Scorpions: Scorpiones

Scorpions are similar to spiders in that they are one of the most charismatic orders of arachnids – which makes it extremely hard to write about them and keep it short.

Like most arachnids, scorpions have 4 pairs of walking legs, a set of pedipalps (the large pincers) to help catch and manipulate prey items, and a set of chelicerae. In spiders, the chelicerae house the fangs; in scorpions, they look like a smaller pair of claws that break down food into smaller pieces to help digestion. The harvestmen (daddy long-legs) that we covered last week have similar chelicerae; in fact, they are more closely related to scorpions than they are to spiders.

The venom is, of course, housed in the iconic stinger; the bulb on the end of the “tail” (not a true tail) is known as the telson, and houses the scorpion venom glands. Scorpion venom has the potential to pack a powerful punch; 25 species are known to have venom potent enough to have lethal consequences for humans. 

Scorpion Fun Fact! Scorpions have an organ that can store huge amounts food, allowing them to essentially gorge themselves given the opportunity. Combined with a burrowing lifestyle and a low metabolic rate, they are able to survive months without a meal; with some reports claiming up to a year!