08 January, 2010

A review on Hemiscorpius envenomations

All dangerous scorpions belongs to the family Buthidae with the important exception of Hemiscorpius lepturus (and possible other species in the genus Hemiscorpius), which belongs to Hemiscorpiidae.

Jalali & co-workers have now published a very interesting review on Hemiscorpius lepturus envenomations in Iran. Data suggest that Hemiscorpius lepturus is actually the most dangerous scorpion in the country, especially to children.

One of the interesting (and dangerous) characteristics of Hemiscorpius envenomations is the lack of pain after a sting and a delayed onset of dangerous symptoms, characteristics that are oposite in other dangerous scorpions (buthids). Symptoms are also different with renal, skin (necrosis) and blood abnormalities not typical for buthid envenomations, indicating a different mix of toxins in Hemiscorpius compared to other scorpions.

Anti-venom for Hemiscorpius is available in Iran and is used with benficial effects.

Many of the published accounts of envenomation by Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) are in a form that makes it difficult for non Farsi readers to access. The purpose of this review is to summarise the Iranian literature on the toxinological effects of the venom of H. lepturus using both in vivo and in vitro data and where appropriate, details of methods and ethics statements will be reported.

Jalali A, Pipelzadeh MH, Sayedian R, Rowan EG. A review of epidemiological, clinical and in vitro physiological studies of envenomation by the scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus (Hemiscorpiidae) in Iran. Toxicon. 2010;55(2-3):173-9. [Subscription required for fulltext]

Family Hemiscorpiidae

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