Is the Indian red scorpion to be feared?

The Indian red scorpion does not go after people, but it certainly needs to be feared. It is considered the most lethal scorpion in the world, and it will sting to defend itself. This can be dangerous, especially to little children.

These scorpions appear to prefer humid tropical and subtropical habitats, and are found in India, Pakistan, and Nepal etc. 2 to 3-1/2 inches long, they can be coloured from bright reddish orange to dull brown. They have small pincers, a thick tail and of course a large stinger.

The Indian red scorpion is a night hunter, which subdues prey using its chelae (claws) and stinger. It usually preys on small invertebrates like cockroaches, but sometimes will go for small vertebrates, too, like lizards and rodents.

Even though fearsome, the toxin of the Indian red scorpion has many uses in medicine.

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Where can we see funnel-web spiders?

The funnel-web spiders get their name from their webs which are shaped like a funnel. The funnel’s mouth opens wide, and the spider sits patiently in the narrow part. When an insect prey touches the web, the spider rushes out to capture it. At least 40 species have been identified among these spiders, several of them carrying highly toxic venom. Especially dangerous is the male of Atrax robustus, or the Sydney funnel-web spider, which has caused many deaths. It has become part of Sydney’s folklore. An antivenom for its toxin was introduced in 1981.

Funnel-web spiders mainly live in eastern Australia, in the moist forest regions and highlands. They can be from 1 cm to 5 cm in body length, with the females more heavily built than the males. The front part of their body is covered with a carapace which is sparsely haired and glossy, and the colour of the body can vary from black to brown.

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Is the coastal taipan highly venomous?

The coastal taipan has very powerful venom, though not quite as strong as that of its cousin, the inland taipan. Anyway, these coastal snakes are more dangerous to humans than their more toxic relatives, because they live in areas where more people live. The coastal taipan’s venom is considered as the third most toxic among all the land snakes. Effective anti-venom for this was developed in the mid-1950s, and before that a bite from the taipan meant sure death.

The coastal taipans are found along northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory, along the Queensland coast. They live in a range of green habitats from forests to open grasslands, thriving particularly well in sugarcane fields where there are lots of rodents to feed on. These snakes hunt mostly during the day, using their sharp eyesight, but when it gets too hot, they will hunt at night too.

The coastal taipan is Australia’s longest venomous snake, some of them measuring up to 3 metres.

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Where can we find a boomslang?

‘Boomslang’ literally means ‘tree snake’, in Afrikaans and Dutch. As the name suggests, the boomslang snakes prefer to live in areas with trees wooded grasslands, arid savannas, lowland forests, etc. They are found in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They live on the trees and are active during the day. Extremely agile, they are very adept at climbing trees and gliding through the branches while hunting. The boomslang is a very dangerous, venomous snake. When the weather gets too cold, they take long, deep sleeps inside enclosed bird-nests.

The boomslangs can be of different colours, though most have a bright green colour.

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Why is the inland taipan a shy fighter?

Meet someone who’s peaceful and shy – but take care, he’s considered among the most venomous snakes in the world!

The inland taipan is common to the semi-arid regions of central east Australia. Its venom is considered to be the most toxic among all snakes. In spite of the deadly weapon they carry, these snakes are usually shy and like to be left alone. But they defend themselves fiercely, when provoked or harmed. First the snake raises the front of its body in an S-shaped curve, to make a warning display. If the adversary ignores this warning, it will strike instantly and accurately.

These shy inland snakes have a relative in the coastal regions, the coastal taipans, which are aggressive.

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