The stinger of a scorpion is located at the end of its long, segmented tail. This barbed tip is used to sting a scorpion's victim, as well as defend itself against predators. Like wasps, scorpion stingers are curved and can be used numerous times to inject venom.
Depending on the scorpion species, the stingers are either thin and long, or wide and short. The wide, short stingers, found on scorpions such as the black scorpion or the emperor scorpion are painful, but not harmful. Thin, long stingers are found on scorpions that are virtually harmless, but they can also be found on some of the most deadly scorpions.
A gland that secretes the venom from the stinger is found at the tip of the tail. This gland can release venom numerous times into a scorpion's prey. This method of paralyzing the prey is used in combination with the strong claws that the scorpion has to secure its victims while they are being stung.
Scorpion stings are usually mild and can be treated like an insect sting. Some scorpion stings are much more dangerous and need immediate medical attention. The stinger will release the venom, which contains a variety of neurotoxins and proteins that can cause damage to the victim. This poison ranges greatly in its potency depending on the scorpion.
While there are over 1500 species of scorpions throughout the world, only a small number can be dangerous to humans. Being cautious in areas where scorpions are found will help you protect yourself from being stung. Scorpions are usually seen after dark and will seek shelter in the daytime. They are rarely found indoors, but they will hide in folded clothing, shoes and bed sheets. Shake out these items before you use them to make sure no scorpions are present.