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Scorpions

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
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ossendryver
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Scorpion ID needed.

Unread postby ossendryver » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:51 pm

Can you help me ID this seen in Mopani?

Image

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Tabs
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Re: Scorpion ID needed.

Unread postby Tabs » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:30 am

My own guess would be Parabuthus villosus. It depends on how large the scorpion was tho as the Hottentotta trillinneatus is +/- 80mm while the Parabuthus is +/- 140mm - quite a difference in size

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ScorpionKing
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Re: Scorpion ID needed.

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:30 pm

It's a female Parabuthus transvaalicus. The photo could also be mistaken for Uroplectes olivaceus. P. villosus occurs in the Northern Cape and Namibia, and looks very different. Hottentota trilineatus is very different indeed.

I have a document on my website of the scorpions of the Central Lowveld. Download it from http://www.scorpions.co.za/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_details&gid=39&Itemid=57

Kind regards
Jonathan

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Phalaborwa Scorpion Sting Karma

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:53 am

Hi Folks
I was involved in a scorpion sting in December where they guy stepped on a seriously venomous scorpion (Parabuthus transvaalicus). Asked to help out and answer a few questions form the patient.

A local doctor in Phalaborwa prescribed rubbing Handy Andy (kitchen cleaner) and ice on the sting site. He was also adamant that scorpions don't inject venom, rather they scratch the skin leaving a deposit of venom. Any rubbing of the scratch forces venom into the victims skin. He considers antivenom as to risky a treatment to even consider.

After over 28 days of pain and suffering (and probably lots of Handy Andy) the poor patient was feeling much better.

Irony is a bitch because this week, the same doctor was stung by Parabuthus transvaalicus :-) He washed sting site with mentholated spirits (cos he read that scorpion venom is not soluble in water).
He's injecting his foot with anesthetic every few hours and rubbing on Handy Andy. He has realised that rubbing ice on a serious sting IS a bad idea.

I still find it difficult to believe that there are doctors that still think this way and are clueless in the case of scorpion stings. Maybe he will learn from his experience.

I think this is called Karma!
Jonathan Leeming

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Re: Phalaborwa Scorpion Sting Karma

Unread postby Scipio » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:17 am

Scorpie, 2010 I was stung by the same scorpion, in the same town. :lol: :lol:

I went to the local Vet, believe it or not. Got antivenom, and 3 days later it was all over. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Phalaborwa Scorpion Sting Karma

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:25 am

Hi Scipio
that's more like it! Can you remember the doctor's name? In the original incident the doctor told the patient that patients usually have a serious reaction to antivenom so he does not prescribe it (which is rubbish). The local hospital had 1 vile (5ml) of antivenom which they "only use for children".

Antivenom costs just under R800 for a 5ml vile from www.savp.co.za. In an emergency, the best place to get it from is not a hospital but vets as more dogs get stung by scorpions than humans. Dogs also have a smaller body mass compared to an adult, therefore suffer greater symptoms. There are issues that need to be considered when using antivenom but it's a very effective and fast acting treatment which I would recommend for serious envenomations.
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Re: Phalaborwa Scorpion Sting Karma

Unread postby Scipio » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:41 am

Scorpie, it was the vet at the top end of town, cannot remember the name. :wall:

It is a fact that the veternarians have more stock of antivenom. So when in Phalagat, refer scorpionstings and snakebites to the vets. :lol: :lol: And they actually know what they do. :thumbs_up:

Scorpie, I was stung at about 8pm, wearing slops I stepped on the head of said Scorpion, obviously very peeved he let rip, but the force of the sting had him stuck in my heel. :big_eyes:

One thing I can say, I have had 3 stings already, and even the normal little Scorpions , the pain is excrutiating.

Antivenom was applied/injected around 40 minutes later. The foot was without feeling for a while, a bit of a headache(Probably the antivenom or the beer :twisted: Then it was over, with a slight hard little spot for a month or so at the sting site. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Stings like hell

Unread postby NetEk » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:30 am

Shidzidzii wrote:At the woodpile in our lapa we regularly get a scorpion sting. Venom is acidic and to neutralize the pain we keep a alkaloid (in the form of common petrol aka gasoline) to to apply with a soaked cloth asap. Worthwhile keeping a small bottle in any outdoors medical kit because it realy works.



Thanks didn't know that.

Wonder if bi-carb will work? Or even citro soda always have that in my First aid trunk (yes mommy of three your medic bag grows to epic size, you need to have 2 of everything adult and pediatric )
I live in my own little world. But it's okay they know me here.

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Re: Stings like hell

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:42 pm

The only black scorpion in that part of the country is Parabuthus transvaalicus.
Luckily it was a juvenile.
There are a lot of rumors and misinformation regarding the treatment of scorpion stings.
The following should help put the record straight.

Out of over 130 species of scorpion in southern Africa only 2 have caused deaths.
More people die from chocking on Chicken McNuggets (tm) than scorpion stings.
Guess which one I'm afraid of?

During a sting, the venom is injected into the lymphatic system.
It travels in the lymphatic system and begins to get absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate through the body.
Scorpions can inject varying amounts of venom depending on the situation.
Step on a scorpion and it will inject as much venom as it can (life and death situation for the scorpion). Irritate it by blowing on it and it would inject very little venom (a subtle message to stop blowing on it). Venom is an expensive form of defense that scorpion will not just waste!

So... once the venom is in the lymphatic system you cannot get at it by applying anything from the outside. This includes rubbing petrol, lemons, crushed up Panado, toothpaste, urine, vinegar, Mr Min or (my favorite) Handy Andy.

Most stings are painful but that's about it.
It's estimated that only 5% of stings need medical intervention.
We class the symptoms in the following ways:

Class 1: Localised.(Localised pain)
Class 2: Systemic. (Blurry vision, slurred speech, respiratory distress.)
Class 3: System failure (paralysis, cardiogenic failure, respiratory failures. etc..)

Only infants under the age of 2 (body mass compared to venom injected) and the aged (pre-exisitng health conditions) are at risk of death. However...

The first system experienced is intense pain.
Based upon the intensity of the pain, you can estimate the severity of the symptoms to follow.
I maintain that if you can handle the pain (Class 1), then no need for medical intervention.
If you begin to experience Class 2 symptoms then better be safe and seek professional medical advice (someone who does NOT prescribe petrol or Handy Andy).

Obviously Class 2 symptoms experienced within 5 minutes of being stung is a serious sign as the symptoms should start to intensify.
Symptoms often peak at about 5 hours after being stung.
Many people experience varying degrees of anxiety when stung by a scorpion.
These symptoms should not be confused with the action of the venom and should be treated separately.

Of course not all scorpions are venomous enough to warrant medical intervention.
Stings from mildly venomous scorpions (Opistophthalmus sp.)cause pain lasting for 15 minutes to a couple of hours, pins and needles for a couple of days.
A sting from Hadogenes sp. causes slight pin prick feeling, then itches for 2 minutes

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Jonathan Leeming
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Shidzidzii
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Re: Stings like hell

Unread postby Shidzidzii » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:43 am

Jonathan, a question for you please.
If you apply petrol immediately (before it gets to the lymph glands) would that reduce the pain?
Would it reduce the uptake of the venom ie. Total pain duration?
On the farm in December 2010 after the first really serious rains the scorpions came in droves (amazing to see this sight) to the lit up lapa after the insects.
We put in yellow energy saving bulbs and that helped.
That was when we also heard about the petrol remedy (Boereraat) in case of a sting.
The following night we had a office x-mas party and the lightning hit out the electricity.
One of the ladies decided to put out hurricane lamps on the ground inside the veranda to where we had all moved out of the rain.
I could not believe that so many scorpions could appear that fast attracted by light and the lamps had to go.
In January we were at Fish Eagle House at Letaba were a similar plague of Solfugids aka Sun Spiders or Red Romans were present.
It is near impossible to get a Macro close up photo of one we learned by experience.
Advice I can offer is : wear shoes; have soft lighting away from where you are sitting and learn to braai etc in darker conditions; and don't put your hands without gloves into funny places like a wood pile.
But creepy's are not marauding monsters wanting to injure humans.

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Re: Stings like hell

Unread postby ScorpionKing » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:44 am

Hi Shidzidzii
for the petrol thing to work you would have to inject it into the lyphatic system which is not a good idea. Bee stings work differently as the venom is injected into the upper layers of the skin. There are vast diferences between the symptoms of highly venomous scorpions and weakly venomous scorpions. At one end you have death and the other slight pain for 2 minutes then an itch feeling.

Many stings just cause pain for 15 minutes. In such cases rubbing anything on the sting site for 15 minutes will give the perception of a "cure" hence the old wives tails and misinformation (such as using petrol).

There are alot more scorpion sout there than many people think. I've seen a single dead tree with 15 scorpions in it. In the Nothern Cape it's not uncommon to see more than 200 scorpions in a single night.

Hope this helps.

Kind regars
Jonathan
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yoda
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Scorpions - Best place in Kruger?

Unread postby yoda » Wed May 08, 2013 4:31 pm

Hi Scorpionking
Or anyone else with experience.

Where is the best place in Kruger to see scorpions?
I am thinking in terms of which camp?

Mainly because you are not restricted to being in your car.
And you can walk about at night.

Thanks

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Re: Scorpions - Best place in Kruger?

Unread postby ILove Africa » Wed May 08, 2013 10:03 pm

We've seen lot of them in Punda and Shingwedzi in December, and in Tamboti in August. I use a UV torch and it works very well, now I just need to learn to ID them.

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yoda
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Re: Scorpions - Best place in Kruger?

Unread postby yoda » Fri May 10, 2013 9:09 am

gjorgi wrote:Doen anyone know where one can buy a UV torch?


I have seen some cheap and cheerful ones on Ebay.

Otherwise, Google "Jonathan Leeming Scorpions" He has some info on his website.

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Stephens.L
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Re: Scorpions - Best place in Kruger?

Unread postby Stephens.L » Fri May 10, 2013 9:30 am

Please note that we do have Scorpions everywhere in the park. They reside in different vegetations within the park e.g some are more dominant in the mountains. However, Parabuthus scorpions are more dangerous compared to others. Above all scorpions are more active in summer.

We have a scientifc musueam as Skukuza wherein, all Scorpions which are dominant in the park are displayed as well as information on their behaviour.
Regards

Stephens Ledwaba
Communications and Marketing Department
Kruger National Park
+27 (0)13 735 4116
stephens.ledwaba@sanparks.org


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