What is the End of a Scorpion’s Tail Called?

Scorpions are a fascinating group of animals. They’re arachnids with a segmented body, eight legs, two claws, and a tail. There are approximately 2,000 species of scorpions, with only 30 to 40 having lethal venoms.

One of these species’ distinguishing characteristics is their tail, which has a pointy feature at the end, and many people have wondered what is the end of a scorpion’s tail called. This article will tell you some of the things you need to know about scorpion tails.

Key Takeaways:

  • The telson at the end of a scorpion’s tail houses the animal’s venom glands.
  • Even though scorpion stings rarely result in death, some people may experience pain and other side effects.
  • When a scorpion’s tail is removed from the body, it won’t grow back, and the creature will slowly die.

What is the end of a scorpion’s tail called?

Arizona Bark Scorpion Crawling
credit: Ledzeppelinriff via Canva Pro

The end of a scorpion’s tail is called the telson. The whole tail is made up of five-segmented cylindrical metasoma segments and the telson attached to it. It’s the most bulbous part of the tail, where the scorpion produces and stores its venom and also contains the stinger.

Scorpion’s telson

The scorpion telson is a sickle-shaped venomous organ used by scorpions to paralyze or kill their prey. It’s made up of a vesicle, a sharp aculeus, and a peduncle. The stinger at the end of it’s called aculeus, and is long and thin, used to pierce the victim’s skin and inject its toxins deep into the tissue.

A scorpion’s stinger is covered in cuticles and spines arranged in a pattern that allows the stinger to stick into the flesh of its prey. The vesicles are where the venom glands are located, and the peduncles are what connect the telson to the metasoma of their bodies.

Purpose of scorpion’s tail

The scorpion is a carnivorous arachnid that lives in warm climates all over the world. They’re mostly nocturnal predators that hunt insects and other invertebrates like spiders and centipedes at night.

These animals usually feed on both dead and alive animals they find while exploring their surroundings, which is where their tail comes in handy. Their tail stinger is used as a defensive weapon and to inject venom into prey or predators.

The venom is used to paralyze or kill its victim so that it can’t escape from being eaten by the scorpion. Scorpions also use their claws and legs to hold their prey while feeding on them.

How painful is a scorpion sting?

Although the sting of a scorpion is rarely fatal, it can cause pain and other symptoms in some people. Several people react mildly to scorpion stings, while others have severe reactions that necessarily require medical attention. The type of species determines the severity of the symptoms.

Pain at the site of the sting is the most common symptom, which may or may not be accompanied by numbness and tingling. A person who has been stung by a scorpion may also experience nausea, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. In rare cases, a scorpion sting can cause anaphylactic shock.

This occurs when the venom causes an allergic reaction, causing airways to swell shut, making it difficult for oxygen to reach vital organs such as the heart and brain. The swelling and pain usually go away after a few hours, but the numbness and tingling can last up to three days.

Treating scorpion stings

Most scorpion stings aren’t fatal, but some can cause anaphylaxis in people who are allergic to them. If you have been stung by a scorpion and don’t have any symptoms of anaphylaxis, your body will most likely fight off the venom on its own. In either case, there are steps you can take to hasten your recovery.

  • Make sure to clean the wound to prevent further infection.
  • To alleviate pain, apply a cold compress to the affected area.
  • To avoid allergic reactions such as itching caused by the sting, apply antihistamine cream.
  • Take pain relievers to lessen the pain.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, breathing, muscle twitching, or slurred speech, it’s best to seek professional help.

What happens if you cut a scorpion’s tail off?

The tail of a scorpion is an important part of its anatomy. It’s used for defense, catching prey, and, yes, defecating. As a result, if the scorpion loses its tail, it’ll suffer and die. This is because the anus of this species is located near the stinger at the end of its tail.

Since a scorpion’s tail doesn’t grow back, having it removed will cause them to die because it’ll be unable to expel its waste, which will cause its abdomen to swell.

Five deadly scorpions

1. Arizona bark scorpion

Arizona Bark Scorpion
Bark Scorpion | image by gailhampshire via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Centruroides sculpturatus

The Arizona bark scorpion is a native of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States, and it’s one of the world’s most dangerous scorpions.

Its venom contains powerful neurotoxins and can cause severe pain, including numbness, pain, and tingling. Severe symptoms may include nausea, convulsions, or vomiting. However, this species doesn’t sting on purpose, and the majority of their stings are accidental.

2. Brazilian yellow scorpion

Brazilian yellow scorpion on a rock
Brazilian yellow scorpion on a rock | image by José Roberto Peruca via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Tityus serrulatus

The Brazilian yellow scorpion is a dangerous species of scorpion found in Brazil. They have a mortality rate of 1-2% and are responsible for the deaths of children and the elderly in the country. Its venom is extremely toxic, causing a wide range of symptoms such as fever, gastrointestinal complications, pancreatitis, and even death.

This scorpion is distinguished by its bright yellow body and dark brown stinger. This species feeds on small insects like crickets and grasshoppers, but it’ll also eat small rodents if necessary. They live in both rural and urban areas and hide in houses on piles of debris.

3. Deathstalker scorpion

Terrifying deathstalker scorpion with its tail pointing up
Deathstalker Scorpion | image by מינוזיג via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Leiurus quinquestriatus

The Deathstalker scorpion is a large, black, and yellow scorpion that lives in the deserts of Africa and the Middle East. It can grow up to 4 inches long and has a venomous stinger that can kill small animals.

Their natural habitat consists of sandy or rocky desert areas where they dig burrows for protection during the day. These creatures don’t drink water and instead obtain their fluids from their prey. Their venoms are lethal to children and the elderly. They’re also considered the deadliest scorpion in the world.

4. Indian Red Scorpion

Indian red scorpion on the ground
Indian red scorpion on the ground | image by Dinesh Valke via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Hottentotta tamulus

The Indian Red Scorpion is a scorpion species native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Although this species isn’t aggressive, its potent venom makes it one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world.

They live in a wide range of habitats, including tropical forests, vegetated lowlands, and even rural areas near humans. Their venom primarily affects the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, resulting in death in vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

5. Arabian fat-tailed scorpion

Arabian fat-tailed scorpion on the ground
Arabian fat-tailed scorpion on the ground | image by Mohammad Amin Ghaffari via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0

Scientific Name: Androctonus crassicauda

The Arabian fat-tailed scorpion is a deadly arachnid found in Africa and the Middle East. They’re about 4 inches long and come in light brown, red, or black. These species are also nocturnal and prefer to spend the day hiding in the desert.

It’s one of the world’s most poisonous scorpions. Its venom contains cardiotoxins and neurotoxins, affecting the heart and the brain. Their antivenom is used to treat scorpion stings in Turkey.

Conclusion

Scorpions are among the most venomous animals on the planet, and the stinging mechanism is located at the end of their tail, known as the telson. This is where the scorpion’s venom gland and stinger are located. However, only a few of these species are capable of killing humans.