In this article, we will be looking at Arizona scorpions.
Scorpions are eight-legged predatory arachnids easily identifiable by their features that include a pair of grasping pincers, and a segmented tail bearing a stinger and curved forward.
Although these nocturnal creatures are drawn to arid regions or desert areas, they’ve adapted to other less arid habitats as well.
Speaking of desert or arid regions, Arizona is a prime example of a state having about four different desert regions. It’s easy to see why we’re interested in discussing the types of scorpions found within this region.
GUIDE: Rodents In Arizona
There are lots of scorpion species found here as shown below.
Scorpions Of Arizona
Different scorpion species are found within the state of Arizona.
Some of these species include the yellow ground scorpion, giant hairy scorpion, strip tail scorpion, bark scorpion, and devil scorpion.
Let’s have a look at each of these scorpion species in greater detail.
Yellow Ground Scorpion
True to its name, the yellow ground scorpion looks yellowish with a granular texture. You’ll easily identify this scorpion species by its slim or slender fingers and hands.
People often confuse the yellow ground with the Arizona bark scorpion due to their striking resemblance.
However, the easiest way to tell one species apart from the other is the wider metasomal segments that yellow ground scorpions possess.
These metasomal segments may either be wider than they’re long or as wide as they’re long.
Giant Hairy Scorpion
The giant hair scorpion is another species found in Arizona. The name says a lot about their size as they’re considered the largest scorpion species found within the United States.
Plus, another distinct feature is the hairy pedipalps and metasomal segments.
You’re never in doubt when you come across a giant hairy scorpion due to the above features. Their bodily colorings are quite distinct as well.
Giant hairy scorpions are known to have yellowish-looking appendages while their dorsal areas appear dark.
This species of scorpions are quite common and also has a yellowish appearance. However, a strip tail scorpion can easily be identified from the dark stripes found on its dorsal area.
One of the easiest ways to tell apart an adult male from a female is by size.
Female strip tail scorpions tend to appear larger than males. Striptail scorpions measure roughly 3 inches long.
Habitats most preferred by these scorpion species include areas with lots of rocks. Striptail scorpions prefer staying underneath rocks.
Bark scorpions are usually characterized by their slender and long tails, arms, and fingers.
Their bodily colors are quite distinct as they have a yellowish-tan appearance. You’ll find bark scorpions mostly around rocky environments as they love to hide under such rocks.
However, you shouldn’t be surprised when you come across such scorpions around your home. These can get into homes and are also found around tree barks.
These are known to be venomous and will easily strike when they feel threatened.
You can easily identify bark scorpions from the way they curl their tails when they rest. Their metasoma is coiled aside when resting and raised (curled forward when active).
While the name sounds ominous, devil scorpions do not pose much of a health threat when they sting. These are among the larger scorpion species and can easily be differentiated by their thick tails or metasoma.
These tails have distinct brown markings or strips on them.
Devil scorpions will prey on other smaller scorpions including the Arizona bark. When stung by a devil scorpion, you’re likely to only experience mild discomfort which may go away within a few hours or a day.
For persons with allergies, this could be more serious and require medical attention.
Having provided information (including key differences) regarding the different scorpion types found in Arizona, it’s necessary to consider their similarities too. All scorpions mentioned above share certain similar characteristics.
Apart from belonging to the same class (Arachnida), they all possess a crab-like appearance. These scorpions have four pairs of legs, a long segmented tail that usually curls forward with a stinger at the end.
You’ll also find scorpions with a pair of pincers.
These creatures are mostly nocturnal as such are mostly active at night. You’ll find these scorpions hiding in areas such as under rocks, in holes or burrows, within logs, and also in cracks. Scorpions don’t typically attack humans.
They only do so when they feel threatened.
Your home could be inviting to these arachnids due to the availability of prey. Because most people will rather have their homes free of scorpions, it will be necessary to know what food or prey they’re attracted to.
What Scorpions Feed On
The feeding behavior of all the scorpion species mentioned above is pretty much the same. These scorpion species are predatory and will readily hunt down prey.
Such prey consists of smaller scorpions, spiders, insects, centipedes, and sometimes even vertebrates like snakes, mice, and lizards, etc.
Larger scorpion species are known to feed on bigger prey such as those (vertebrates) mentioned above.
A prey is subdued by injecting them with venom while holding them in place with the pedipalps. When venom is injected, it paralyzes or immobilizes them.
A spray of acid is applied to the prey to begin dissolving the body tissues. The remains are fed on or sucked up.
How Many Species of Scorpions Are Found in Arizona?
When it comes to scorpion presence in Arizona, there are about 30 species.
We’ve avoided discussing all the others because most humans have an encounter with only about 4 to 5 of these species as mentioned above.
Scorpion presence can easily be avoided by taking certain preventive steps. Such steps include the elimination of standing water, sealing of cracks and crevices around your walls and openings (doors and windows).
You may also want to inspect your surroundings and dark areas for signs more frequently. Closets and cabinets should also be included when performing such inspections.
Also, consider removing or clearing all debris, woodpiles, and rocks scattered around your surroundings. These actions help reduce scorpion presence.
These are the most common scorpion species you’re likely to come across in Arizona. They’ll readily inhabit human dwellings when the conditions are right.