Scorpiosista virosae - poisonous scorpion
|Behind the Scenes|
Arachnoids have an extended thorax and six two-jointed legs (three on either side of thorax). They are similar in structure to the terran scorpion and other arachnids. The tail ends in a twin stinger that delivers neurotoxin to their prey. The male arachnoid features dark purple and dark markings; those with dark purple and red markings are female. Arachnoids are slightly bioluminescent, with two lateral lines of bioluminescence on their abdomen.
Rainforest vegetation. Range includes thin band of latitude in rainforest regions of Australis. Other species of arachnoids have been found in almost every region of Pandora, but are apparently absent from areas of intense volcanism.
Usual food source is small insects, but will prey upon small rodents and birds if opportunity arises.
Despite their fearsome appearance, arachnoids are shy and would rather flee than fight. Arachnoids have been known to take up residence in Na'vi baskets or, on a rare occasion, in the intricate weaving of a hammock.
To strike effectively, the arachnoid must raise its thorax, which causes the venom sac to empty into the stinger canals.
If left untreated, the sting from an arachnoid is usually fatal for a Na'vi child or elder. It has also caused death of Na'vi warriors during Uniltaron, although this is a rare occurrence. In any case, the pain it creates is excruciating.
Many Pandoran creatures have developed an immunity to the venom, and can eat the animal with no ill effects. This helps explain the timid nature of this fierce arachnoid.
In Na'vi Culture
Only a few of the known species produce psychoactive venom. Of these, only one, the arachnoid, is used by the Na'vi in the Uniltaron, or "Dream Hunt" ceremony.
As part of the ritual, a prospective warrior must capture his or her own arachnoid, which is kept in a stone jar built specifically for the task. During the ceremony, Na'vi elders evoke a sting by placing the arachnoid against the skin of the prospective warrior. This induces dreamlike hallucinations that are believed by the Na'vi to foretell the warrior's destiny and reveal his or her spirit animal.
The Na'vi have also developed an effective antivenom using the roots of the octoshroom, a detoxifying Pandoran plant that appears to negate the effects of the venom's alkaloids.
Tests are ongoing for potential Earth uses for this antivenom.
- Venom is psychoactive and may induce hallucinations when used in conjunction with an alkaloid contained in an indigenous worm. Used in Na'vi rituals.
- One appears briefly on Jake Sully's first venture to the jungle with Dr. Grace Augustine and Norm Spellman.
- The name most likely comes from the term arachnid, a class of invertebrate animals which includes spiders and scorpions.
- Avatar Script, page 87