Which scorpions are lethal and where are they commonly found?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: David Cheng, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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The lethal members of the Buthidae family include the genera of Buthus, Parabuthus, Mesobuthus, Tityus, Leiurus, Androctonus, and Centruroides. The following lethal scorpions are found generally in the given distribution:

  • Buthus - Mediterranean area, from Spain to the Middle East

  • Parabuthus - Western and Southern Africa

  • Mesobuthus – Throughout Asia

  • Parabuthus - Western and southern Africa

  • Buthotus (ie, Hottentotta) - Across southern Africa to southeast Asia

  • Tityus - Central America, South America, and the Caribbean

  • Leiurus - Northern Africa and the Middle East

  • Androctonus - Northern Africa to Southeast Asia

  • Centruroides - Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (Centruroides exilicauda is found in the Baja California peninsula of Mexico and Centruroides sculpturatus is found in the state of Sonora, Mexico and the southwestern United States, primarily Arizona and small parts of Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and California.) The accepted taxonomy of the bark scorpion has changed over time. Either C exilicauda or C sculpturatus have been accepted at various times. However, recent evidence from biochemical, genetic, and physiologic characterization of their venom suggests that they are two different species as listed above.

However, these scorpions may be found outside their natural habitat range of distribution when inadvertently transported with luggage and cargo.

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