Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion

Scientific Name:

Hadrurus arizonensis

Type:

Invertebrate

Habitat:

Desert areas

Range:

Southwestern region of the United States, specifically across the Sonoran and Mojave deserts; may also be found in Utah and Nevada

Status:

No listed status

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Giant desert hairy scorpions get their name due to their large size, measuring up to between 4 and 7 inches in length, making it the largest scorpion in the North American region. They have many sensory hairs which assist with detecting prey through things like chemical signals and movements. Their bodies are a dark color, while their appendages -- such as legs, claws, and tail -- are more of a dull yellow color. Their large claws are used for capturing and crushing prey, and their tails can be used to sting if necessary. These scorpions are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night, typically hunting prey or seeking mates. Giant desert hairy scorpions play an important predation role in their ecosystems; they have a varied diet and prey on similarly-sized organisms such as lizards, insects, and occasionally small mammals. They are preyed on by larger vertebrates such as owls and large lizards, and sometimes by other competing scorpion species.

Fast Facts:

  • While giant desert hairy scorpions are venomous, their venom is not strong enough to be fatal to a human, and their stings are often compared to the feeling of a bee sting.

  • These scorpions are not extremely aggressive or territorial, and will often only attack when threatened or provoked.

  • Giant desert hairy scorpions live in desert regions and typically occupy desert and dune habitats . Specifically they may occupy small burrows, caves, and crevices, sometimes found in grasslands and wooded areas. Can also be found in suburban areas.

  • This species is not currently of conservation concern and has not been evaluated by the IUCN.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Candace Ferguson (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

July 13, 2021, 6:07:12 PM