Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Scorpion
Scorpions are insectlike creatures (arthropods) that release venom
when they sting with the end of their narrow tail. Most scorpion stings are not
serious. But the venom of a few species can cause severe, sometimes
Scorpions are about
3 in. (7.6 cm) in length, have
4 pairs of legs, a pair of pincers like what a crab has, and a long abdomen (generally
called the tail). The bulb-shaped structure at the end of the tail contains the
venom and stinger.
One species of scorpion in Arizona and southeastern California of
the United States, and other species found in North Africa, the Middle East,
South America, India, and Mexico, have venom strong enough to be dangerous to
adults. A bite from one of these scorpions can cause pain and swelling where a
person was stung, numbness, frothing at the mouth, trouble breathing, muscle
spasms, and convulsions.
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.