Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Caraboctonidae (hairy scorpions)

Genus/species: Hadrurus arizonensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black cephalothorax with pale yellow rimmed segments; pale yellow abdomen, pincer-like pedipalps, and legs; pale under-surface; and abundant erect dark brown sensory hairs.

Largest of the nine scorpion species in North America. Length 10 to 18 cm (3.94 to 7.09 in)
Ave. weight 5 g (0.18 oz)

They molt 4 to 6 times before reaching adulthood in about 4 years.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Mexico, western Arizona, southern California and Nevada, southwestern Utah. Found in semi-arid and arid habitats. Dig and live in deep burrows in soil during summer.


DIET IN THE WILD: Although the venom of North American hairy scorpions is fairly week compared to most scorpions (about the same as a bee sting) these solitary predators immobilize and eat other scorpions, insects, spiders, small lizards and snakes. Forages at night for prey and mates.


REPRODUCTION: Scorpions reproduce sexually following an intricate mating behavior. Gestation lasts 6 to 12 months. Females give live birth to a large litter of 25 to 35 individuals. Occasionally, after mating, the female tracks down her mate and eats him.

LONGEVITY; Up to 25 years in captivity, ave, 7-10 in the wild.

PREDATORS: Owls and large lizards. When provoked they raise their legs and orienting themselves vertically, striking blindly at anything deemed threatening.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List, Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venom in the scorpion’s stinger is used to subdue struggling prey and for self-defense. The venom is not very potent or painful to humans. Like all scorpions, has poor eyesight, excellent hearing, and a fine sense of touch (body hairs detect air and ground vibrations).

Color of Life note

Also like all scorpions, they fluoresce under ultraviolet light, a characteristic that allows scientists (and well-equipped backpackers) to detect them in the night and perhaps signals scorpions to avoid damaging UV light.

Ref. California Academy of Science Docent program 2015



California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Little Water 2018 with exoskeleton

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