Lifestyle and Lifespan
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.
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.
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.
Desert chaparral and mountainous desert
Not enough information is known to determine population numbers, density, or home range.
The Arizona striped-tail scorpion eat insects such as crickets, as well as other arthropods.
The Arizona striped-tail scorpion helps keep insect populations under control.
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.
The Arizona stirped-tail scorpion takes refuge under rocks from larger animals and during the day.
These scorpions are not social; they only come together for mating, and after the eggs hatch, the female will carry them on her back.
The female will carry her offspring on her back before their first molt.
The Arizona striped-tail scorpion is not listed on either the IUCN redlist or on the CITES appendices.
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.
Exhibit and educate.
If you see a scorpion, observe it from a safe distance. You can record any sighting on the iNaturalist app!
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.
Sissom, W. David. “The genus Vaejovis in Sonora, Mexico (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae).” Insecta Mundi, 1 Sept. 1991, pp 2154-225., Vol. 5, No. 3-4.
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.