Scorpion season hits Spain

Scorpions make early appearance

Image of a Scorpion native to Spain (Buthus ibericus). Credit: Luis Fernandez Garcia/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

With Spain basking in unusually high temperatures since April, scorpions that are typically seen in mid-summer have started emerging earlier than usual.

Spain is home to seven native scorpion species that are spread across the mainland and the archipelagos, plus there are at least two exotic species introduced from other ecosystems.

Scorpion species

According to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, the native species include Buthus occitanus, Buthus ibericus, Buthus montanus, Buthus elongates, Euscorpius flavicaudis, Euscorpius balearicus, and Belisarius xambeui.

Additionally, in the Balearic and Canary Islands, invasive species have also made their presence known. In the Balearic Islands, Euscorpius balearicus lives in the rockiest and most arid areas of Mallorca and Menorca.

While in the Canary Islands we find Centruroides gracilis, specifically on the island of Tenerife, but it originally comes from Africa.

Staying safe around scorpions

Although the venom of Spanish scorpions is less potent compared to their foreign counterparts, it is still wise to exercise caution.

The Toxicological Information Service advises, ‘given the small amount of poison injected, their stings are rarely serious.’

  • To minimise the risk of being stung, it is advisable to wear sturdy footwear when venturing into areas known for scorpion activity.
  • Regularly check clothing and shoes before dressing
  • exercise caution when examining drawers or shelves
  • Avoid putting your hands in holes or cracks and be careful when lifting stones or logs.

What to do if stung

In the event of a sting, it’s crucial to remain composed and seek medical help without delay. Symptoms such as muscle pain, cramps, or tremors are common but typically resolve themselves within 48 hours. Prompt medical attention ensures that more severe reactions are managed effectively.

By understanding the types of scorpions present in Spain and taking preventive measures, residents and visitors can enjoy the warm season with less worry about these arachnids. Remember, awareness and quick action are your best defences against scorpion stings.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.