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Dangerous arachnids—Fake news or reality?

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Outpost31Survivor, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Too bad access to the whole article costs $36. But according to the Toxicon journal they are giving the hobby hots their seal of approval.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    These are articles I am finding by skimming through Jan Ove Rein's The Scorpion Files Newsblog.
  3. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnodemon Active Member

    Ok scorpions I understand. Keeping a lieurus or hottentotta in one’s room or house seems a bit too risky. Tarantulas are not. 0.5% of all spiders are dangerous, but what about the rest? I personally believe that maybe for species rhat are known for being extremely potent in terms of venom should be watched but others like salticids and Ts seem fine to me.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  4. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoangel Active Member

    As someone who keeps a number of "risky" species I believe that, even among invert keepers, the dangers are over-hyped. As long as you have well thought out safety procedures (and follow them) you can minimize the risks to almost nil. Scorpions and Sicarius are easily contained as they lack the ability to climb smooth surfaces. With my Phoneutria I made a sealed enclosure that never needs to be opened, with small openings with seals for food and water. And obviously if you have cats, dogs, or other pets that have the run of the house you should keep these inverts in a room with the door closed and - if you have children - locked.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Yeah, the hobby is basically doing a balancing act between being safe to just being downright alarmist by nature. The statistics are very optimistically and overwhelmingly in favour of healthy adults. Don't get stung. If there is an incidental envenomation - please don't panic and curse your bad luck or carelessness in what will likely ultimately result in a unnecessary and costly hospital bill.


    ** Diabetes.
  6. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Here is more from Dr. Scott Stockwell:

  7. MintyWood826

    MintyWood826 Arachnobaron Active Member

    To me the real question is, how possible would it be to get extremely restrictive and ridiculous laws of some areas regarding inverts repealed? Fantasy or very small probably.
  8. Entomologist210

    Entomologist210 Arachnopeon

    I have the full article and their conclusion is that "In summary, due to various reasons such as their small size, lack of vertebrate-active toxins, or their cryptic way of life, the great majority of arachnids are not capable of causing severe enveno-mations in humans." (Hauke et. al., 2017)
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Dr Scott A Stockwell has admitted he turned himself into a human pincushion with scorpion envenomations in the name of science and research.

    BBC journalist and writer Martin Hughes-Games personally witnessed Stockwell get bitten by giant centipede and stung by a Deathstalker scorpion he free handled with no ill effects. Stockwell has been stung multiple times by the Deathstalker. Hughes-Games contacted Dr Stockwell probably post 9/11 because Stockwell was in Afghanistan but he recounted his worst scorpion envenomation to date. Was it a larger dosage of venom injected by the scorpion? Or a local variation in the toxicity of the venom? Or a sign that Stockwell should stop letting hot scorpions sting him? I don't know.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2019
  10. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Why did the moderator delete my screenshot it was from google books preview it was posted up online for anyone and everyone to read. It has a huge chunk of the chapter The Bite Of The Giant Centipede featuring Dr Scott Stockwell posted up online, the title of the book is
    A Wild Life: My Adventures Around the World Filming Wildlife by Martin Hughes-Games.

    Copyright infringement? But its posted online for everyone to read?
  11. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    FYI, Martin Hughes-Games was the producer of the 2001 BBC1 documentary series, Steve Leonard's Ultimate Killers. And one episode was titled Chemical Killers, here is quick summary:

    In "Chemical Killers", "I'm going to check out the most venomous animals on the planet. I want to find out which could kill me, or you the fastest," says Steve

    It takes Steve three days, by plane and boat, to get to the tiny Indonesian islands where the first contenders live. Resembling scaly, prehistoric monsters, komodo dragons are confirmed man-eaters. Their mouths are packed with up to 70 different types of toxic bacteria, and one slashing bite from their razor-sharp teeth delivers a deadly dose of bacteria straight into the wound. After the attack, the komodo waits for its unfortunate victim to die of bloodpoisoning, about 72 hours later. What does Steve think of them? "Big teeth, big claws, bad breath."

    Komodos are found only on a handful of islands in Indonesia but Steve's next contenders, spiders, are everywhere. Nearly all spiders have fangs to inject their victims with venom. The biggest spider in the world, the Goliath bird-eating spider, turns out not to be particularly venomous, but in Texas Steve tracks down the small and deadly brown recluse spider. Talking to Leanne and Robin, two unfortunate brown recluse victims, Steve says: "Their bites were genuinely shocking ... I really wasn't prepared for what I was about to discover." A single bite can have appalling results, causing horrible ulcers, terrible pain for years as the venom continues to digest flesh, and sometimes amputation.

    Next, Steve encounters some highly venomous scorpions which specialise in extreme, agonising pain. Steve escapes without a scratch but expert Major Scott Stockwell is stung numerous times during the interview, including by the world's most deadly scorpion, the "death stalker". Scott knows that, as a big healthy adult, he's not going to die and has learnt to overcome the agonising pain by the power of his mind alone. But though scorpions won't kill healthy adults, they can kill the young and old from massive overstimulation of the nervous system, in about seven hours.

    In the Australian outback Steve meets Graeme Gow, who has been bitten twice by the world's deadliest snake - and survived. The snake in question is the inland tiapan, and one bite contains enough venom to kill dozens of healthy adult humans. Graeme is also the most bitten man on Earth, having sustained 183 venomous snake bites to date. The tiapan that got Graeme injected only a microscopic amount of venom, but it was enough to turn him into "one of the living dead" for two years. Steve and Graeme find the snake way out in the outback where it lives and, as Steve gets close, he finds out why this snake has to be so breathtakingly deadly to survive there isn't much food out here and every attack matters.

    I have scoured the net to locate this episode it can't be found.
  12. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    The late Lucian K Ross, a very passionate man (his nic here on Arachnoboards was Prymal), possessed a deep pool of scorpion knowledge. I have cut and paste some of his factual findings from the defunct ATS forum here:

    The old contention that all buthids are "hot" and dangerous is a bit archaic in view and without much in the way of substantial evidence to support such an ominous blanket statement.

    I will avoid a long and lengthy discussion of the subject. Instead, I'll just leave some food for thought and allow each person to form his/her own opinion on the accuracy of the above blanket statement.

    To date, less than 35 scorpion species (all but two are members of the largely cosmotropical family Buthidae) have been implicated in human fatalities. The family Buthidae currently contains 82 genera (48.5%) and ~783 species representing 46.1% of all described extant (recent) scorpions (~1700 species). How many species within the taxon Hottentotta have been implicated in substantiated human fatalities? How many fatal envenomations have been attributed to Ananteris terueli, Babycurus gigas, Centruroides hentzi, Compsobuthus werneri, Grosphus limbatus, Isometrus maculatus, Lychas obsti and Uroplectes planimanus?

    To date, human fatalities have been attributed to 33 species within only 8 buthid genera (Androctonus, Buthus, Centruroides, Hottentotta, Leiurus, Mesobuthus, Parabuthus, Tityus), which represent only 4.2% of the ~783 buthid species!

    The GREATEST majority of fatal scorpion envenomations are found within TWO age groups:

    0-5 years
    6-15 years

    True or false?

    Fatal envenomations in adults and the elderly are EXTREMELY rare incidents. True or false?

    Sadly, even the stereotypical "deadly" scorpion, A. australis does not live up to its horrific fear-babe reputation as a bold and aggressive killer of men! For example, a report by Balozet (1971) records 1,260 envenomations by A. australis during a 16-year period in southern Algeria, with only 24 (1.9%) resulting in mortality. In another report from Tunisia (Goyffon et al. 1982), 2,672 envenomations by A. australis were recorded during 1967–1977. During this period, only 12 (0.5%) fatalities were reported. In all, 3,932 envenomations by A. australis were reported with a total of 36 (0.9%) fatalities recorded!!! In comparison, here in Detroit, we have 600—780 murders per year (these statistics are based on bodies that are actually found or reported to the police).

    List the statistical evidence that indicates that the elderly are a primary group in fatal scorpion envenomations?


    Only in a few studies. The majority of studies indicate that groups consisting of adults 44-years of age or older are the least affected by envenomations.
    Bergman (1997) in studies of P. transvaalicus envenomations in Zimbabwe reported that children under 10-years and adults over 50-years were equally susceptible to severe systemic reactions and mortality. Overall, scorpion envenomations typically cause morbidity among adults and high rates of pediatric mortality.

    However, when discussing venom toxicity levels (LD50 values) it's important to remember that there exists problems in the LD50 methods and that there are problems associated in assessing the actual venom toxicity levels in scorpions. Venom toxicity levels are dependent upon various abiotic and biotic factors such as genus, species, age; structure of mammalian-specific target components; structure of the telson; cardio- and neurotoxic components; physiological and feeding states; victim's sensitivity, age, weight; the amount of venom injected and climatic factors.
    Another problem in assessing venom toxicity levels is that MOST medical, toxicological and toxinological studies focus on a particular geographic population. Several reports indicate that VTL's can vary greatly among geographic populations. For example: the most commonly cited LD50 value for Androctonus crassicauda is 0.32 mg/kg. However, LD50 values can range from 0.32 (Egypt) to 11.5 mg/kg (Turkey). And, while A. australis has been responsible for hundreds of deaths throughtout the Saharan and Arabian desert regions, no fatalities are reported for populations in Israel (Levy & Amitai 1980: 4). LD50 values for A. australis range from 0.32 to 6.0 mg/kg.

    Lastly, LD50 values should be approached with caution. The LD50 value of H. tamulus (sindicus) is 4.57 kg/mg. This species has been implicated in human fatalities. The LD50 value for V. spinigerus is 5.87 mg/kg and no fatalities have been attributed to this species! Close but no funerals!



    I need to look into more recent studies and see the statistics. Also, I found on this same forum a second hand account of a keeper allegedly stung three times by their deathstalker without any serious endangerment or impairment to their health.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 1:44 AM
  13. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Arachnobaron Active Member

    Why, are we planning a murder here?

    If not I don't see the issue, it's not like we are dumb enough to stick our hands in there or leave the container open.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    That is absolutely 100% true, I have kept both Androcs and Deathstalkers in my bedroom before without any issues or fears. They sat on a rather large desk in fact.

    To that I add what I fear is "hotdoggin daredevils" exploiting these animals for their own personal profit or just to be edgy jerks amongst friends or on the internet. Personally, a Grade II reaction or envenomation would be quite disconcerting. I don't want to experience it. These are very dangerous inverts but in case of an incidental envenomation things look very optimistic too. Don't panic. To paraphrase Dr Stockwell, any healthy adult over 120 lbs should be able to survive any scorpion sting.

    But not respecting them or not being a mature keeper, but being an attention seeker or a daredevil or simply believing yourself to be bullet proof is inviting disaster (like the young man in the video I posted in the T.stigmurus thread). And not promoting proper safe husbandry of medically significant scorpions to others could endanger them too.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Big NO-NO!: The passive behavior of this Androctonus scorpion really really troubles me, possibly its poor health or exposed to low temperatures. But the individual that uploaded this video probably believes its completely tamed.

    • Sad Sad x 1
  16. ArachnoDrew

    ArachnoDrew Arachnoprince Active Member

    I know the person in this video and that's my old hector specimen hes holding Haha
  17. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnoknight Active Member

    Wow really? Was it captive raised? I assumed excessive handling and/or environmental factors contributed to the scorpion's passive behavior. Anyways, I am not the least bit interested in handling an Androctonus that's for sure.

    A clinical FYI for anyone following the thread: