Scorpions [pictures of scorpions] are
related to spiders and mites but belong to their own
order, Scorpiones. They are eight-legged with
crab-like pincer appendages on the front end and the
scorpion's tail is usually elongated and terminated by
a venomous stinger.
Scorpions use their
stinger to subdue prey and for self defense. Some
scorpions can deliver a deadly venom when they sting,
while in others the venom and sting are no worse than
that of a wasp. Highly venomous species occur in
northern Africa, the Middle East, South Africa, east
Africa, South America and one species in the
southwestern US (Centruroides). Antivenom
(antivenin) is available for many of the most venomous
Scorpions hunt at night.
During hot days they may wander into houses in search
of shade and water. They are most often encountered
outdoors under loose debris of one sort or another.
Gardeners should protect their hands with work
gloves especially around wood or debris piles.