Differences between a scorpion and a scorpion

Have you ever wondered ¿what are the differences between a scorpion and a scorpion? In this AnimalWised article, we will clarify that question and give you some interesting details about these animals. We start by telling you that the word scorpion has its origin in the Latin scorpĭo, -ōnis, and this in turn from the Greek σκορπίος (skorpíos), while scorpion comes from the Hispanic Arabic al ‘aqráb, and this comes from the classical Arabic ‘ aqrab.

Nevertheless, biologically they are the same animal, which has been named in two different ways, so we can consider both words as synonyms and, in this sense, there are no differences between a scorpion and a scorpion. The use of one word or another has to do with the preference or custom of a particular country or area. Once we have clarified this aspect, let's learn more about these unique animals.

You may also be interested in: Types of scorpions Index
  1. How is the scorpion different from the scorpion?
  2. Classification of scorpions or scorpions
  3. Parts of the scorpion or scorpion
  4. Is the scorpion or scorpion poisonous?
  5. Behavior of scorpions or scorpions

How is the scorpion different from the scorpion?

As we have already mentioned, scorpion or scorpion corresponds to same animal. There are no differences between them. What happens is that depending on the region or area, one or another name is used to refer to the same animal.

For example, in Mexico, there are areas where the word scorpion is used mostly, while in others, especially to the north, scorpion is used. In countries like Venezuela and Argentina, one or the other is used interchangeably. In Spain the word scorpion is in disuse, generally using scorpion. In English speaking countries the word scorpion is used, in Italian scorpiones and in Portuguese speaking escorpião.

It is important to mention that there are regions in which these words are used to refer to other animals that do not correspond to these arachnids, such as the scorpion fly, the scorpion fish and the scorpion spider, which given their morphological similarity or degree of toxicity of their venom are associated with this order.

As for the taxonomic language that it refers to is the order Scorpions. However, it is common to find the use of the word scorpion in scientific literature as well..

Classification of scorpions or scorpions

Scorpions belong to the Phylum Arthropods, class Arachnida and to the order Scorpions. About two thousand species of scorpions have been described worldwide. The taxonomic reports of these animals vary, so that they are classified between about 13 and 20 families of scorpions, each with different orders. To make the distinctions between one family and another, anatomical and morphological characteristics of the same are specifically used. In various countries, there are endemic species of scorpions, and each time the reports are updated due to new species identified.

Some families of the order Scorpions

Some of the best known scorpion families are the following:

  • Pseudochactidae.
  • Buthidae.
  • Microcharmidae.
  • Chaerilidae.
  • Chactidae.
  • Euscorpiidae.
  • Superstitioniidae.
  • Vaejovidae.
  • Caraboctonidae.
  • Iuridae.
  • Bothriuridae.
  • Hemiscorpiidae.
  • Scorpionidae.
  • Urodacidae.
  • Heteroscorpionidae.

Of the families mentioned, Buthidae is the one that has the greater number of species, having more than 900. In addition, in this family are some of the most poisonous scorpions in the world.

Examples of scorpion species of the family Buthidae

Here are some examples of the scorpions of the Buthidae family:

  • Buthus occitanus (located in the Iberian Peninsula).
  • Centruroides gracilis (located in America).
  • Androctonus australis (located in Africa and Asia).
  • Tityus serrulatus (located in South America).
  • Leiurus quinquestriatus (located in North Africa and the Middle East).

Parts of the scorpion or scorpion

Scorpions can measure between about 8 millimeters to 23 centimeters approximately and their coloration when they are adults varies between yellow, brown and black, there are even some depigmented species. The anatomy of these animals is made up of the following parts:


Corresponds to the anterior region of the body. It is a highly chitinized area and is a kind of shield in which there is a small protrusion with average eyes, and ahead of these are located side eyes, which can vary in number. Also in this region we find the pair pedipalps, which are two pincer-shaped appendages with which these animals manage to hold and immobilize their prey, in addition to having a sensory function.

On the other hand, they have the chelicerae, They are not large and correspond to the mouthparts of these animals, which also provide the possibility of holding and tearing the food. The chelicerae are in turn made up of pieces called fixed and movable finger. The pedipalps are followed four pairs of legs with locomotive function and they increase in size from the first to the most distal of the forceps.


It corresponds, for its part, to the back region of the body. It is subdivided into mesosome and metasome:

  • Mesosome: in the mesosome we find seven segments, where the genital opening and some combs are located, which are sensory organs typical of scorpions. There are also the respiratory structures, which communicate with the outside, which these animals can open or close at will. Likewise, here we find the digestive system.
  • Metasome: for its part, the metasoma is made up of five segments, which is highly quinitized and its final part culminates in the telson, where the poisonous gland of this group is found, and the stinger, which is the structure used for inoculation.

Is the scorpion or scorpion poisonous?

All scorpions are poisonous. This is one of its main characteristics. However, only the scorpion sting of about 30 species identified worldwide and that belong almost exclusively to the family Buthidae, they are highly dangerous for humans. In this sense, the venom of the rest of the families of these arachnids is only harmful to the prey on which they feed. Therefore, the bite of most of these animals is not a lethal risk for people..

The venom of scorpions is a mixture of powerful toxins which mainly attacks the respiratory and cardiovascular systemr of the victim, and reports indicate that worldwide there are more than one million accidents with people, of which a little more than three thousand are fatal.

Behavior of scorpions or scorpions

Regarding the behavior of scorpions, we can say that most of the time they remain hidden, leaving their shelters when they go to feed or reproduce. In general, they can be quite aggressive both when hunting and defending, just as females are when they carry their young on their bodies, as we explained in the article on ¿How are scorpions born??

Scorpions or scorpions are unique animals, with a peculiar behavior and with some exclusive characteristics of this order. These animals have quite sensitive sensory traits, which are constituted by chemo, mechano and photoreceptor systems, so that they are very efficient hunters but also quite active when it comes to defending themselves. Another particular feature of these animals is their fluorescence capacity when exposed to ultraviolet light, which appears to be related to an evolutionary aspect of them.

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