Deborah Patterson May 1, 2019

Arizona is home to a range of scorpion species. Scorpions thrive in the region because of the favorable climatic conditions that it provides, especially in the southern part of the state.

Contrary to what many people believe, the venom found in the scorpion’s stinger is not always dangerous to human. In fact, most scorpions only have enough venom to capture their prey – humans are way too large for this. That’s why it is very rare to hear of death resulting from a scorpion bite. But don’t smile yet. Although Arizona doesn’t have the biggest or deadliest scorpion species in the world, it does have a species that carries rather a potent venom: the bark scorpion.

So, how do you tell apart the different scorpions apart?

It can be difficult for an average person to know the different scorpion species, especially since most of them have the same features. It is even harder when they spot the scorpion in their homes because often, the scorpion will be hiding or trying to run away. So one doesn’t get all the time to inspect which type of scorpion it is.

It is in your best interest to bring in experts like to help identify and get rid of the scorpion from your house.

Here is how to tell the different scorpion species apart:

The Arizona Bark Scorpion

This is one of the most common types of scorpion species in Arizona. It’s easy to differentiate it from the other species because it has long, slender metasoma, arms, and fingers. It also has a characteristic yellowish-tan color. The metasoma coils to its side whenever it’s at rest. The Back Scorpion lives in the rocky deserts but can still be found in homes, or around tree barks. A sting from an Arizona Bark Scorpion may lead to painful swelling, muscle spasm, and difficulty in breathing.

What to know about Bark Scorpions

  • Are 2-3 inches long
  • Nocturnal
  • Eats other insects
  • Lives in groups
  • Can survive in water
  • Can climb rough surfaces
  • Are the most common scorpions found in houses in Arizona

The Arizona Giant Hairy Scorpion

These are known to be the largest scorpion in the US; they also have hairy pedipalps and metasomas. The Giant Hairy Scorpions have a unique color – although their appendages are yellowish, their dorsal parts are often quite dark. They are commonly found in saguaro forests and eat spiders, centipedes, and other scorpions.

What to know about Giant Hairy Scorpions

  • Can be more than 4” long
  • Burrow to find water

The Yellow Ground Scorpion

It can be hard to tell apart the Yellow Ground Scorpion from the Arizona bark scorpion because the two share a similar appearance – they have slender fingers and hands. However, the Yellow Ground Scorpion has longer and broader first two metasomal segments.

What to know about Yellow Ground Scorpions

  • Nocturnal
  • Commonly found in Southeastern Arizona

The Arizona Stripetail Scorpion

These are the most common type of scorpion in the region. They have robust and lustrous metasoma and striped keels – thus the name, stripetail. Stripetail Scorpions are yellowish and are typically less than 3-inches long.

What to know about Stripetail Scorpions

  • Typically under 3-inches long
  • Live under rocks
  • Most common scorpion species in Arizona