Of all the living things that we find in the insect kingdom, I find scorpions to be the most interesting. These dry weather, hot loving arachnids have captured the hearts and minds of many young children with their armor plated good looks and dangerous tail. There are many interesting facts about these insects, but one of them is the fact that the mother will sometimes eat their own young. Why do scorpions eat their babies? In actuality, cannibalizing their babies is usually a last resort when no other insects can be found to feed upon. Let’s take a look at scorpions and they’re eating habits.
HOW SCORPIONS HUNT AND EAT
Scorpions use their claws and tail to subdue and paralyze their prey. Their claws are called pedipalps. The strong pincers can grab and hold an insect long enough to club it or poison it with its stinger infested tail. The stinger is known as a telson. This pointy end of the tail contains two granular sacks that produce and store venom. The aculeus, or pointy needle section of the tail, contains ducks that allow the venom to travel through the end of the tail into its victim.
These arachnids are voracious hunters. They have the ability to feel the ground around them with great accuracy. They can feel vibrations in the ground up to 50 cm away giving them the ability to feel the activities around them in a 360° area. When they feel a vibration, they’re not discriminatory in their attack. Whatever is in the nearby area will be attacked whether that’s an insect or a small rodent. Scorpions can tell the approximate size of an object. A large object, like a person, can be determined by the vibrations that the scorpion feels. This gives them an advantage in the night time to be able to sense the surroundings without the need for sight. This is why these arachnids are nocturnal.
When scorpions need to mate, their hunting instincts work against them. Females cannot detect the difference between a male scorpion or any other form of food. So if a male scorpion comes in the vicinity of a female, the female will attack instinctively. Often, males will be consumed in the mating ritual, especially if they act inappropriately. In order to know that these males are not there to attack or be food, there is a ritual that they must complete. This courtship ritual will have eight steps plus a mating dance. The male must raise his tail, strut and judder to indicate his interest. This begins a progression of de-escalating and progressively less antagonistic touching until the two can mate with one another. If you’re having an issue with scorpions, call your Tulsa pest control company today.
Once they have mated, the mother will bear her young alive. She doesn’t lay eggs like other arachnids or any other insects. Depending on the species and the climate, the female can take anywhere from several months to a year and a half to birth her children. The young scorpions will climb up on her back and stay there for anywhere from 1 to 6 years in order to come to maturity. When they’re first born, their exoskeleton is very soft and must develop into a stronger more solid exoskeleton overtime. They will stay on the mothers back until their first mold where they will get a much harder exoskeleton. After the first molt, they will leave their mothers back and assume an independent existence. Scorpions will molt anywhere from 5 to 6 times before they become a full grown adult.
TYPES OF SCORPIONS
In Oklahoma we have approximately between three and five different scorpions. But there’s only one scorpion that is found all the way across the state and that is the striped bark scorpion. This scorpion can sting you, but it’s not poisonous in the most common sense of the word. Its sting is much like a bee sting in that it hurts very badly and you can have an allergic reaction to it. But in most cases, this sting can be easily treated at home without the need of seeing a doctor or hospital. There are much more poisonous scorpions in America. In Arizona, we find the Arizona bark scorpion. It is known as the most poisonous scorpion in North America. But even its sting is only dangerous if you have a significant allergy.
The most poisonous scorpions in the world are found in the Middle East and northern Africa. The title of the most poisonous scorpion in the world belongs to a scorpion known as the death stalker. This scorpion’s venom is lethal because it has multiple neurotoxins in it. While this venom is extremely dangerous, it’s also one of the most valuable liquids in the world. At $39 million per gallon, it’s been found to be very affective in the treatment of cancer, malaria and other bacteria borne illnesses. Coming in a close second is the fat tailed scorpion. This scorpion is also native to North Africa. While it’s slightly less toxic in its venom, it is responsible for way more casualties than the death stalker. The Tunisian fat tail scorpion alone is responsible for 80% of stings and 90% of deaths from scorpion stings in North Africa.
DEALING WITH SCORPIONS
If you’re having issues with scorpions or any other pests in your home or yard, it’s time to call in a professional Tulsa exterminator. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with scorpions or any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Claremore, Catoosa, Turley, Broken Arrow, Prattville, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Bixby, Haskell, Jenks and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!