Four Common Types of Scorpions in Arizona and How to Tell Them Apart
Arizona is known for being home to a variety of different types of scorpions. Scorpions thrive in the type of climate that the state provides and tend to be found mostly in the southern parts of Arizona.
However, there’s a lot of misinformation about these creatures. First of all, the venom found in their stingers isn’t always harmful to humans. Their venom is meant for prey, and human beings are a little too large to make for good prey.
This means that deaths resulting from scorpion stings happen extremely rarely. The following are some of the more common types of scorpions in Arizona and how you can tell them apart.
1) The Arizona Bark Scorpion
The Arizona bark scorpion is one of the more commonly known scorpions in Arizona. It’s easy to tell them apart from other types of scorpions due to their long, slender metasomas (the tail that holds the stinger), fingers and arms, as well as its yellowish-tan color — although in higher elevations it is often striped.
When its metasoma is at rest, it is held coiled to its side. Arizona bark scorpions are commonly found in the rocky desert areas, although they are the type of scorpion that homeowners will typically find inside their Arizona homes. They can be found in and around tree bark as well, which is where they get their name.
These scorpions are also some of the more venomous scorpions found in the state. Being stung by an Arizona bark scorpion can result in painful swelling along with breathing difficulties and muscle spasms.
If you’ve been stung by an Arizona bark scorpion, you should seek medical attention right away, even though they are typically not life threatening.
2) The Arizona Stripetail Scorpion
The Arizona stripetail scorpion is the most common type of scorpion found in Arizona. It boasts a lustrous and robust metasoma and a striped dorsal area that ends with a spinoid granule.
The Arizona stripetail scorpion is yellowish in color and features dark stripes on its dorsal area. These types of scorpions are typically less than three inches long, although females are usually bigger than males.
Most Arizona stripetail scorpions live beneath rocks, although like Arizona bark scorpions, they do commonly find themselves inside of Arizona homes as well.
3) The Arizona Giant Hairy Scorpion
The Arizona giant hairy scorpion has the distinction of being the largest scorpion in the United States. If their size wasn’t enough to help identify them, the fact that they have hairy metasomas and pedipalps probably is.
They are the only American scorpions to have such dense hair coverage. Their colors are also a unique trait — while their appendages are yellowish in color, their dorsal areas are usually quite dark.
The Arizona giant hairy scorpion is most commonly found in saguaro forests and feeds on centipedes, spiders, and other scorpions.
4) The Yellow Ground Scorpion
The yellow ground scorpion is very similar in appearance to the Arizona bark scorpion and is often misidentified as such. It has slender hands and fingers, just like the bark scorpion, and exhibits a yellowish color with a granular body texture.
The biggest difference in appearance between the yellow ground scorpion and the Arizona bark scorpion is the fact that their first two metasomal segments are as wide as they are long or even wider. These nocturnal scorpions are more commonly found in southeastern Arizona.
Knowing a little bit more about the scorpions in Arizona can be helpful in identifying them if you find them in your home. Of course, if you find yourself in the midst of a scorpion infestation, don’t go it alone. Call in the experts at AZT.