Scorpions have been feared for thousands of years, many people have a very negative perception of them. Along with spiders, scorpions are greatly misunderstood creatures that are often persecuted on sight.
There are over 1500 species of scorpion worldwide, with only 30 species considered to be potentially life threatening to humans. An estimated 1.2 million envenomations per year account for more than 3250 deaths. All scorpions have neurotoxic venom.
There is some variation in the symptoms of envenomation. However, the Venomosity Rule of Thumb can accurately estimate a scorpion’s venomosity just from it’s appearance. Larger species are more venomous because they have greater venom reserves and can inject more venom than a small species. The Venomosity Rule of Thumb applies to all scorpions throughout the world.
In Southern Africa there are on average 8 to 12 recorded deaths per year. Although there are no accurate statistics regarding scorpion stings, it is estimated that only 5% of all stings require medical assistance.