All scorpions use their stings as a defense mechanism or a weapon to incapacitate prey. But the potency to humans of stings varies, depending on the scorpion species.
Some stings are mild, like that of a bee. They can result in pain and minimal swelling that is tender to the touch. However, there are some scorpions that possess more potent venom, which can result in death for sensitive individuals such as elderly or infants.
One thing that all scorpions have in common is that the sting possesses venom, which usually is neurotoxic in nature. One of the deadly stingers is commonly called the fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus australis). It is found in northern Africa and the Middle East.
Another carrier of a deadly sting is the desert scorpion, also well known as the “death stalker” or “yellow scorpion,” because of its appearance. This species produces one of the most dangerous stings and can kill prey easily. Once stung, the symptoms can include fever, coma, convulsion, increased heart rate, blood pressure and increased fluid secretion into the lungs. Like the fat-tailed scorpion, the death stalker is found in northern Africa and the Middle East.
Most scorpions do not have venom of significant threat to people. An example is the emperor scorpion, which has a sting that is like a bee sting. This scorpion is nonaggressive, and only strikes when provoked. This jet-black colored species is often kept as a pet scorpion.
If a scorpion stings you, consult a medical professional.