Watershed 3 minute read

Scorpions in the Canal areas

Scorpions are successful and evolutionarily very ancient predators. They are widely represented throughout the world, with an estimated 2,100 species […]

Scorpions are successful and evolutionarily very ancient predators. They are widely represented throughout the world, with an estimated 2,100 species distributed in subtropical and tropical regions. Their flattened bodies allow them to hide in small spaces. They live in a variety of microhabitats, under rocks and plant material such as tree trunks, leaves and bark. But also, in any cracks and crevices in places of human, industrial or household activity.

El género Tityus está relacionado con envenenamientos mortales en nuestro país. Existen varias especies, y su tamaño y coloración dependen de cada especie. Pueden tener de 3 a 10 centímetros de longitud. Su coloración es también muy variada, va del marrón claro hasta individuos totalmente negros. (ver casilla a la derecha)
The genus Tityus is related to fatal poisonings in our country. There are several species, and their size and coloration depend on each species. They can be from 3 to 10 centimeters long. Their coloration is also very varied, ranging from light brown to completely black individuals.

Scorpions are not insects, they belong to a different group called arachnids and absolutely all of them are venomous. The toxic potency of the venom depends on each species. Some can be lethal, but most cause reactions comparable in severity to a bee sting. However, they can also trigger an allergic reaction.

El género Centruroides está entre los más abundantes en las áreas de actividad norte y sur del Canal. Tenemos varias especies con tamaños que van de 8 a 12 centímetros. Su coloración puede ser marrón oscuro, marrón rojizo y amarilloso. Es causante de la mayoría de los accidentes, y su veneno es moderado y en algunos casos leve. Hasta el momento no está asociado a fatalidades.
The genus Centruroides is among the most abundant in the northern and southern activity areas of the Canal. We have several species ranging in size from 8 to 12 centimeters. Its coloration can be dark brown, reddish brown and yellowish. It is the cause of most accidents, and its venom is moderate and in some cases mild. So far it is not associated with fatalities.

Experts point out that Panama has the highest incidence of scorpionism in the Central American region. In areas of the Canal Watershed there are scorpions of medical importance, so it is essential to follow safety recommendations to avoid accidents. Among the most relevant are the species of the genus Tityus, whose venom is toxic enough to be considered lethal. But other species also live in these areas, whose venoms represent less risk to people. In any case, it is advisable to always seek medical attention, especially when dealing with children.

Opisthacanthus elatus es una especie muy común en los bosques canaleros y a veces en las áreas de trabajo. Es color negro y su tamaño ronda los 8.5 centímetros. Su cuerpo grueso llama mucho la atención y es robusto, con dos enormes pinzas. Por su aspecto corpulento, se pensaría que es muy peligroso, pero su veneno tiene efecto moderado, según datos disponibles.
Opisthacanthus elatus is a very common species in Canal forests and sometimes in work areas. It is black in color and its size is around 8.5 centimeters. Its thick body attracts a lot of attention and is robust, with two enormous pincers. Because of its corpulent appearance, one would think it is very dangerous, but its venom has a moderate effect, according to available data.
  • The names scorpion and scorpion have different origins, the former being Greek and the latter Arabic, but they are synonymous and refer to the same animal.
  • Scorpions have nocturnal habits, they catch their prey with their pincers and inject venom with their sting. They feed on crickets, cockroaches, beetles, termites, ants, spiders and small lizards.
  • Their venom has therapeutic properties that are studied for the treatment of cancer, arthritis and tumors. Also as an antibiotic, antiviral and reinforcement of the immune system.

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