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Scorpions

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
Darwin
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Unread postby Darwin » Thu May 31, 2007 2:49 pm

A lot of scorpions at KTP as well... especially hot, windy summer nights!

ALWAYS check your shoes in the morning before putting them on! And don't stick your hand into a hole... I know that it is stupid but sometimes you do things without thinking... and from experience a scorpion stung is quite painful! :redface:

However they don't deserve to be killed so just be on the lookout, wear closed shoes - especially at night and take care!

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Kingfisha
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Thu May 31, 2007 2:53 pm

Although a lot of scorpion stings occur on the feet, it seems that we do not protect our hands ! A pair of thick leather gloves now accompany us to all NP holidays and weekends. Hubby was stung on the finger when taking wood out of the bag ...and by one of the most venomous scorpions as well. He just made it to the Phalaborwa hospital...
I also had an encounter with a Pharabuthus in Kgalagadi once (was in April), was not stung, but it was close.....

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Thu May 31, 2007 2:57 pm

If camping in arid parks best thing is to take your shoes with you in the sleeping compartment of the tent.

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Bush Baptist
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu May 31, 2007 4:32 pm

Scorpions will not attack, they just defend themselves when threatened. Most stings occur when the stung person was not aware of the scorpion.
I have seen quite a few in KTP from close range and they just want to get away or be left in peace.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Kingfisha
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:51 am

That counts for most wild animals, they are more scared of us than we of them. But we do share the same environment, and this little bugger climbed into our wood - always a place to be aware of scorpions!
Because hospitals and dr's are often so far from these places, the treatment is quite important and one has to be prepared. ICE AND CELESTAMINE. O and my doctor told me to give the person a hand-ful of cortizones immediately with the celestamines, it works. But ice is no.1

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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:56 am

muldooy wrote:He just made it to the Phalaborwa hospital...


As far as I understand people don't die from the venom itself, but rather from shock instead.

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Kingfisha
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:19 am

Hi Wildtuinman, quite correct. When my hubby arrived at Phalaborwa hospital they kept him overnight for observation, reason being that his blood pressure went through the roof! Apparently it is the body's response to the pain and that is the danger. But the ice helped to keep the pain in control and the venom from spreading faster. They immediately gave him a local anaesthetic to stop the pain.

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madach
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Unread postby madach » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:59 am

An easy way to find scorpions at night is by using an ultra violet light.
Scorpions will reflect the ultra violet light in the same way as white T-shirts reflect blacklight (is that also ultra violet light?).
I have a small torch that has only one ultra violet LED but with that torch I can find scorpions up to 6 meters away.
If you walk in a camp at night you'll be amazed how many scorpions you can find.

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Kingfisha
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:16 pm

Yes it is good to share these experiences with others, can only help.
I believe the most important is also to get the victim into a vehicle and start driving immediately to the closest hospital.
Take the scorpion with if you can.
Always have more than just the driver and the victim in the car - someone else who can help when there is an emergency so the driver does not have to stop.
Also a lesson we learnt.
We should actually open a post "what to do in an emergency" in the Parks - may save a life.

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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:27 pm

I have no problem with such a topic - but I do think we need to be careful not to make too much of this and frighten visitors. For instance, it took several visits at various times of year, before I saw a scorpion - and I love the smaller animals not just the big 5. Mind you, I wasn't using UV light! Outside of summer I suspect you will be 'lucky' to see one.

The same goes for most other emergencies - whether snakes, elephants or poachers. 20 years ago, there were even warnings in the huts on what to do in case of insurrection! OK, advice on what to do when approached by elephant - but not to make it seem that several tourists are killed or injured every year in the Kruger.

Richard

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Kingfisha
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Unread postby Kingfisha » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:34 pm

Richard, you are so right. I agree, but when it does happen it is quite a relief to know what to do. As I say, to share this 'for in case only" it may save someone oneday. I think its because I like to be prepared....also enjoy the smaller animals more and get to know them, their habits and their role in nature - it will be such a pleasure if more people can understand the big picture...not only the big 5!

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madach
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Unread postby madach » Wed May 07, 2008 11:54 pm

I couldn't find the topic where I've posted the original UV pictures of scorpions under UV light, so I'll post this here.

I'm quite chuffed about the fact that one of my pictures of a scorpions in UV-light has been selected for the final stage of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 competition (which is the ultimate competition for wildlife photograpers) :dance:

Fingers crossed for the final result in this competition....

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ScorpionKing
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Scorpions and UV

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:46 pm

Hi Folks
it's been known for many years that scorpions flouresce under UV light (small, directable beam, low power consumption, waterproof, lion proof). Wavelengths of around 395nm are best for scorpions and it's handy to note that UV LED torches are most suitable. Although scorpions show up under UV light, elephants, barbedwire fences and warthog burrows do not. Makes looking for scorpion in big 5 reserve very interesting. Another thing you need to be aware of is that UV light at this wavelength is not good for you eyes (never look directly into the beam). We wear amber safety glasses for prolonged periods of use.

Anyone interested in joining a spider or scorpion related activity (lecture, night walk, weekend away, ID course) should check out the events section of my site. Many of these activities are hosted by wildlife organisations and reserves. Please support them.

Kind regards

Jonathan
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Safrica
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Re: Scorpions

Unread postby Safrica » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:04 pm

almost stepped on this buddy in Lower Sabie Camp at night - good thing I had a torch :wink:

Image

Have no clue about the different types of scorpions but I try to stay away from all of them anyway :wink:
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Scorpion
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Re: Scorpions

Unread postby Scorpion » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:35 pm

This were one of our X-mas visitors one year - he looks like a mean one but he is rather harmless.

ImageLarge

I've heard that you can judge how venomous a scorpions' sting will be b the size of their pinchers - the bigger the pincher the smaller the sting!
Last edited by Elsa on Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Pic resizing.
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