. Another name is claw because most chelae are curved and have a sharp point like a claw....

 commonly called claws or pincers) and four pairs of walking legs
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

. The scorpion's exoskeleton is thick and durable, providing good protection from predators. Scorpions have two eyes on the top of the cephalothorax, and usually two to five pairs of eyes along the front corners of the cephalothorax. The position of the eyes on the cephalothorax depends in part on the hardness or softness of the soil upon which they spend their lives.
`
The pedipalp is a segmented
Segmentation (biology)
Segmentation in biology refers to either a type of gastrointestinal motility or the division of some animal and plant body plans into a series of repetitive segments. This article will focus on the segmentation of animal body plans, specifically using the examples of the phyla Arthropoda,...

, chelate (clawed) appendage
Appendage
In invertebrate biology, an appendage is an external body part, or natural prolongation, that protrudes from an organism's body . It is a general term that covers any of the homologous body parts that may extend from a body segment...

 used for prey immobilization, defense, and sensory purposes. The segments of the pedipalp (from closest to the body outwards) are coxa
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

, trochanter
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

, femur
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

 (humerus), patella
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

, tibia
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

 (including the fixed claw and the manus
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

) and tarsus
Arthropod leg
The arthropod leg is a form of jointed appendage of arthropods, usually used for walking. Many of the terms used for arthropod leg segments are of Latin origin, and may be confused with terms for bones: coxa , trochanter , femur, tibia, tarsus, ischium, metatarsus, carpus, dactylus ,...

 (moveable claw). A scorpion has darkened or granular raised linear ridges, called "keels" or carinae
Carinae
Carinae was an area of ancient Rome. It was one of its most exclusive neighborhoods.The Carinae was the northern tip of the Oppian Hill on its western side; it extended between the Velian Hill and the Clivus Pullius. Its outlook was southwestern, across the swamps of the Palus Ceroliae toward the...

on the pedipalp segments and on other parts of the body which are useful taxonomically.

Mesosoma


The abdomen, also called the opisthosoma
Opisthosoma
The opisthosoma is the posterior part of the body in some arthropods, behind the prosoma . It is a distinctive feature of the subphylum Chelicerata...

, consists of seven segments (somites), each covered dorsally
Dorsum (biology)
In anatomy, the dorsum is the upper side of animals that typically run, fly, or swim in a horizontal position, and the back side of animals that walk upright. In vertebrates the dorsum contains the backbone. The term dorsal refers to anatomical structures that are either situated toward or grow...

 by a sclerotosed plate (tergum
Tergum
A tergum is the dorsal portion of an arthropod segment other than the head. The anterior edge is called the base and posterior edge is called the apex or margin. A given tergum may be divided into hardened plates or sclerites commonly referred to as tergites...

) and also ventrally for segments 3 to 7. The first abdominal segment bears a pair of genital opercula which cover the gonopore
Gonopore
A gonopore, sometimes called a gonadopore, is a genital pore in many invertebrates. Hexapods, including insects have a single common gonopore, except mayflies, which have a pair of gonopores...

. Segment 2 consists of the basal plate with the pectines. Each of the mesosomal segments 3 to 7 have a pair of spiracles which are the openings for the scorpion's respiratory organs, known as book lungs. The spiracle openings may be slits, circular, elliptical, or oval.

Metasoma


The metasoma, the scorpion's tail, comprises five caudal segments (the first tail segment looks like a last mesosoman segment), and sixth bearing the telson
Telson
The telson is the last division of the body of a crustacean. It is not considered a true segment because it does not arise in the embryo from teloblast areas as do real segments. It never carries any appendages, but a forked "tail" called the caudal furca is often present. Together with the...

 (the sting). The telson, in turn, consists of the vesicle
Vesicle (biology)
A vesicle is a bubble of liquid within another liquid, a supramolecular assembly made up of many different molecules. More technically, a vesicle is a small membrane-enclosed sack that can store or transport substances. Vesicles can form naturally because of the properties of lipid membranes , or...

, which holds a pair of venom
Venom
Venom is the general term referring to any variety of toxins used by certain types of animals that inject it into their victims by the means of a bite or a sting...

 glands, and the hypodermic aculeus, the venom-injecting barb.

On rare occasions, scorpions can be born with two metasomata (tails). Two-tailed scorpions are not a different species, merely a genetic abnormality.

Fluorescence


Scorpions are also known to glow when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 light such as that produced by a blacklight
Black light
A black light, also referred to as a UV light, ultraviolet light, or Wood's lamp, is a lamp that emits ultraviolet radiation in the long-wave range, and little visible light...

, due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in the cuticle. One fluorescent component is now known to be beta-carboline
Beta-carboline
β-Carboline is an organic amine that is the prototype of a class of compounds known as β-carbolines.-Pharmacology:...

. A hand-held UV lamp has long been a standard tool for nocturnal field surveys of these animals. Fluorescence occurs as a result of sclerotization
Sclerite
A sclerite is a hardened body part. The term is used in various branches of biology for various structures including hardened portions of sponges, but it is most commonly used for the hardened portions of arthropod exoskeletons....

 and increases in intensity with each successive instar
Instar
An instar is a developmental stage of arthropods, such as insects, between each molt , until sexual maturity is reached. Arthropods must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow or assume a new form. Differences between instars can often be seen in altered body proportions, colors, patterns, or...

.

Biology



Scorpions have quite variable lifespans and the actual lifespan of most species is not known. 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 freezing temperatures to the desert heat. Scorpions of the genus Scorpiops living in high Asian mountains, bothriurid scorpions from Patagonia and small Euscorpius
Euscorpius
Euscorpius is a genus of scorpions, commonly called small wood-scorpions. It presently contains 17 species and is the type genus of the family Euscorpiidae - long included in the Chactidae - and the subfamily Euscorpiinae....

scorpions from Central Europe can all survive winter temperatures of about −25 C. In Repetek (Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

), there live seven species of scorpions (of which Pectinibuthus birulai is endemic) in temperatures which vary from –31 °C to 50 °C.

They are nocturnal and fossorial
Fossorial
A fossorial organism is one that is adapted to digging and life underground such as the badger, the naked mole rat, and the mole salamanders Ambystomatidae...

, 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
Photophobia (biology)
In biology, photophobia refers to negative response to light.Photophobia is a behavior demonstrated by insects or other animals which seek to stay out of the light....

 behavior, primarily to evade detection by their predators such as birds, centipedes, lizards, mice, possums, and rats.

Scorpions are opportunistic predators of small arthropods, although the larger kinds have been known to kill small lizards and mice. The large pincers are studded with highly sensitive tactile hairs, and the moment an insect touches these, they use their chelae (pincers) to catch the prey. 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. This will kill or paralyze the prey so the scorpion can eat it. Scorpions have a relatively unique style of eating using chelicerae
Chelicerae
The chelicerae are mouthparts of the Chelicerata, an arthropod subphylum that includes arachnids, Merostomata , and Pycnogonida . Chelicerae are pointed appendages which are used to grasp food, and are found in place of the chewing mandibles most other arthropods have...

, small claw-like structures that protrude from the mouth that are unique to the Chelicerata
Chelicerata
The subphylum Chelicerata constitutes one of the major subdivisions of the phylum Arthropoda, and includes horseshoe crabs, scorpions, spiders and mites...

 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
Exoskeleton
An exoskeleton is the external skeleton that supports and protects an animal's body, in contrast to the internal skeleton of, for example, a human. In popular usage, some of the larger kinds of exoskeletons are known as "shells". Examples of exoskeleton animals include insects such as grasshoppers...

, etc.) is trapped by setae in the pre-oral cavity, which is ejected by the scorpion.

Scorpions can consume huge amounts of food at one sitting. They have a very efficient food storage organ and a very low metabolic rate combined with a relatively inactive lifestyle. This enables scorpions to survive long periods when deprived of food; some are able to survive 6 to 12 months of starvation. Scorpions excrete very little; their waste consists mostly of insoluble nitrogenous waste such as xanthine
Xanthine
Xanthine , is a purine base found in most human body tissues and fluids and in other organisms. A number of stimulants are derived from xanthine, including caffeine and theobromine....

, guanine
Guanine
Guanine is one of the four main nucleobases found in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, the others being adenine, cytosine, and thymine . In DNA, guanine is paired with cytosine. With the formula C5H5N5O, guanine is a derivative of purine, consisting of a fused pyrimidine-imidazole ring system with...

 and uric acid
Uric acid
Uric acid is a heterocyclic compound of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen with the formula C5H4N4O3. It forms ions and salts known as urates and acid urates such as ammonium acid urate. Uric acid is created when the body breaks down purine nucleotides. High blood concentrations of uric acid...

.

Reproduction


Most scorpions reproduce sexually, and most species have male and female individuals. 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
Parthenogenesis
Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction found in females, where growth and development of embryos occur without fertilization by a male...

, a process in which unfertilised eggs develop into living embryo
Embryo
An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination...

s. Parthenogenic reproduction starts following the scorpion's final moult to maturity and continues thereafter.

Sexual reproduction is accomplished by the transfer of a spermatophore
Spermatophore
A spermatophore or sperm ampulla is a capsule or mass created by males of various animal species, containing spermatozoa and transferred in entirety to the female's ovipore during copulation...

 from the male to the female; scorpions possess a complex courtship
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

 and mating
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

 ritual to effect this transfer. Mating starts with the male and female locating and identifying each other using a mixture of pheromones and vibrational
Oscillation
Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states. Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum and AC power. The term vibration is sometimes used more narrowly to mean a mechanical oscillation but sometimes...

 communication. Once they have satisfied the 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
Spermatophore
A spermatophore or sperm ampulla is a capsule or mass created by males of various animal species, containing spermatozoa and transferred in entirety to the female's ovipore during copulation...

. The courtship ritual can involve several other behaviours such as juddering and a cheliceral kiss, in which the male's chelicerae
Chelicerae
The chelicerae are mouthparts of the Chelicerata, an arthropod subphylum that includes arachnids, Merostomata , and Pycnogonida . Chelicerae are pointed appendages which are used to grasp food, and are found in place of the chewing mandibles most other arthropods have...

 – 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, probably as a means of pacifying the female.

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.

Once the mating is complete, the male and female will separate. The male will generally retreat quickly, most likely to avoid being cannibalised by the female, although sexual cannibalism
Sexual cannibalism
Sexual cannibalism is a special case of cannibalism in which a female organism kills and consumes a male of the same species before, during, or after copulation. On rare occasions, these roles are reversed.-Prevalence:...

 is infrequent with scorpions.

Birth and development



Unlike the majority of arachnid species which are oviparous, scorpions seem to be universally viviparous. The young are born one by one after hatching and expelling the embryonic membrane, if any, and the brood is carried about on its mother's back until the young have undergone at least one molt
Ecdysis
Ecdysis is the moulting of the cuticula in many invertebrates. This process of moulting is the defining feature of the clade Ecdysozoa, comprising the arthropods, nematodes, velvet worms, horsehair worms, rotifers, tardigrades and Cephalorhyncha...

. Before the first molt, scorplings cannot survive naturally without the mother, since they depend on her for protection and to regulate their moisture levels. Especially in species which display more advanced sociability (e.g. Pandinus
Pandinus
Pandinus is a genus of large scorpions belonging to the family Scorpionidae. It contains one of the most popular pet scorpions, the emperor scorpion . The genus is distributed widely across tropical Africa and the southwestern Arabian Peninsula .-Taxonomy:The genus was introduced in 1876 by...

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.

The young generally resemble their parents. Growth is accomplished by periodic shedding of the exoskeleton (ecdysis
Ecdysis
Ecdysis is the moulting of the cuticula in many invertebrates. This process of moulting is the defining feature of the clade Ecdysozoa, comprising the arthropods, nematodes, velvet worms, horsehair worms, rotifers, tardigrades and Cephalorhyncha...

). 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. Moulting commences with a split in the old exoskeleton
Exoskeleton
An exoskeleton is the external skeleton that supports and protects an animal's body, in contrast to the internal skeleton of, for example, a human. In popular usage, some of the larger kinds of exoskeletons are known as "shells". Examples of exoskeleton animals include insects such as grasshoppers...

 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
Metasoma
The metasoma is the posterior part of the body, or tagma, of arthropods whose body is composed of three parts, the other two being the prosoma and the mesosoma. In insects, it contains most of the digestive tract, respiratory system, and circulatory system, and the apical segments are typically...

. When it emerges, the scorpion's new exoskeleton
Exoskeleton
An exoskeleton is the external skeleton that supports and protects an animal's body, in contrast to the internal skeleton of, for example, a human. In popular usage, some of the larger kinds of exoskeletons are known as "shells". Examples of exoskeleton animals include insects such as grasshoppers...

 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.

Scorpion sting and 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. 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 1000+ known species of scorpion, only 25 have venom that is dangerous to humans; most of those belong to the family Buthidae
Buthidae
Buthidae is the largest family of scorpions, containing about 80 genera and over 800 species as of mid-2008. Its members are known as, for example, thick-tailed scorpions and bark scorpions. There are a few very large genera , but also a high number of species-poor or monotypic ones...

.

First aid


First aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

 for scorpion stings is generally symptomatic
Symptomatic treatment
Symptomatic treatment is any medical therapy of a disease that only affects its symptoms, not its cause, i.e., its etiology. It is usually aimed at reducing the signs and symptoms for the comfort and well-being of the patient, but it also may be useful in reducing organic consequences and sequelae...

. It includes strong analgesia
Analgesic
An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

, either systemic (opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s or paracetamol
Paracetamol
Paracetamol INN , or acetaminophen USAN , is a widely used over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic . It is commonly used for the relief of headaches and other minor aches and pains and is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu remedies...

) or locally applied (such as a cold compress
Cold compression therapy
Cold Compression Therapy combines two of the principles of R.I.C.E. to reduce pain and swelling from a sports or activity injury to soft tissues and recommended by orthopedic surgeons following surgery...

). Hypertensive crises
Hypertensive emergency
Malignant hypertension or hypertensive emergency is severe hypertension with acute impairment of an organ system and the possibility of irreversible organ-damage...

 are treated with anxiolytic
Anxiolytic
An anxiolytic is a drug used for the treatment of anxiety, and its related psychological and physical symptoms...

s and vasodilators
Vasodilation
Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large arteries, smaller arterioles and large veins. The process is essentially the opposite of vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels. When...

.

Medical use



The key ingredient of the venom is a scorpion toxin
Scorpion toxin
Scorpion toxins are proteins found in the venom of scorpions. Their toxic effect may be mammal or insect specific, and acts by binding to sodium channels, inhibiting the inactivation of activated channels and blocking neuronal transmission....

 protein.

Short chain scorpion toxins constitute the largest group of potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

 (K+) channel blocking peptides; an important physiological role of the KCNA3
KCNA3
Potassium voltage-gated channel, shaker-related subfamily, member 3, also known as KCNA3 or Kv1.3, is a protein which in humans is encoded by the KCNA3 gene....

 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. Thus KV1.3 blockers could be potential immunosuppressant
Immunosuppressant
An immunosuppressant is any substance that performs immunosuppression of the immune system. They may be either exogenous, as immunosuppressive drugs, or endogenous, as ,e. g., testosterone...

s for the treatment of autoimmune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis).

The venom of Uroplectes lineatus
Uroplectes lineatus
Uroplectes lineatus is a scorpion, endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa. U. lineatus is noted for is a clinically important venom .-External links:* *...

is clinically important in dermatology
Dermatology
Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases, a unique specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist takes care of diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails....

.

Toxins being investigated include:
  • Chlorotoxin
    Chlorotoxin
    Chlorotoxin is a 36-amino acid peptide found in the venom of the deathstalker scorpion which blocks small-conductance chloride channels...

     is a 36-amino acid
    Amino acid
    Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

     peptide
    Peptide
    Peptides are short polymers of amino acid monomers linked by peptide bonds. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, typically containing less than 50 monomer units. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond...

     found in the venom
    Venom
    Venom is the general term referring to any variety of toxins used by certain types of animals that inject it into their victims by the means of a bite or a sting...

     of the deathstalker scorpion
    Deathstalker
    The deathstalker , is a species of scorpion, a member of the Buthidae family. It is also known as Palestine yellow scorpion, Omdurman scorpion, Israeli desert scorpion and numerous other colloquial names, which generally originate from the commercial captive trade of the animal...

     (Leiurus quinquestriatus) which blocks small-conductance chloride channel
    Chloride channel
    Chloride channels are a superfamily of poorly understood ion channels consisting of approximately 13 members.Chloride channels display a variety of important physiological and cellular roles that include regulation of pH, volume homeostasis, organic solute transport, cell migration, cell...

    s. The fact that chlorotoxin binds preferentially to glioma
    Glioma
    A glioma is a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine. It is called a glioma because it arises from glial cells. The most common site of gliomas is the brain.-By type of cell:...

     cells has allowed the development of new methods, that still are under investigation, for the treatment and diagnosis of several types of cancer.
  • Maurotoxin
    Maurotoxin
    Maurotoxin is a peptide toxin from the venom of the Tunisian chactoid scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus, from which it was first isolated and from which the chemical gets its name...

     from the venom of the Tunisian Scorpio maurus palmatus

Consumption


Fried scorpion is a traditional dish from Shandong
Shandong cuisine
Shandong cuisine , in Chinese more commonly known as Lu cuisine , is one the Eight Culinary Traditions of China and is also ranked among the four most influential among these . It is derived from the native cooking styles of Shandong, an eastern coastal province of China...

, China
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

.

As a part of Chinese medicine, scorpion wine and snake wine
Snake Wine
Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and considered an important curative and believed to reinvigorate a person according to Traditional...

 are used as analgesic
Analgesic
An analgesic is any member of the group of drugs used to relieve pain . The word analgesic derives from Greek an- and algos ....

 and antidote
Antidote
An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. The term ultimately derives from the Greek αντιδιδοναι antididonai, "given against"....

.

In culture

  • One of earliest occurrences of the scorpion in culture is its inclusion, as Scorpio
    Scorpio (astrology)
    |Infobox align="right" style="border:3px solid white;"||style="text-align: center;"|Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the zodiac between the 210th and 239th degree of celestial longitude. Generally, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between 24 October and...

    , in the twelve signs of the series of constellations known as the Zodiac
    Zodiac
    In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...

     by Babylonian astronomers during the Chaldean period.

  • In North Africa and South Asia, the scorpion is a significant animal culturally which appears as a motif in art, especially in Islamic art
    Islamic art
    Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations...

     in the Middle East. It is perceived both as an embodiment of evil as well as a protective force which counters evil, such as a dervish
    Dervish
    A Dervish or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.-Etymology:The Persian word darvīsh is of ancient origin and descends from a Proto-Iranian...

    's powers to combat evil. In another context, the scorpion portrays human sexuality
    Human sexuality
    Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

    . Scorpions are used in folk medicine in South Asia especially in antidote
    Antidote
    An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. The term ultimately derives from the Greek αντιδιδοναι antididonai, "given against"....

    s for scorpion stings.

  • In ancient Egypt
    Ancient Egypt
    Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

     the goddess Serket
    Serket
    In Egyptian mythology, Serket is the goddess of healing stings and bites who originally was the deification of the scorpion....

     was often depicted as a scorpion, one of several goddesses who protected the Pharaoh
    Pharaoh
    Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

    .

  • Surrealist
    Surrealism
    Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

     filmmaker Luis Buñuel
    Luis Buñuel
    Luis Buñuel Portolés was a Spanish-born filmmaker — later a naturalized citizen of Mexico — who worked in Spain, Mexico, France and the US..-Early years:...

     makes notable symbolic use of scorpions in his 1930 classic L'Age d'or
    L'Âge d'Or
    L'Âge d'or is a 1930 surrealist film directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and written by him and Salvador Dalí.The film began as a second collaboration with Dalí, but, by the time the film went into production, Buñuel and Dalí had had a falling-out, and so Dalí actually had nothing to do with...

    (The Golden Age).

  • The first two pages of Ian Fleming
    Ian Fleming
    Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

    's novel Diamonds Are Forever
    Diamonds Are Forever (novel)
    Diamonds Are Forever is the fourth of Ian Fleming's James Bond series of novels. It was first published by Jonathan Cape in the UK on 26 March 1956 and the first print run of 12,500 copies sold out quickly...

    are told from the point of view of an African scorpion which kills and eats a beetle and is then casually crushed and killed itself, by one of the villains whom James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     would later confront and eventually crush.

See also


  • Palaeophonus
    Palaeophonus
    Palaeophonus is an extinct genus of scorpion, one of the first forms known. Fossils have been found in Europe. It was virtually identical to modern scorpions. Palaeophonus grew to a lengths of and would have preyed upon small creatures that lived alongside it, including primitive springtails and...

    , a Devonian scorpion
  • Paraisobuthus
    Paraisobuthus
    Paraisobuthus is an extinct genus of scorpion from the Upper Carboniferous of Europe and North America....

    , a Carboniferous scorpion

External links