The earliest ancestors of modern scorpions appeared around four hundred and thirty million years ago, making them one of the oldest arthropods that still exist today. You don’t have to be an entomologist to know that scorpions dwell within desert regions. Unlike scorpions, most animals and plants cannot survive the hot and arid desert climate. In addition to the harsh climate, the lack of food sources in the desert makes survival impossible for most arthropods. A scorpion is able to slow its metabolism while using stored body-fat as an energy source. This ability allows scorpions to live for as long as one year in the desert without feeding. Scorpions stay cool in the desert by hunting only at night, and during the day they remain under shade by burrowing beneath rocks and other objects. Although scorpions are commonly associated with desert regions, a minority of scorpion species dwell within rainforests, caves, grasslands and a few species spend most of their time hiding beneath tree bark. Most Americans know that scorpions are common in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of North America, but very few people are willing to believe that scorpions are well distributed across the entire United States. Venomous scorpion habitats can be found as far east as Tennesse and as far north as Nebraska.
The most venomous scorpion in the United States is known as the Arizona bark scorpion, and it can be found in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts as well as in residential neighborhoods in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Small populations have also been located in northern California near Oregon. There exists between 40 and 60 scorpion species in the state of Arizona, but many have not yet been described. Although it may be hard to believe, but venomous stripe-backed scorpion habitats have been found in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and small isolated populations have even been found in Iowa, but it is likely that they were deliberately transported to the state by humans. Both the southern devil scorpion and the stripe-backed scorpion species can be found in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Scorpions that dwell in the southeast US are found outdoors beneath rocks and wood piles, but they also turn up in homes that have accumulated large amounts of debris. Luckily, the southeastern variety of scorpions possess less potent venom than their desert-dwelling counterparts.
Have you ever spotted a scorpion outside of an arid desert region?