The venoms are mixtures of salts, small molecules, peptides, and proteins. The peptides are specialized; some act against invertebrates and some against vertebrates, and some target both. This complex formula results in a neurotoxin which depolarizes the nervous system of the victim.
Scorpions are apparently able to regulate the delivery of the venom in scale to the size of their target. Some scorpions are known to produce a transparent prevenom in addition to the more potent opaque venom which is loaded with additional toxin. The use of the prevenom occurs at the initiation of the threat or opportunity. If the action persists, the opaque venom is released. These abilities enable the scorpion to conserve the venom for use when it is needed most, for larger predators or prey.
Most scorpion stings are not considered life threatening to humans -- the exception is the sting of the bark scorpion, the most venomous in the United States. Most of the scorpions in the U.S. are found in the southwest, preferring the warm, dry climates found in Arizona, California and New Mexico.
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