scorpi-, scorp- +
(Greek > Latin > Old French: Greek skorpios, Latin scorpionem, Old French scorpion; poisonous animal related to the spiders)
The color of the body can be yellowish-tan to dark-brown, with the paired claws often a contrasting color. They have two very long pedipalps, or pincers, which strongly resemble the scorpion's claws, but the pseudoscorpion's abdomen is short and rounded at the rear, rather than extending into a segmented tail and sting.
The movable part of the pincer contains a venom gland and duct; the poison is used to capture and immobilize their tiny prey. They do not bite.
To digest prey, they pour a mildly corrosive fluid over the prey, then ingest the liquefied remains.
They spin silk from a gland in their jaws to make disk-shaped cocoons for mating, molting, or enduring cold weather.
It is characterized by a five-segmented, flexible, tail-like postabdomen ending in the aculeus, or stinger, which is carried arched forward over its head.
There are four pairs of legs and a large anterior pair of pedipalps with strong distal chelae or pincers. Scorpions are nocturnally active predators feeding on other arthropods and similar prey.
A pair of venom glands connects via fine ducts to the tip of the stinger. Some 1100 to 1900 people, mostly young children, are said to die annually from scorpion stings in Mexico. In North Africa, deaths from scorpion stings greatly exceed those from snakebites.
Symptoms in mild cases are localized pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the sting. More severe cases show additional skin flushing, muscle fasciculations (twitchings), hyperirratibility, hypertension, and muscle weakness.
Although symptoms usually subside in 15 to 20 hours, severely poisoned people may develop generalized muscle weakness, paralysis, and respiratory distress. Fatalities also have been reported.
A sharp spine on the tail can inflict wounds that may cause severe pain, edema, collapse, and sometimes death.