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You Won’t Believe Why Women Are Gluing A Well Known Killer Scorpion Species To Their Fingernails

During the early summer of 2016, a dangerous fashion trend swept the country of Mexico, and this trend has yet to die-off. This fashion trend entails gluing baby scorpions to fingernails, and these baby scorpions are not just any scorpions, they are actually one of the most deadly scorpion species in the world.

There currently exists around 2,000 scorpion species that have been documented, and 221 of these species can be found in Mexico. Of these 221 species in Mexico, only 8 are known to possess venom that is strong enough to kill an adult human. Although it may be hard to believe, but the Durango scorpion is one of these deadly species, and this is the same species being used by women as a decorative fingernail ornament. This means that there exists 213 non-deadly scorpion species native to Mexico that could have been chosen as a fingernail decoration, but for some reason, the deadly Durango scorpion is the species that Mexican women prefer to have glued to their nails as a mark of beauty.

While a mere 8 deadly scorpions may not seem like a high number, it should be known that the rate of deadly scorpion stings is particularly high in Mexico. In 2008, the number of documented scorpion stings reached 53,840 in Mexico, which far outnumbers the rate of scorpion stings that occur in just about every other country on earth. The Durango scorpion is not only one of the most deadly scorpion species in the world, but its venom kills sting victims within a period of 15 short minutes. This is astounding considering that other deadly scorpion stings often take hours to kill an adult human. Given the short amount of time in which this species kills a human, antivenom is often not administered to victims in enough time to save their lives, making the Durango scorpion responsible for a particularly high proportion of scorpion related deaths. Mexican women would really be better off sticking to simple nail polish.

Do you known of any other arachnid species that can kill its bite or sting victims within a matter of minutes?

Can Scorpions Be Found Dwelling In The Midwest United States?

Scorpions are one of earth’s oldest living animals, as fossil evidence suggests that they have existed on earth for nearly half of one billion years. Not only does this make scorpions the oldest living arachnids, but it also makes them the oldest living terrestrial predators, as they are believed to be among the first animals to emerge from their former ocean habitat. Considering the advanced age of scorpions on the evolutionary tree of life, it is no wonder as to why they have become one of the most diverse and widespread of all arachnid groups. Although scorpions are typically associated with the arid desert landscape that makes up much of Arizona, New Mexico and southern California, there a numerous scorpion species that exist elsewhere in the United States. Luckily, non-desert dwelling scorpion species are mostly harmless and prefer to hide beneath rocks before emerging at night to hunt prey. Many people may be aware of the fact that scorpions exist within states like Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and even North Carolina, but it is not commonly known that wild scorpions can also be found within the states of Virginia, central Kentucky and even Illinois. This makes scorpions native to the heartland states, where residents would never expect to spot a wild scorpion.

The scorpion species officially known as Vaejovis carolinianus, and more commonly known as either the “southern unstriped scorpion” or “southern devil scorpion,” can be found in the western portion of North Carolina. Two other scorpion species,  Centruroides vittatus and Centruroides hentzi, were introduced to North Carolina accidentally some years ago, and they still maintain a presence in the state to this day. However, what is most surprising is the fact that one scorpion species can be found within the state of Illinois, which is located in the center of the United States. This species is known as the the striped bark scorpion (Centruoides vittatus), which is a different species than the Arizona bark scorpion, which is the most venomous scorpion species in the US. Luckily for midwesterners who fear scorpions, it is highly unlikely for anyone to encounter this species considering its small size and reclusive habitat.

Have you ever stumbled upon a scorpion species in the midwest or eastern region of the US?

 

Big City Spiders Are Less Afraid of Light Than Their Country Cousins

Spiders in general aren’t known for running around in the daylight. They tend to stick to dark corners, as this helps them better hunt unsuspecting prey and it helps them hide from other possible predators. However, there is one situation in which a spider has a bigger advantage working with light; if the spider in question is a web-weaving spider. Prey such as moths are attracted to sources of light such as street lamps. However, these kinds of light-emitting objects also tend to be located in more urban and suburban areas. Tomer Czaczkes of the University of Regensburg, in Germany, believes that because of this, at least one species of urban web-spinning spider has lost its fear of light, or photophobia, in order to set up their web near such lights and take advantage of the better access to prey attracted to light.Waco Spider Control

It was after seeing many well-fed and happy spiders building their webs near streetlamps in Regensburg that Dr. Czaczkes began to wonder if city life has changed spiders’ behavior. When he found out that urban moth populations are less attracted to light than their rural cousins, he thought that the reverse might be true for urban spiders. Urban spiders should be more attracted to, or less afraid of, lights than rural spiders. To see if his theory was true Dr. Czaczkes and his colleagues took 783 spiderlings from both rural and urban areas, as well as a number of different countries, and placed them in boxes individually that had a board dividing the space in half. He lit one side of each box with a lamp that produced no heat, and left the other side dark, with two tiny gaps allowing the spiderlings to cross between the two sides. After randomly placing each spiderling in either the dark or light side of the box, the researching then watched to see in which side they built their web.

The results were exactly as Dr. Czaczkes expected they would be. Two thirds of the spiderlings collected from rural locations built their webs in the dark side of the box. Their urban cousins, however, only built half of their webs in the dark side, suggesting that the urban spiders were indeed less afraid of light. The rural spiders were still very photophobic, but the urban spiders had adapted to the point where they did not exactly like the light, but had at least ceased to fear it.

Have you ever noticed how many spider webs in urban areas are close to light fixtures? Have you noticed less spiders hanging around near lights in rural areas?