05 March, 2013

First report of the medical important species Hottentotta tamulus in Sri Lanka

There have been few modern surveys of the scorpion fauna of Sri Lanka. A few deaths and serious morbidity have been reported from the northern part of the island. Kithsiri Ranawana and co-workers report of the first findings of the medical species Hottentotta tamulus (Fabricius, 1798) (Buthidae) from northern Sri Lanka. The medical importance of scorpions in Sri Lanka is also discussed.

A scorpion species proved to be lethal to humans was recently recorded from Jaffna Peninsula (9°40'0''N 80°0'0''E, mean annual temperature 26.2°C), in the northern dry zone of Sri Lanka. This species is morphologically different from all other known scorpions in Sri Lanka. The species was identified as Hottentotta tamulus (Scorpiones: Buthidae), which is commonly found in Maharashtra, India, the closest mainland to Sri Lanka. Small children and housewives were most of the victims. Soon after sting, the patient develops intense pain at the site of sting followed by numbed sensation. Dominant clinical effects include excessive sweating, agitation and palpitation. Blood pressure of the victim goes up, and if not promptly treated leads to acute heart failure. There is a high risk of spreading of this species to the rest of the country due to transport of goods and sand from the area.

Ranawana KB, Dinamithra NP, Sivansuthan S, Nagasena II, Kovarik F, Kularatne SAM. First Report on Hottentotta tamulus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Sri Lanka, and its Medical Importance. Euscorpius. 2013 (155):1-8.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

congratulations, this is an excellent paper and may help to prevent deaths due to scorpion sting envenomation, whis is a poorly understood area in sri lankan medicine.