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 species worldwide.
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.