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Dr. Bush and Charles Gerardo, MD (Assistant Professor, Staff Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Duke University Medical Center) reports that in 1999, 13,642 scorpion envenomations in the US were reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. 

Mastigoproctus giganteus - Vinegaroon




Brown Recluse Spider - Dr. Thomas Arnold, MD (Medical Director, Louisiana Poison Control Center, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Section of Clinical Toxicology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) states that brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusus) bites can cause significant cutaneous injury with tissue loss and necrosis. Less frequently, more severe reactions develop, including systemic hemolysis, coagulopathy, renal failure, and, rarely, death.


Robert Norris, MD (Chief, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center) that the only reported fatality occurred when a 7-year-old Filipino girl was bitten on the head by a centipede of the large species Scolopendra subspinipes, which may reach 23 cm in length.  Most species are smaller and relatively innocuous.

Approximately 3000 species of centipedes are found in the class Chilopoda, phylum Arthropoda.  They are among the less well-studied arthropods. Centipedes are elongated multisegmented arthropods with a single pair of legs on each body segment.  They are distributed widely, especially in warm, temperate, and tropical regions.  Centipedes spend much of their time underground or in rock piles and usually come out at night to actively hunt their prey.  They are capable of very fast movement when exposed.  The most dangerous species belong to the genus Scolopendra, with the largest members (Scolopendra gigantea) reaching lengths of 26 cm

Giant Desert Centipede - Scolopendra heros

If your physician is not aware of the particular treatment for the poison, contact the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-432-6866.

A good reference work for the poisonous animals of the desert is Hare, Trevor, 1995, Poisonous Dwellers of the Desert.  Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, Tuscon, Arizona.

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SKP Co-op Retreat of New Mexico, Inc.
P.O. Box 109
Lakewood, New Mexico 88254
Phone 575-457-2303 & FAX 575-457-2100
email: skpranch@pvtn.net