Arizona Striped-Tail Scorpion

Children's Zoo

Location

In the Zoo
Size
Male
Female
Height:
1-2 inches
1-2 inches
Length:
1-3 inches
1-3 inches
Weight
0.5-1.5 ounces
0.5-1.5 ounces
Maturity:
Unknown
Unknown

Geographic Range

The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is found in North America in the countries of the United States and Mexico. It is present in the Sonoran desert, which ranges from Southern California, Arizona and western New Mexico in the United States south through the Sierrra Madre Occidental mountain range in Sonora, Mexico.

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Paravaejovis spinigerus
Class:
Insecta
Order:
Scorpiones
Family:
Vaejovidae
Genus:
Paravaejovis

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet:
Carnivorous
Activity Time Frame:
Nocturnal
Interactivity:
Solitary
Sexual Dimorphism:
Yes
Gestation:
Incubation, duration unknown.
Lifespan in the Wild:
Unknown
Lifespan in Captivity:
Unknown

Conservation

Status:
Threats:

Characteristics

The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is at most 3 inches long, with an overall light yellow-brown coloration. Legs and tail are lighter than the body, and there is prominent striping along the length of the tail. Individuals that live at higher elevations may be smaller and darker than low-lying conspecifics. Females are typically wider.

Species Specifics

There are many synonymous names for the Arizona Striped-tail Scorpion, both common and scientific. Among the common names, it could also be called the Striped-tail Scorpion and the Devil Striped-tail Scorpion. Because of a taxon changes since its formal description, the scientific names that refer to this species are the current one, Paravaejovis spinigerus, and the former name, Vaejovis spinigerus. Hoffmannius spinigerus may also be used to describe this species. This species is often confused with the Arizona bark scorpion, which is more venomous, and the California common scorpion, which only overlaps in range in southern California. The Arizona bark scorpion is yellow, slender, and has a dark spot on the carapace. It also has horizontal stripes along the body.

Physical Characteristics

Like all scorpions, The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is venomous, and uses its tail to incapacitate its prey. It is not dangerous to people, and has been likened to a bee sting.

Ecology

Habitat

Desert chaparral and mountainous desert

Distribution

Not enough information is known to determine population numbers, density, or home range.

Diet

The Arizona striped-tail scorpion eat insects such as crickets, as well as other arthropods.

Ecological Web

The Arizona striped-tail scorpion helps keep insect populations under control.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

This species will hunt for food or look for mates during the night. In the day, it spends its time hiding underground, under rocks, or any other dark spot.

Behavior

The Arizona stirped-tail scorpion takes refuge under rocks from larger animals and during the day.

Social Behavior

These scorpions are not social; they only come together for mating, and after the eggs hatch, the female will carry them on her back.

Reproductive Behavior

Unknown

Offspring

The female will carry her offspring on her back before their first molt.

Conservation

Status

The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is not listed on either the IUCN redlist or on the CITES appendices.

Historical

This species was formally described in 1863, and was at that time placed in the genus Vaejovis. As over December 2014, it was moved into the genus Paravaejovis. It may have also been in the genus Hoffmannius at one point.

Current Threats

Introduced Non-Native, Domestic, and Invasive Species

Our Role

Exhibit and educate.

No items found.

How You Can Help

If you see a scorpion, observe it from a safe distance. You can record any sighting on the iNaturalist app!

Fascinating Facts

All scorpions have a compound in their exoskeleton that fluoresces under blacklight! If you are taking a night hike, bring a blacklight along and shine it on the sides of the trail to spot a scorpion!

The first formal description of the Arizona striped-tail scorpion was from a specimen collected by H. Wood in 1863 in Texas. This species has not been recorded in Texas since that time.

The species name, spinigerus, refers to little spines (not spines at all, but rather spinoid terminal granules) along the tail.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.

References

Sissom, W. David. “The genus Vaejovis in Sonora, Mexico (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae).” Insecta Mundi, 1 Sept. 1991, pp 2154-225., Vol. 5, No. 3-4.

http://www.inaturalist.org/taxon_changes/9906

http://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/424747-Paravaejovis-spinigerus

Gonzalez-Santillan E, Prendini L. Redefinition and generic revision of the North American vaejovid scorpion subfamily Syntropinae Kraepelin, 1905, with descriptions of six new genera. Bulletin of The American Museum of Natural History. 2013(382):1-71.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/34470