Mar 4, 2013 1:32 PM by Ryan Haarer

New scorpion species found in Catalinas

TUCSON - There are around 30 different scorpion species in Arizona. Just recently another was added to the list. It's creepy, it's crawly, and it was found in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

They call it Vaejovis Brysoni, the second species of the Vaejovis family to be found in this mountain range.

"As soon as i looked at this one, and I knew it was from the Catalina's, I knew, wow! This is a good one here," said Rich Ayrey, who has been studying scorpions for years.

Using black lights at night the new scorpion was found off the Catalina highway. The discovery was sent off to Rich for identification.

"The thing that stands out to me is the shape of the claws," said, Ayrey.

The Poison Control and Information Centers in Arizona took in 12,000 calls about stings last year. The good news, 95 percent of the calls were handled without a trip to the hospital.

"They can have a significant amount of pain. They can have some numbness and tingling that spreads throughout their entire body. So it is very common to be stung in the foot and have your lips face and tongue even feel numb," said, director Dr.Keith Boesen.

Only one species in Arizona proves to be potentially life threatening and that's the bark scorpion.

"More significant symptoms that occur, and again much more common in kids, it can cause thrashing of the arms and legs, uncontrollable movements. It affects the eyes, they eyes are roaming around. The kids get a lot of drooling and it can affect their ability to breathe," said, Boesen.

Luckily this new species is not as venomous. Beside the point, Rich has handled thousands of scorpions and never been stung.

"Don't worry about the scorpions. They've been around a lot longer than people and they are really not that big a deal. Just love them like god loves everything else in the world is what I'd say," said Ayrey.

If you are stung clean the area and apply a cold compress. Then call the Poison Control Center. They are very experienced in handling these stings over the phone. Rich believes there are possibly ten more species in this family to be added to the list and hopes to uncover as many of them as possible.


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