The Latin word aculĕus, which comes from Accus (a term that can be translated as “needle”), came to our language as a sting. The concept is used to name the stick or conduit that ends in a point and that allows to prick: itch or prick to incite or enliven.
The most common use of stinger refers to the pointed organ that certain insects and arachnids have. This organ can allow the expulsion of poison or the application of an electric shock.
According to the Digopaul, the animals use the sting to defend themselves from predators or to carry out attacks. The procedure involves nailing the stinger into the victim, and then releasing the venom into their body. The Scorpions, the wasps and bees are among creatures have stings, although the characteristics of this body differ by species.
In the case of the scorpion, it has a poisonous stinger at the end of the tail. The honey bees, for their part, perish after nailing the stinger, which breaks off its body and becomes embedded in the victim.
Stings that leave the stinger stuck
Insect bites are very common in many areas, especially in the warmer and more humid areas, where they find the ideal conditions to proliferate. On the other hand, in summer the chances of bites increase anywhere in the world, and one of the reasons is that we begin to use less clothing, to expose more parts of the body, becoming an easy target.
As if a sting was not sufficiently bothersome or, in some cases, painful, when the stinger detaches itself from the animal and becomes embedded in our body, things become even worse. Not only is it a more uncomfortable and pungent sting, but it can lead to the appearance of certain complications, such as infections, and for this reason it is necessary to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction to this type of sting in order to know how to act in time.
Although it is normal to perceive the prick as soon as the stinger is inserted into the skin and then notice inflammation and redness, in most cases these signs disappear within half an hour. On the other hand, people allergic to stings continue to show these and other symptoms, such as fever in the area of the sting, for a period of up to five days.
In people with severe allergies, everything is potentiated and lumps appear in various parts of the body, in addition to that caused by the sting itself, breathing problems, lack of strength, headache, general itching and dizziness. It is recommended to call the emergency service as soon as possible; While professional help is on the way, it doesn’t hurt to apply cold compresses to the stinger area.
Specifically in the case of bees, the venom sac attached to the stinger continues to pump even after detachment; For this reason, it is necessary to remove the stinger as soon as possible. For this, we must use any tool that allows us to take it in the middle, since if we press the bag it can break.
The concept of sting in botany
If we focus on the field of botany, the stinger is a kind of spike that is found in the epidermal tissue of certain plant species. Also known as acleo, this stinger does not have vascular tissue and, therefore, its detachment is easy. In this way it is possible to differentiate between stingers and thorns.
It should be noted that sometimes stingers are confused with other organs or anatomical structures. In the case of whip rays, for example, what is usually called a stinger is actually its dorsal fin.