Scorpions have elongated bodies and segmented tails that are tipped with a sharp, venomous stinger. These stingers are the prickly organs designed for both offensive and defensive purposes; they have a poison gland ready to inflict a venomous wound from a single sting. Scorpions can sting repeatedly but must have time to replenish their venom.
The curved scorpion stinger is found at the end of a scorpion's arched tail, and is used to paralyze and kill any of a scorpion's prey, such as insects and spiders. Scorpions hold prey using their large front claws in order to sting it.
The venom from these stingers is powerful enough to immobilize prey, and some scorpions are poisonous enough to cause human fatality.
Some studies have revealed that a single species of scorpion may have as many as 40 to 50 toxins in their venom. However, of the 1,500 known scorpion species, only about 50 are considered to be life threatening to humans. Most scorpion stings will only cause pain and swelling similar to a wasp sting unless a person is allergic to the scorpion's venom.
Still, the fact remains that some scorpions are feared because their stingers are very deadly. Some of the most venomous scorpions are known to exist in Africa, India, Mexico and Arizona. The Centruroides sculpturatus species is the most deadly scorpion of the United States.