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Facts About Most Common Scorpion Species in Arizona
There are several different types of scorpions in Arizona, and you will come across some here and there. Scorpions carry poison in their spines and have varying degrees of toxicity. Most types of scorpions are not dangerous, but there are some types of scorpions that you are likely to encounter in Arizona that are among the most venomous in America.
Click on the name of the Scorpion or subject you want to learn more about:
ARIZONA BARK SCORPION or STRIPED BARK SCORPION
Arizona bark scorpions are about 2 to 3 inches long, have a pale brown to yellow body, horizontal stripes on the back, slender appendages, and a spine. They are excellent climbers and can be found on rocks and in the bark of trees, hence their name.
They assemble in large groups under conditions of survival of the strongest and are the most common scorpion in homes in Arizona. In Arizona, bark scorpions are among the most venomous scorpions in North America, with severe pain often accompanied by hot burning.
Get medical attention immediately if you are struck by one of these stitches. The most venomous scorpion in North America, the Arizona Bark Scorpion.
The Arizona bark scorpion is one of the most famous scorpions in Arizona. It is easy to distinguish them from other scorpion species by their long, slender metasomas (the tail that holds the sting), fingers and arms; they are yellowish-brown in color and can have stripes at higher altitudes. With this scorpion, the metasoma rests on the scorpion and is held in a spiral at the side.
Arizona bark scorpions are the most venomous scorpions found in Arizona. They occur in rocky desert areas, and they are the kind of scorpion that homeowners often find in their Arizona homes. They are also found in tree bark, hence their name.
Stings from Arizona bark scorpions can cause painful swelling, difficulty breathing and muscle spasms. If you are stung by an Arizona Bark Scorpion, you should see a doctor immediately, even if they are not life threatening.
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Scorpions have long been of interest to humans primarily because of their ability to give painful and sometimes life threatening stings. Scorpions are also an important and beneficial component of many ecosystems and they are one of the oldest known terrestrial arthropods.
DESERT HAIRY SCORPION
The Desert-Haired Scorpion is a massive scorpion. It is the largest scorpion species in North America and has large, distinctive sensory hairs that cover its body and are visible to observe. It is known to be up to 6 “tall and built with thick appendages. Desert scorpions can be found at home or outdoors and prefer to dig in the open desert.
They are large and carry a mild venom that is tantamount to a bee sting. The Desert Scorpion is considered the longest living scorpion in North America and can live up to ten years in the wild. In captivity, they become up to 25 years old. In Arizona, the giant hairy scorpions are known to be the largest scorpions in the United States.
If their size is not sufficient to identify them, there is also the fact that they have hairy metasomas on the pedipalps. You are the only American scorpion with such a thick coat. Their color is also a unique feature, as their appendages are yellowish, while their back area is darker.
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Coexistence of Three Species of Desert Scorpions by Habitat Selection
The scorpion fauna in Southern Arizona is very rich in both diversity and abundance, but its ecology is poorly understood. This is especially true in the Tucson area. My aim is to understand the strength and importance of habitat selection, as a mechanism, in the organization of a desert scorpion community.
WHAT DO SCORPIONS EAT?
Scorpions in Arizona feed on a remarkably diverse diet. They eat a variety of insects, spiders, small mice, lizards, and other scorpions. In Arizona, giant hairy scorpions live in the Saguaro Forest and feed on centipedes, spiders, and other scorpions. Scorpions can live without food for months and only need water to survive.
During hunting, scorpions use their forceps to prey on their prey. They can crush their prey with their tricks, but do not need their barbs to sting small insects. When they use their sting, they inject neurotoxic poison into their prey, paralyzing them and allowing them to feed on it without much resistance.
During feeding, scorpions cannot absorb solids and must absorb fluid from their prey. They have a sharp claw-like mechanism that extends out of their mouth and pulls out a small portion of the prey, allowing them to feed on the fluid.
In Arizona, scorpions become more active during the summer months, causing them to stay indoors during hunting.
ARE SCORPIONS DANGEROUS?
A sting from a scorpion rarely causes death. If the scorpion sting does cause death it occurs in people older than 6-years of age. If symptoms become worse after 1-4 hours after the scorpion sting, please get to the emergency room as soon as possible. Scorpions are nocturnal predators (meaning they are active at night) that spend time hiding under things like rocks, wood, under trim of home and in corners of home or under carpet/rugs.
WARNING: DO NOT put your body, feet or hands under these items without checking for scorpions first.
Scorpios should never be handled by someone who might be annoyed by something else, especially if it is something that is easy to handle.
SIGNS YOU HAVE BEEN STUNG BY A SCORPION
DO NOT try to treat or manage a scorpion sting by yourself without knowing what you are doing. Please seek knowledge on poison control and call your local emergency number (911) as well as poison center immediately.
NATIONAL TOLL FREE POISON HELP HOTLINE: 1800-222-1222
Stings from scorpions in Arizona can be scary, painful, and traumatic, and being stung by a scorpion in Arizona can be life-threatening. Most scorpions in Arizona do not have the potency to kill people.
Scorpion stings can cause pain and throbbing in the sting. If the sting is severe, it can cause the life-threatening condition of anaphylaxis. As with other stings by insects, such as bees and wasps, it is possible that people stung by a scorpion may be allergic to the subsequent sting. Signs and symptoms in this case are like those caused by bee stings, including difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, and hives. Other symptoms may include severe redness or swelling that is not present in the stings.
The Arizona bark scorpion is the only species of scorpion whose venom is strong enough to cause serious symptoms in both young and old people. When threatened by poison, young children and the elderly can have complicated health problems. Healthy adults do not need to be treated for scorpion stings at a Hospital. However, when a scorpion bite occurs in an area that does not have easy access to medical care, death can become frequent, especially in infants and the elderly.
HOW TO TREAT A SCORPION STING
There is not an emergency need to treat scorpion stings from scorpions in North America. It is easy to take care of a scorpion bite. Follow the steps below if you have been stung by a scorpion.
BEFORE CALLING 911 EMERGENCY, WRITE DOWN THE FOLLOWING
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE EMERGENCY ROOM
Again, most scorpion stings in Arizona do not need medical attention. If you use common sense and do the following steps above to treat a scorpion bite – you should be fine.