Bug Blog

Which Scorpion Species Are Encountered Most Often In Arizona?

At least 30 scorpion species have been documented within the state of Arizona, but only three species are commonly encountered in human-populated areas. These three scorpion species are commonly known as the bark scorpion, the striped-tail scorpion, and the desert hairy scorpion. Luckily, all scorpion species in the state are considered harmless to humans with the exception of the bark scorpion, which also happens to be the most commonly encountered species in residential and urban areas of the state.

Of the three most commonly encountered scorpion species in Arizona, only the highly venomous bark scorpion is capable of scaling vertical surfaces. The bark scorpion is the only scorpion species in Arizona that prefers cool and moist indoor conditions. This species is often found within bathroom sinks and bathtubs, and considering their preference for dark spaces, it is not uncommon for homeowners to find several bark scorpions gathered together in storage spaces and closets. While the bark scorpion may be the most commonly encountered scorpion species in southern Arizona homes, the stripe-tailed scorpion species is able to thrive in a variety of different environmental conditions, making this species the most widely distributed scorpion species in Arizona. The stripe-tailed scorpion can be found at a variety of different altitudes, and they tend to remain hidden beneath rocks during the daytime hours. The bark scorpion and the stripe-tailed scorpion species grow to comparable sizes that rarely exceed three inches in body length.

The desert hairy scorpion is the largest scorpion species in the United States, as most specimens measure between five to six inches in length. While this species may be the most intimidating to look at, the venom they produce is relatively weak. Desert hairy scorpions are not encountered as often as the other two common species, and they spend most of their time creating ground burrows that measure as deep as eight feet. Stings inflicted by this species almost never result in notable medical symptoms.

Have you ever encountered a six inch scorpion?