Deadly Scorpions

In many Hollywood movies, the image of a deadly scorpion walking around in the desert has been a cue for impending danger or betrayal. The poison is often portrayed as very potent and able to kill an adult human being in a matter of seconds.

These films are often exaggerations of what is really out there; only a few scorpions are considered to be deadly to humans. The venom of most scorpions is only potent enough to kill the small insects or animals that they feed on. In fact, the United States has only one type of scorpion that is considered deadly to humans.

The Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) is the only deadly scorpion present in the U.S. Both its scientific and common names have changed throughout the years. Sometimes it is referred to as the "sculptured scorpion." It can grow up to around 8 cm by the time it reaches its adult stage.

Another deadly scorpion that is worth noting is the fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus australis). There have been reports of human deaths in various parts of Southwest Asia brought about by its sting.

The Brazilian yellow scorpion (Tityus serrulatus) has been known to cause deaths in children.

The Death Stalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus) possesses venom that may not be as potent as the aforementioned scorpions, but large doses of its venom can cause very serious harm to human beings. It frequents the deserts and arid climates. It has a very bright yellow color with a distinctive pattern on its exterior.