Can a Scorpion Kill You? Debunking Myths and Revealing Facts

Scorpions are intriguing creatures that can be found across the globe, except for Antarctica. With their distinctive appearance, featuring a segmented tail tipped with a venomous stinger, these arthropods have gained a reputation for being dangerous.

Scorpion stings can indeed cause extreme pain and result in paralysis, which is used by the arthropod to immobilize its prey, such as insects source. While envenomation by some species of scorpions can lead to severe medical complications and even death, it is essential to note that not all scorpion stings have deadly consequences source.

Can a Scorpion Kill You?

Deathstalker Scorpion

The Deathstalker Scorpion is known for its extremely painful sting and is one of the most dangerous scorpion species. A sting from this scorpion can cause:

  • Severe pain
  • Paralysis^[1^]

Although rare, a deathstalker scorpion’s sting can be fatal, particularly to children and those with allergies.

Arizona Bark Scorpion

The Arizona Bark Scorpion is another venomous scorpion species. Its sting can lead to:

  • Intense pain
  • Numbness
  • Temporary paralysis

Complications from its sting may be life-threatening, especially for the elderly and young children.

Brazilian Yellow Scorpion

The Brazilian Yellow Scorpion is another poisonous species. Its sting can cause:

  • Severe localized pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

While fatalities are less common than with the Deathstalker Scorpion, the Brazilian Yellow Scorpion’s sting is still dangerous and should be treated with caution.

Scorpion Species Sting Severity Risk of Complications Fatality Rate
Deathstalker Scorpion Extreme High Rare
Arizona Bark Scorpion Intense Moderate Low
Brazilian Yellow Scorpion Severe Low Very Low

Take caution when in areas inhabited by these dangerous scorpions. It’s essential to be aware of their presence and seek immediate medical attention should you suffer a sting from any of these species.

1

Scorpion Venom and Its Effects

Neurotoxins in Scorpion Venom

Scorpion venom contains a variety of bioactive molecules, with neurotoxins being the primary component responsible for its harmful effects. These neurotoxins target the nervous system and can cause various symptoms upon envenomation.

Common Symptoms of Scorpion Stings

A scorpion sting typically results in:

  • Pain: Stings are often extremely painful
  • Swelling: The area around the sting may become swollen
  • Nausea and vomiting: People often experience these symptoms after a sting
  • Numbness and tingling: A feeling of numbness around the sting site
  • Seizures: In severe cases, venom can cause seizures

These symptoms vary depending on the scorpion species and individual reactions.

Severe Reactions and Complications

In some cases, a scorpion sting can lead to severe reactions and complications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing and accelerated heart rate: caused by venom-induced release of catecholamines
  • Increased high blood pressure: A possible side effect of scorpion venom
  • Allergic reactions or anaphylaxis: Some people may be allergic to scorpion venom, which can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions
Scorpion Sting Symptoms Severity
Pain Common
Swelling Common
Nausea Common
Vomiting Common
Numbness Common
Seizures Severe
Difficulty breathing Severe
High blood pressure Severe
Accelerated heart rate Severe
Allergic reactions Severe

While most scorpion stings are not life-threatening, some species, like the deathstalker scorpion, can cause paralysis and extreme pain. It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any severe symptoms after being stung.

Prevention and Safety Measures

Reducing Scorpion Habitats

Scorpions usually hide during the day and are active at night, often found in dry, desert areas, grasslands, forests, and inside caves (source). To reduce their habitats:

  • Keep your camping area clean and free of debris
  • Store firewood away from sleeping and sitting areas
  • Seal cracks and crevices in your home or campsite

Protective Clothing and Gear

Wearing protective clothing can help prevent scorpion stings. Consider:

  • Long sleeves and pants
  • Hiking boots for rocky or desert terrain
  • Gloves when handling firewood or rocks

A black light can be useful to detect scorpions at night, as they glow under UV light.

General Safety Tips

When hiking or camping in scorpion-prone areas such as the United States and the Middle East, follow these tips:

  • Check your shoes and clothing before putting them on
  • Shake out sleeping bags or blankets before use
  • Avoid walking barefoot or putting your hands in unknown places
United States Middle East
Scorpion Habitats Deserts, Rocks Deserts, Grasslands
Protective Gear Hiking Boots Hiking Boots
Safety Precautions Black Light, Gloves Black Light, Gloves

In summary, prevent scorpion encounters by reducing habitats, wearing protective clothing, and following general safety tips when hiking or camping in scorpion-prone areas.

First Aid and Medical Care

Scorpion Sting First Aid

If stung by a scorpion:

  • Stay calm: Panic can increase heart rate, causing venom to spread faster.
  • Clean the wound: Use soap and water to gently clean the area.

For pain and swelling relief:

  • Apply cold packs or ice intermittently (avoid direct contact with skin).
  • Elevate the affected limb.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Antivenom Treatment

In severe cases, antivenom may be necessary. This treatment:

  • Neutralizes venom’s toxic effects.
  • Reduces symptoms and complications.
  • Requires administration by a healthcare professional.

Poison Control and Medical Assistance

After a scorpion sting:

  • Contact a poison control center for advice.
  • Seek medical care if:
    • Symptoms worsen or persist.
    • You suspect an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, chest pain, severe swelling).

In summary, scorpion stings can be dangerous, but prompt first aid and medical care reduce the risk of severe symptoms and complications. Stay prepared and seek help as needed.

Interesting Facts about Scorpions

Scorpion Predators and Prey

Scorpions are nocturnal predators that primarily eat insects such as crickets and cockroaches. They are also known to consume spiders, ticks, and smaller scorpions. Some scorpion species use their pincers and venomous stinger to catch and subdue prey, while others rely on hiding and ambushing their prey.

Scorpions themselves have natural predators, including birds, centipedes, lizards, and rodents. They often hide under rocks, sand, or bark during the day to avoid being detected and eaten by predators.

Scorpion Habitats and Species Distribution

Scorpions inhabit various types of habitats across the globe, except for Antarctica. They thrive in:

  • Deserts
  • Rainforests
  • Grassy prairies
  • Palmtree barks

For example, about 70-75 types of scorpions live in the United States, with the Arizona bark scorpion being the most venomous in the country.

Scorpion species distribution includes countries like:

  • The United States (e.g., Arizona, New Mexico)
  • India
  • Mexico

It is essential to know that scorpions can pose a danger to humans. However, most scorpion stings are not lethal, only causing mild pain and discomfort. The venom of some scorpions, such as the deathstalker scorpion, can be potent and potentially lethal, causing paralysis and severe pain. Despite the potential risk, healthy individuals usually recover from scorpion stings without long-term consequences.

Scorpion Feature Advantage Disadvantage
Pincers Grasping prey Weak for defense
Venomous stinger Subdue prey Dangerous to humans
Habitat versatility Widespread distribution Restricted by climate and environment
Nocturnal behavior Less likely to encounter predators Less active during day; humans more likely to disturb hidden scorpions

To summarize, scorpions are fascinating creatures with a diverse range of habitats, predators, and prey. Their pincers and venomous stingers help them catch prey and defend against predators. However, some scorpion species may pose a risk to humans with their powerful venom. Understanding their behavior, habitats, and distribution can help to minimize potential encounters and stay safe in areas where scorpions are prevalent.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Mystery: Scorpion Thing in Ireland???

 

Black scorpion thing
Location:  West of Ireland
September 8, 2010 1:23 pm
Dear Bugman,
I recall a few years ago lifting up a potted plant in my garden (in Ireland) when i noticed a smallish bug, perhaps the size of a large locust, but it looked exactly like a scorpion with the curled stinger over its head and two pincer claws at the front. It was black and the stinger on its tail was white. Any idea what this could be, in Ireland of all places? I have no picture
Signature:  Deirdre

Video Art: The Black Scorpion

Hi Deirdre,
We were not originally going to publish your letter, but we love that you enclosed an image of the video box art from the 1950s classic horror film The Black Scorpion, and we are also intrigued by what you could possibly have seen.  We did find an online BBC news article of a woman stung by a scorpion in a market in Ireland, but to the best of our knowledge, there are no scorpions in Ireland.  We searched the internet and found a message board that poses a good possibility.  Perhaps you encountered a Devil’s Coach Horse, a Rove Beetle that strikes a defensive pose similar to that of a stinging scorpion.  We have attached a photo from our archive to this response.  The Devil’s Coach Horse is native to Europe, but it has been introduced to North America.  It is well established in our own Mt Washington, Los Angeles garden.

Devil's Coach Horse

Oh yeah, did a quick google search and it does look like what I saw, it was a long time ago and all I could remember was that it looked like a scorpion, shows how easily myths get started! Thanks for your help and love the site 😀

Letter 2 – Possible Scorpion Spider Bite from South Africa

 

Subject: Scorpion Spider Bite
Location: Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng, South Africa
April 12, 2017 1:55 am
Hi Bugman,
My son was bitten by a spider the other day on his elbow. We checked his room and we couldn’t find anything but were quite alarmed because we have allot of black widow and brown widow spiders in our garden.
The symptoms were not severe included fever, stomach ache, swollen bite site and headache, as well as muscle ache.
We then while cleaning found a little critter which we know to be a scorpion spider which I think gave him a nip.
I have attached pictures of bite so people can see and also spider that we caught. The site initially looked like 4 tiny mosquito bites but pain he experience was something else.
Hope this helps others.
We live in Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng.
Regards
Signature: Tenielle

Scorpion Spider

Dear Tenielle,
Thanks for your submission.  We have had many requests for information about the Scorpion Spider, and we have not had any luck locating any information online regarding the effects of such a bite.  While we appreciate your submission, we have to say that your evidence that the bite actually came from a Scorpion Spider is circumstantial.  We would hate to think that if the police were summoned to a robbery, that the first person they found near the sight of the robbery would be assumed to be guilty.  We are not implying that the Scorpion Spider did not bite your son, but rather that we cannot be certain if the Scorpion Spider bit your son.  The reaction you describe, including the fever and aches, sounds like the description of a Black Widow bite.  According to Web MD, though we should qualify that this is the North American Black Widow and not members of the genus from Africa:

“In most cases of a black widow spider bite, symptoms consist only of:

  • Minimal to sharp pain followed by swelling and redness at the site of the bite.
  • One or two small fang marks like tiny red spots.

In some cases, severe symptoms appear within 30 to 60 minutes. These include:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms that start near the bite and then spread and increase in severity for 6 to 12 hours.
  • Chills, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Sweating.
  • Severe belly, back, or chest pain.
  • Headache.
  • Stupor, restlessness, or shock.
  • Severe high blood pressure.”
Bite, possibly from a Scorpion Spider

We are not in the habit of giving parenting advice, but you might want to seek medical attention.

Letter 3 – Mystery: What's That Scorpion???

 

Is this the kind of scorpian that can kill people?
June 10, 2010
Hello WTB,
This morning I found that one of my sticky traps caught a scorpian. But because it is so small and the light colored one I was concerned after reading through your web site index that it may be the bad kind that can kill people. Can you please verify the speciecs, what I should do with it, and is the sting harmful to my dog and cat as well? Thank you!
Amanda in West TX
Near El Paso

Bark Scorpion Perhaps???

Dear Amanda,
We have always understood that Scorpions with small pedipalps, which Scorpions are able to use as hands, and large tails are the most dangerous.  Your Scorpion fits that description.  We tried to match it so the images on BugGuide, but we don’t feel comfortable beyond the genus level, and even that is dicey.  Our guess is family Buthidae, genus Centruroides, the Bark Scorpions.  Sadly, your photo does not show the shape of the sternum.  According to BugGuide:  “The family Buthidae is easily recognized by the almost triangular sternum. The sternum is located on the underside just before the pectines (combs).
”  The coloration of your specimen does not seem consistent with the description on BugGuide for the Striped Bark Scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, which is indicated as:  “two broad stripes down back, with orange bars on each tergite (dorsal plate); hands and fifth metasoma (tail) segment are darker, especially in young and freshly molted specimens; broad stripe on the back of the tail.”  The Striped Bark Scorpion seems the likeliest candidate to us, but we would relish the opinion of an expert in Scorpion identification.

Striped Bark Scorpion maybe???

The defensive posture in your other photo is very interesting.  It seems the Scorpion has retracted its pedipalps to protect its head.  We alluded earlier to Scorpions using their pedipalps as hands.  The mating activity of Scorpions, which we have only read about, but never seen, is called a Pas de Deux or Dance for Two.  The male and female grasp one another by the pedipalps and move around the area as though dancing until the male finds a favorable place to deposit his sperm.  He then guides the female to his gift of life.

Comment
did you free the scorpion?
steiv

Letter 4 – Northern Scorpion Glows under Black Light

 

Scorpion floresence
Location: Naches, WA
November 2, 2010 1:18 pm
Thought you should have some pictures of scorpion florescence under UV. I was surprised that these scorpions are fairly common on rocky arid ground around Yakima in Eastern Washington. Don’t know the exact species or the sting hazard, but it seems like a big tail, smallish pincher. Around 1.75 inches with tail.
Also see: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=211481&id=748938972
Signature: Paul Huffman, President-for-Life, Moclips Surf Club

Northern Scorpion under Black Light

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your wonderful image of a Scorpion glowing under black light.  We suspect it is the Northern Scorpion,
Paruroctonus boreus, which we determined upon locating a website with images of the Northern Scorpions photographed in Washington.  ENature has some information on the species, including:  “Most scorpions are not dangerous and do not attack people. If disturbed, they will inflict a sting that can cause painful swelling, but the poison of most North American species is not lethal to people.”  According to BugGuide, it is:  “Highly variable throughout its range, and depending on habitat. Throughout much of its range it is the only scorpion found. It has the basic identifiers of Paruroctonus scorpions, such as relatively robust hands and a somewhat slender metasoma/tail in which the keels do not terminate in an enlarged denticle. In most areas it is pale, light brown. In volcanic habitats it can be quite dark with a striped tail.”  According to AnswerBag:  “All scorpions glow in the dark—even after death, even fossilized! A thin, transparent film (hyaline) in the outermost layer (cuticle) of their exoskeleton contains a protein that fluoresces. At night in the Arizona desert, you can see scorpions within a 20-foot radius by shining a black (ultraviolet) light around. They glow bright green-blue or green-yellow like scorpion jewels.  Newly molted scorpions don’t fluoresce. As the cuticle hardens, it glows more. The hylane skin toughens into an incredible substance. After hundreds of millions of years, after all other cuticle layers are lost, the hyaline layer remains, fossilized in rocks. It still glows.   We don’t know why scorpions fluoresce. Maybe it helps the antisocial creatures locate each other in the dark and either stay away (usually) or find a mate. Scorpions hunt at night and gladly eat fellow scorpions. In fact, mating is an extremely dangerous activity (to the smaller, usually male, partner).”  The reasons Scorpions glow under black light is not fully understood, and this is an excellent posting for us to tag as a Mystery.

Letter 5 – Probably California Common Scorpion with Young

 

Subject: What kind of scorpion is this it’s pregnant
Location: California
July 15, 2017 9:11 pm
Okay please get back to me as soon as possible. My brothers scorpion had babies he said if i can make sure its a paruroctonus silvestrii. I really wanted it when i cought it with my sister, so please id love to have one. I just need what species it is i can look into it from there unless tou can tell me about it like how venomous it is, the temperature the food when to take them from the mom.
Signature: Darius

Scorpion and her Brood

Dear Darius,
We are inclined to agree with you that this is most likely a California Common Scorpion,
Paruroctonus silvestrii, based on images posted to BugGuide, but we cannot be certain.  We are unable to offer you any information on keeping Scorpions in captivity, but you might want to start by reading the Amateur Entomologists’ Society Raising Scorpions in Captivity caresheet.  Since female Scorpions guard their young, you should not try to remove any of the young until they disperse from the mother on their own.

Probably California Common Scorpion

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Mystery: Scorpion Thing in Ireland???

 

Black scorpion thing
Location:  West of Ireland
September 8, 2010 1:23 pm
Dear Bugman,
I recall a few years ago lifting up a potted plant in my garden (in Ireland) when i noticed a smallish bug, perhaps the size of a large locust, but it looked exactly like a scorpion with the curled stinger over its head and two pincer claws at the front. It was black and the stinger on its tail was white. Any idea what this could be, in Ireland of all places? I have no picture
Signature:  Deirdre

Video Art: The Black Scorpion

Hi Deirdre,
We were not originally going to publish your letter, but we love that you enclosed an image of the video box art from the 1950s classic horror film The Black Scorpion, and we are also intrigued by what you could possibly have seen.  We did find an online BBC news article of a woman stung by a scorpion in a market in Ireland, but to the best of our knowledge, there are no scorpions in Ireland.  We searched the internet and found a message board that poses a good possibility.  Perhaps you encountered a Devil’s Coach Horse, a Rove Beetle that strikes a defensive pose similar to that of a stinging scorpion.  We have attached a photo from our archive to this response.  The Devil’s Coach Horse is native to Europe, but it has been introduced to North America.  It is well established in our own Mt Washington, Los Angeles garden.

Devil's Coach Horse

Oh yeah, did a quick google search and it does look like what I saw, it was a long time ago and all I could remember was that it looked like a scorpion, shows how easily myths get started! Thanks for your help and love the site 😀

Letter 2 – Possible Scorpion Spider Bite from South Africa

 

Subject: Scorpion Spider Bite
Location: Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng, South Africa
April 12, 2017 1:55 am
Hi Bugman,
My son was bitten by a spider the other day on his elbow. We checked his room and we couldn’t find anything but were quite alarmed because we have allot of black widow and brown widow spiders in our garden.
The symptoms were not severe included fever, stomach ache, swollen bite site and headache, as well as muscle ache.
We then while cleaning found a little critter which we know to be a scorpion spider which I think gave him a nip.
I have attached pictures of bite so people can see and also spider that we caught. The site initially looked like 4 tiny mosquito bites but pain he experience was something else.
Hope this helps others.
We live in Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng.
Regards
Signature: Tenielle

Scorpion Spider

Dear Tenielle,
Thanks for your submission.  We have had many requests for information about the Scorpion Spider, and we have not had any luck locating any information online regarding the effects of such a bite.  While we appreciate your submission, we have to say that your evidence that the bite actually came from a Scorpion Spider is circumstantial.  We would hate to think that if the police were summoned to a robbery, that the first person they found near the sight of the robbery would be assumed to be guilty.  We are not implying that the Scorpion Spider did not bite your son, but rather that we cannot be certain if the Scorpion Spider bit your son.  The reaction you describe, including the fever and aches, sounds like the description of a Black Widow bite.  According to Web MD, though we should qualify that this is the North American Black Widow and not members of the genus from Africa:

“In most cases of a black widow spider bite, symptoms consist only of:

  • Minimal to sharp pain followed by swelling and redness at the site of the bite.
  • One or two small fang marks like tiny red spots.

In some cases, severe symptoms appear within 30 to 60 minutes. These include:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms that start near the bite and then spread and increase in severity for 6 to 12 hours.
  • Chills, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Sweating.
  • Severe belly, back, or chest pain.
  • Headache.
  • Stupor, restlessness, or shock.
  • Severe high blood pressure.”
Bite, possibly from a Scorpion Spider

We are not in the habit of giving parenting advice, but you might want to seek medical attention.

Letter 3 – Mystery: What's That Scorpion???

 

Is this the kind of scorpian that can kill people?
June 10, 2010
Hello WTB,
This morning I found that one of my sticky traps caught a scorpian. But because it is so small and the light colored one I was concerned after reading through your web site index that it may be the bad kind that can kill people. Can you please verify the speciecs, what I should do with it, and is the sting harmful to my dog and cat as well? Thank you!
Amanda in West TX
Near El Paso

Bark Scorpion Perhaps???

Dear Amanda,
We have always understood that Scorpions with small pedipalps, which Scorpions are able to use as hands, and large tails are the most dangerous.  Your Scorpion fits that description.  We tried to match it so the images on BugGuide, but we don’t feel comfortable beyond the genus level, and even that is dicey.  Our guess is family Buthidae, genus Centruroides, the Bark Scorpions.  Sadly, your photo does not show the shape of the sternum.  According to BugGuide:  “The family Buthidae is easily recognized by the almost triangular sternum. The sternum is located on the underside just before the pectines (combs).
”  The coloration of your specimen does not seem consistent with the description on BugGuide for the Striped Bark Scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, which is indicated as:  “two broad stripes down back, with orange bars on each tergite (dorsal plate); hands and fifth metasoma (tail) segment are darker, especially in young and freshly molted specimens; broad stripe on the back of the tail.”  The Striped Bark Scorpion seems the likeliest candidate to us, but we would relish the opinion of an expert in Scorpion identification.

Striped Bark Scorpion maybe???

The defensive posture in your other photo is very interesting.  It seems the Scorpion has retracted its pedipalps to protect its head.  We alluded earlier to Scorpions using their pedipalps as hands.  The mating activity of Scorpions, which we have only read about, but never seen, is called a Pas de Deux or Dance for Two.  The male and female grasp one another by the pedipalps and move around the area as though dancing until the male finds a favorable place to deposit his sperm.  He then guides the female to his gift of life.

Comment
did you free the scorpion?
steiv

Letter 4 – Northern Scorpion Glows under Black Light

 

Scorpion floresence
Location: Naches, WA
November 2, 2010 1:18 pm
Thought you should have some pictures of scorpion florescence under UV. I was surprised that these scorpions are fairly common on rocky arid ground around Yakima in Eastern Washington. Don’t know the exact species or the sting hazard, but it seems like a big tail, smallish pincher. Around 1.75 inches with tail.
Also see: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=211481&id=748938972
Signature: Paul Huffman, President-for-Life, Moclips Surf Club

Northern Scorpion under Black Light

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your wonderful image of a Scorpion glowing under black light.  We suspect it is the Northern Scorpion,
Paruroctonus boreus, which we determined upon locating a website with images of the Northern Scorpions photographed in Washington.  ENature has some information on the species, including:  “Most scorpions are not dangerous and do not attack people. If disturbed, they will inflict a sting that can cause painful swelling, but the poison of most North American species is not lethal to people.”  According to BugGuide, it is:  “Highly variable throughout its range, and depending on habitat. Throughout much of its range it is the only scorpion found. It has the basic identifiers of Paruroctonus scorpions, such as relatively robust hands and a somewhat slender metasoma/tail in which the keels do not terminate in an enlarged denticle. In most areas it is pale, light brown. In volcanic habitats it can be quite dark with a striped tail.”  According to AnswerBag:  “All scorpions glow in the dark—even after death, even fossilized! A thin, transparent film (hyaline) in the outermost layer (cuticle) of their exoskeleton contains a protein that fluoresces. At night in the Arizona desert, you can see scorpions within a 20-foot radius by shining a black (ultraviolet) light around. They glow bright green-blue or green-yellow like scorpion jewels.  Newly molted scorpions don’t fluoresce. As the cuticle hardens, it glows more. The hylane skin toughens into an incredible substance. After hundreds of millions of years, after all other cuticle layers are lost, the hyaline layer remains, fossilized in rocks. It still glows.   We don’t know why scorpions fluoresce. Maybe it helps the antisocial creatures locate each other in the dark and either stay away (usually) or find a mate. Scorpions hunt at night and gladly eat fellow scorpions. In fact, mating is an extremely dangerous activity (to the smaller, usually male, partner).”  The reasons Scorpions glow under black light is not fully understood, and this is an excellent posting for us to tag as a Mystery.

Letter 5 – Probably California Common Scorpion with Young

 

Subject: What kind of scorpion is this it’s pregnant
Location: California
July 15, 2017 9:11 pm
Okay please get back to me as soon as possible. My brothers scorpion had babies he said if i can make sure its a paruroctonus silvestrii. I really wanted it when i cought it with my sister, so please id love to have one. I just need what species it is i can look into it from there unless tou can tell me about it like how venomous it is, the temperature the food when to take them from the mom.
Signature: Darius

Scorpion and her Brood

Dear Darius,
We are inclined to agree with you that this is most likely a California Common Scorpion,
Paruroctonus silvestrii, based on images posted to BugGuide, but we cannot be certain.  We are unable to offer you any information on keeping Scorpions in captivity, but you might want to start by reading the Amateur Entomologists’ Society Raising Scorpions in Captivity caresheet.  Since female Scorpions guard their young, you should not try to remove any of the young until they disperse from the mother on their own.

Probably California Common Scorpion

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

13 thoughts on “Can a Scorpion Kill You? Debunking Myths and Revealing Facts”

  1. Yes, Virginia, you can eat scorpions.
    I’ve had at least three species, and they’re both served to the public more or less frequently, as bugs go. Hotlix seals a Chinese species (Mesobuthes martensi) in candy; David George Gordon serves Desert Hairy Scorpions; and various folks, myself included, have cooked/served the impressive Emperor scorpions.
    Granted, they’re not the tastiest bugs out there, but in a pinch….

    Dave
    http://www.smallstockfoods.com

    Reply
  2. I’d almost positively say that is a bark scorpion. The pincers are long and somewhat elegant-looking, the tail is very long and mobile. The ones we have around our yard are usually 3 – 4″ long, with the tail slightly longer than the body.

    The ones we have come in a wide variety of colors – the newly independent nymphs tend to be orangey red, lightening to straw with a dark streak down their backs, and the adults get darker on the body while remaining fairly light on the legs, tail & pincers. We’ve seen adults that maintain the narrower back streak & lighter appendages of the juveniles, though.

    These scorpions will fluoresce under black lights – that’s usually the easiest way to see them at night. They climb, and most other southwestern scorpions are ground dwellers.

    Reply
  3. hi just in responce to only learning today that scorpions arent on record in ireland id like to say im in no doubt they do exist in ireland because i have seen one i grew up in an old country house i remember playing with toy cars at the age of 7 in a tiled hallway my mother was in the kitchen and i seen unmistakably what was a small skinny transparent scorpion come out under the wood at one side and cross in front of me i shouted my mother because i didnt want to touch it but she never came until it disappeared and that was the first and last i have encountered so shocked to hear that they are not on record and im in no doubt it was a scorpion i am 100% on that … i wish i had some evidence im in two minds to go searching in my old house now it was near 20 years ago i dont know where it came from but it seemed at home

    Reply
  4. is a scorpion related to Irish people cause I’m Irish and I don’t really know that fact. I need to know or school because I am talking about cotroul haretiges is in school I am in 4th grade please repliy today

    Reply
  5. I live in county louth Ireland, and when i was a teenager I saw one of these on my garden shed rooftop as i was pulling a plank down from on top. I never saw such a thing in my life! the thing adopted a posture like a scorpion and i swear it hissed, and frightened the life out of me. I explained the experience to the people in my house (we had a bed and breakfast) and it’s concievable one of the lodgers could have carried the bug from the north west over to the east coast of the island. I spent all this time wondering if it was a hissing cockroach, but that picture is oddly similar to what i saw, the tips of the tail forked like such, but it wasnt as black. however it being 15 or so years ago its too difficult to remember the image. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  6. I took a photo of a weird spider and im trying to identify what it is.im not sure how to send on the poto, i don’t have a computer so if anyone has a watsapp i know how to send a poto.

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