Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scorpions


One thing I could live without in Arizona are the scorpions. They live underground and come out when the nighttime temperatures are over 70 degrees. Some areas have more, some less, even in some housing subdivisions, there are scorpion hot spots where you find more.
They are thought to be ancient, fossils are found from 425 million years ago. They survive because of their unique nature of having a hard exoskeleton, which they molt as they grow. There are over 90 species of scorpions, most found west of the Mississippi. The one that has the harshest sting in Arizona is the Bark Scorpion. They are brown-tan in color and are generally 1-1.5 inches long.
Scorpions don't bite, they sting leaving a neurotoxin that paralyzes it's prey. Their food is mostly crickets and spiders. If you are unlucky enough to get stung by a scorpion, their sting is not fatal, it is generally thought of to be like a bee sting with the pain lasting up to 24 hours. Then the area becomes numb (from the toxin) which can last a week or more. It is recommended to take infants to the emergency room as a scorpion sting can cause some breathing difficulties in a child so small. Most other people just wait for the symptoms to subside.
I found this critter in my bathtub. Need I say more?

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