Desert Hairy Scorpions

Hadrurus Arizonensis
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What do desert hairy scorpions look like?

desert hairy scorpion outside tucson home

Scorpions have two body parts, eight legs, a set of large pincers, fang-like appendages near the mouth, and a segmented tail. The last bulbous section (telson) of the tail houses the venom glands. Pincers aid in catching prey as the telson injects the venom. The body has a hard, protective covering called an exoskeleton. Scorpions have multiple sets of eyes but have poor sight, therefore, they depend on a comb-like organ at the base of the last pair of legs to act like a feeler.

The three main scorpions found in Arizona are the desert hairy, bark and striped-tailed scorpions. The desert hairy scorpion can grow up to six inches in length and is pale yellow to brown in color. The bark scorpion is less than one inch in length and is light yellow in color. While less intimidating in size, it is the most venomous scorpion in Arizona. 

Habits of desert hairy scorpions

  • Diet: Any invertebrate including many insects, worms, and baby lizards.
  • Activity: Nocturnal
  • Preferred Climate: Temperatures above 60 degrees
  • Defense: Pincers and venom injected.
  • Cautions: Scorpions will sting when touched, mishandled or if they become trapped against skin after crawling into shoes, clothing or bedding. All scorpion species in the US are venomous but do not pose a large health risk unless the victim has an allergic reaction or is a small child or elderly, therefore, it is recommended that a physician always be notified if a person is stung.
  • Home Invasion: Scorpions may find their way into a home, hiding under rocks, woodpiles, crevices or anyplace providing shade and seclusion.

Are desert hairy scorpions dangerous?

Scorpion stings can cause immediate pain and swelling. Numbness and tingling are frequently reported. The injured area may be hypertensive to touch, pressure, heat and cold. Small children are at the highest risk.

Where do desert hairy scorpions nest?

Desert hairy scorpions are extremely sensitive to water and humidity. They are most often found in areas that are kept moist. 

Helpful hints for desert hairy scorpions

To make your property less attractive to scorpions, try implementing these prevention tips:

Additional resources for scorpions

Arizona Cooperative Extension, Scorpions

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