Spotting a scorpion — whether on a nature trek or in your own garden — would scare most people. But according to Mumbai-based biologists Rajesh Sanap and Zeeshan Mirza, this is because most people can’t tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous scorpions.
Rajesh Sanap and Zeeshan Mirza (right) will launch the app in a month’s time
To take the sting out of this fear, the duo is now set to launch a mobile application with information about the different species of scorpions. The app, called Indian Scorpions eGuide, will be the first of its kind in the country, according to Sanap and Mirza.
The app will have trivia about scorpions, as well as high-resolution pictures of different species such as this one, of the Isometrus rigidulus, found in western Maharashtra
It will have a bank of trivia about scorpions, with pictures and details such as where the species can be found and whether it is venomous or not. Not only will this help other researchers to identify species, but will also help the general public.
Users can learn more about the feared creatures, and with Internet connectivity now spread across cities and villages alike, the app might also prove useful in case of a scorpion sting. Victims can identify which scorpion stung them and show the picture to doctors, so the appropriate treatment is administered.
“The main reason behind this mobile application is that it can help researchers working in the field to get information, along with others who are interested in learning about scorpions found in various parts of the country.
We have seen that there is a lot of fear in the minds of people about scorpions, and due to the limited information available, these beautiful creatures are highly misunderstood. Many a time, people kill them fearing that they will be stung.
We hope our mobile application helps to clear this fear and educates people that not all scorpions are dangerous,” said Sanap. India is home to 120 species of scorpions across 25 genera under six families, and the number of species increases each year with more exploration across the country.
“Scorpions are an integral part of most landscapes, from dry habitats to wet rainforests. However, they are notably absent from the poles. They are some of the most well studied arachnids, largely due to their medical importance and their role as biological pest controllers,” said Mirza, adding that the application is in the final stage of development and is expected to be out within a month’s time.
Features of the app
Basic trivia about Indian scorpions
>> High-resolution images of species found in the country
>> Details such as scientific name, colouration and description
>> Information on venomous properties