Bites and stings – When to panic about scorpions
How do you distinguish a poisonous snake, scorpion or spider from one that is harmless? Below is a quick guide to the good, the bad and the ugly.
Out in the wilds, there is always the possibility of being bitten, stung or given a tremendous fright by a creepy crawly. The really good news is that most creepies are completely harmless, and the really dangerous ones tend to keep their distance. It's still good to know who's who in the zoo, however, just to be safe.
The number one thing to remember is to never kill anything. Ever. Secondly, never try to move a potentially dangerous animal on your own.
There will always be game wardens on hand who will safely remove a snake, scorpion or spider if it is posing a real threat.
Good - Thin-tailed
Scorpions with a thin tail and large pincers are the types you don't need to worry too much about. Although they can sting, it's not usually more painful than a bee sting and just results in minor swelling. Just watch where you walk, especially at night.
Bad - Thick-tailed
These are the ones you want to steer clear of, for example, the fat-tailed scorpion. It is easily recognisable: black in colour, with lighter coloured, thin pincers and a very thick tail. The neurotoxic venom is very potent and has killed a number of people. Steer clear.
Ugly - Tailless Whip Scorpion or Whip Spider
Not to be confused with "whip scorpions" which are just as strange-looking, the tailless whip scorpion is completely harmless. The pincers can still give a good pinch though.
They move sideways on their 6 walking legs, then one "whip" points in the direction they are moving, while the other probes for food. It's really a fascinating creature to watch.
They are neither spider nor scorpion, although they are classified in the same family.
Click here to find out which spiders are good, bad and ugly...
Posted on: June 8, 2012, 5:41 PM