How dangerous is dangerous?

Reitz

Arachnobaron
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Feb 12, 2003
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I consider myself to be a relatively well-informed amateur, but I saw something on Animal Planet tonight and I have a few questions for the pros.

The show was on venomous animals, and one of the featured stars was the scorpion. The handler was an army biologist who taught solders what to do in the case of a sting over seas. The segment on the show specifically focused on the L. quinquestriatus, which he claimed to have been stung by just two hours before filming. He said the sting felt like getting hit by a hammer, but that it only lasted about a day (he'd been stung many times before). He had the host of the show handle numerous scorps, including an H. Arizonensis, and an A. bicolor (I'm guessing, it really could have been any shinny black buthid with a thick tail). So how dangerous are these buggers when push comes to shove? I know the stats on the LD50's, etc., but aside from any abnormal reactions or complications, are even the deadliest species dangerous for a large, heathy, non-allergic man?

Now, I realize the potential for hypersensitivity after numerous stings, as well as situational factors, like where the sting was located, how much venom was injected, what kind of habitat the scorp had, how much/what it had eaten, and the time proximity between a current sting and the last one, esp if the scorps are used for milking, which is why all of this is very inexact, I'm just curious about the realistic vs. potential danger of a highly toxic scorp sting.

The reason I ask is that despite the studying I've done, I've never owned a dangerous scorp--I never had the need to keep something that could cause me serious harm. I've very careful, in fact, I've never been stung (knock on wood), but still, why risk it? The problem is that some of the scorps I'd like to study up close are harmful--for example, I've love a B. Jacksoni from Invertipet just for show, but on top of that, I'd really like to study a parabuthus sp. If this guy on tv is comfortable enough to hold them, perhaps the danger level is lower than I thought . . .

although now that I think about it, this could be like saying, since I saw someone do it on Jacka$$ it must be safe.

So what's the story???
 

invertepet

Arachnolord
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Oct 4, 2002
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Put very simply, this is how I see the whole handling of dangerous inverts matter:

* Many stings of potentially lethal species turn out to produce very little in the way of symptoms. The scenario in which the sting is administered has a lot to do with this, as does the health and size of the person being stung. I myself got hit by C. exilicauda the other night, a known 'hot' species that is rather infamous in the USA for having caused some deaths (mostly children) in the past (nothing reported since the 60's). I got it in the hand and the neck, and experienced nothing other than localized tingling and pain. I know of one person stung by P. transvaalicus, generally believed to have less potent venom than exilicauda. That individual suffered general symptoms of illness and acute 'kicked in the groin' sensations for at least a couple of days. He was rather ill.

* So although your first reaction shouldn't be to call a priest and write a will if you happen to get stung by an A. bicolor or L. quinquestriatus, I do think that holding such species for show is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette. You are quite literally taking your life in your hands -- and I can think of a few ways I'd rather check out than from scorpion toxin.

bill
 

Baphomet

Arachnosquire
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Feb 22, 2003
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Originally posted by invertepet
I do think that holding such species for show is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette. You are quite literally taking your life in your hands -- and I can think of a few ways I'd rather check out than from scorpion toxin.

bill
Agreed. Although I don't personally know anyone who has been stung by a hot scorp, I do know several that have been bitten by hot snakes.

The number 1 cause...sheer stupidity or bravado. As with any potentially life-threatening animal, the greater risks one takes the greater potential there is for the inevitable to happen.

Many have survived the effects of highly venomous snake bites due in part to the ability of a snake to deliver a "dry bite", and I would assume that a scorpion can also do the same; but I'm about as ready to stupidly handle a Leiurus as I am a Oxyuranus microlepidotus (Inland Taipan) to find out!
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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There was a bit posted here a while back about some current research which has revealed that scorpions have two types of venom -- a salt-based pre-venom and the lovely concotion of proteins that we all know and love. It is also known, I believe, that scorpions can control the amount of venom injected.

So, with two types of venom and some variance in the amount delievered, it is not surprising that effects vary greatly.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Grael

Arachnolord
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Mar 3, 2003
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ok instead of creating another thread i like scropian they kinda cool but i dunno they look soo much meaner than spiders i dont know too much about them to be honest im mostly concern myself with spiders but....can u handle scropians? or is it like tarantulas where some tend to me more aggresive than others? or r they a mainly look but dont touch!
just wondering coz was thinking about gettin 1 in the future :)
 

Reitz

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Feb 12, 2003
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339
I probably should have been a little more specific with my question. It's not that I want to hold my scorps (I don't even hold my emps), I'm just wondering what the "real" danger of highly toxic scorps is. I've hit my self numerous times with a hammer (I used to have a part-time construction job), so if the biggest thing I have to fear from a B. jacksoni is a sore finger, then it's well worth the risk. On the otherhand, if hospitalization is required, than the risk is too great. Same goes with parabuthus. Both of which are on my wish list, but I've been putting them off for safty reasons. As I've stated before, I've owned active, aggressive scorps, just not hot ones. I've always believed that the risk outweighed the benifits (for myself, that is), but after seeing the show I'm starting to think that I've exaggerated the real danger involved with hot species.

Thanks for all the info so far, this is a very helpful forum with some very informed people!

Peace,
Chris
 

Kugellager

ArachnoJester
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Babycurus jacksoni is generally not considered to be a dangerous species with venom comparable to that of C.gracilis-FL or H.arizonensis. Though personally, I still would not handle any of them. But that's just my opinion.

John
];')
 

Reitz

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Feb 12, 2003
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339
Kugellager---


As I said, I'm not planning on holding any scorps in the near future, but your post about the B Jacksoni is exciting (well, for me at least!). I've never read any LD50 charts that include it, so I have no idea what the venom is like. At Invertepet Bill has a skull and crossbones next to the species, so I assumed they were fairly toxic. Not to question your knoweldge, but how do you know their toxicity? I'd love to get one from Bill, but as always I fear the sting!!!

Peace,
Chris
 

Kugellager

ArachnoJester
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My statement is based on the charts in "Scorpions: Acomplete Pet Owners manual" by Manny Rubio and what I have heard other people say about it...some more knowledgeable than others...

John
];')
 
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