Wikijunior:Bugs/Scorpion

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What does it look like?[edit]

A scorpion from South Africa

It resembles a lobster or cray fish though much smaller (about one to two inches) in the United States, with a tail that curls upwards with a potent stinger at the tip. Scorpions have four pairs of legs and two large pincers at the front.

Where does it live?[edit]

Scorpions can be found in many parts of the world, including many states of America, Canada, southern England, Australia, areas of South America and Africa, In the Sahara Desert, and in the Alps, even the Himalayas and amongst other places. It prefers humid places and loves water.

What does it eat?[edit]

Scorpions usually eat small arthropods and insects, using their pincers to catch their food. Depending on how toxic their venom is and the size of their claws, they will then either crush the prey or inject it with venom which will kill or paralyze the prey so the scorpion can eat it. It eats insects, bugs, animal, snakes and in rare case even fish. If it can't find a pray in the woods, under stones and open areas it will go into the water to hunt for fish.

How does it defend itself?[edit]

Its main defense is hiding; when confronted its tail arcs and is ready to inflict a nasty sting that is rarely fatal in humans. The scorpion also has a pair of pincers and a pair of large claws in its front. However, it uses these mainly to capture and eat prey.

A scorpion carrying its young on her back.

What stages of metamorphosis does it go through?[edit]

Scorpions don't exactly go through metamorphosis. Actually, scorpions go through a process called vivipary which is a relatively small process. Instead of laying eggs like most other insects and arachnids do, scorpions develop their young inside and give live birth, much like how humans reproduce. After birth, the scorpion's young stay on the mother's back for nourishment. Scorpions then stay with their mothers until they have reached at least their first moult. Moulting is when a scorpion sheds its hard covering and exposes its soft body, allowing the scorpion to grow itself, as well as grow a new hard covering. After one or more moults, the scorpion is finally independent from its mother and has reached its fully-grown stage.

A scorpion fluoresces (glows) under a black light. Under regular light, this scorpion is black.

What special behavior does it exhibit?[edit]

The scorpion is a nocturnal creature, meaning it rests in the daytime and comes out to eat at night. It will usually try to avoid light at all times, and is adapted to digging and staying underground when it rests.

How does this bug affect people?[edit]

Scorpions are generally harmless and timid, and only usually use their sting for killing prey or defending themselves. Generally, they will run from danger and people or remain still.

Most species of scorpions produce venom that is especially designed to work on other insects that it eats for food. This means that it is completely harmless to people, causing only swelling and numbness when stung. Some species of scorpions, however, produce venom that can be deadly to humans.