Next Article in Journal
Mesostructured Silicas as Cation-Exchange Sorbents in Packed or Dispersive Solid Phase Extraction for the Determination of Tropane Alkaloids in Culinary Aromatics Herbs by HPLC-MS/MS
Previous Article in Journal
Mycotoxin Metabolism by Edible Insects
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evidence for Resistance to Coagulotoxic Effects of Australian Elapid Snake Venoms by Sympatric Prey (Blue Tongue Skinks) but Not by Predators (Monitor Lizards)
Article

Scorpion Species with Smaller Body Sizes and Narrower Chelae Have the Highest Venom Potency

1
Venom Systems & Proteomics Lab, School of Natural Sciences, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
2
Macroecology Lab, School of Natural Sciences, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2022, 14(3), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030219
Received: 4 February 2022 / Revised: 10 March 2022 / Accepted: 14 March 2022 / Published: 17 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drivers of Venom Potency across the Animal Kingdom)
Scorpionism is a global health concern, with an estimation of over one million annual envenomation cases. Despite this, little is known regarding the drivers of scorpion venom potency. One widely held view is that smaller scorpions with less-developed chelae possess the most potent venoms. While this perception is often used as a guide for medical intervention, it has yet to be tested in a formal comparative framework. Here, we use a phylogenetic comparative analysis of 36 scorpion species to test whether scorpion venom potency, as measured using LD50, is related to scorpion body size and morphology. We found a positive relationship between LD50 and scorpion total length, supporting the perception that smaller scorpions possess more potent venoms. We also found that, independent of body size, scorpion species with long narrow chelae have higher venom potencies compared to species with more robust chelae. These results not only support the general perception of scorpion morphology and potency, but also the presence of an ecology trade-off with scorpions either selected for well-developed chelae or more potent venoms. Testing the patterns of venom variations in scorpions aids both our ecological understanding and our ability to address the global health burden of scorpionism. View Full-Text
Keywords: venom; scorpions; LD50; potency; body size; chela morphology; telson morphology; phylogenetic comparative analyses; defense mechanisms; evolutionary trade-off venom; scorpions; LD50; potency; body size; chela morphology; telson morphology; phylogenetic comparative analyses; defense mechanisms; evolutionary trade-off
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Forde, A.; Jacobsen, A.; Dugon, M.M.; Healy, K. Scorpion Species with Smaller Body Sizes and Narrower Chelae Have the Highest Venom Potency. Toxins 2022, 14, 219. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030219

AMA Style

Forde A, Jacobsen A, Dugon MM, Healy K. Scorpion Species with Smaller Body Sizes and Narrower Chelae Have the Highest Venom Potency. Toxins. 2022; 14(3):219. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030219

Chicago/Turabian Style

Forde, Alannah, Adam Jacobsen, Michel M. Dugon, and Kevin Healy. 2022. "Scorpion Species with Smaller Body Sizes and Narrower Chelae Have the Highest Venom Potency" Toxins 14, no. 3: 219. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14030219

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop