After one of our friends posted a picture of a scorpion she found in her house on Facebook yesterday, and another friend discovered a scorpion on his floor several days ago, we decided it was time to read up on these age-old little creatures.
There are about 1,750 different scorpion species out there, dozens of which live in Arizona. The most widely-known species around here is probably the Arizona bark scorpion, which ranges from about two to three inches (or seven to eight centimeters).
Though the Arizona stripetail scorpion is supposedly the most common scorpion species throughout the state, the Arizona bark scorpion gets a bad rap for its poisonous venom (the most deadly of any scorpion in North America). However, while thousands of people have been stung by scorpions in Arizona, only two reported fatalities have occurred since 1968. An Arizona bark scorpion sting is hardest on small children, the elderly or people with weakened immune systems. They are usually aggressive when threatened, which is why, should you find a scorpion sitting on your arm, it is better to brush it off, as opposed to slapping at it. (Scorpions are also extremely resilient; it takes a lot to kill them.)
Naturally, the Arizona bark scorpion is attracted to moisture and humidity near mesquite, sycamore and cottonwood groves, where they can find crickets, roaches, beetles, and other small insects to feed on. Nowadays, however, neighborhoods with irrigated lawns or increased moisture have become equally attractive stomping grounds.
The following is an excellent resource (with photos!) for anyone wanting to identify four of the most common species of scorpions found in this region, namely: Arizona bark scorpions, Arizona giant hairy scorpions, Arizona stripetail scorpions and yellow ground scorpions. Click here to read on.
Also, you can click here for scorpion sting treatment 101.
And, if you are REALLY into scorpions, click here for the basics on scorpion anatomy.
Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.