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Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)

Natural History

The Desert Hairy Scorpion is the largest scorpion in North America, reaching lengths of 6 inches. Their bodies are brown, with yellowish pinchers (pedipalps) and legs. They have a long tail (telson) that is tipped with a bulb-like poison gland and stinger as well as large pinchers (chelae) and four pairs of legs.

The Desert Hairy Scorpion gets its name comes from the brown hairs that cover its body. These hairs are used to detect ground and air vibrations.

Desert Hairy Scorpions live in desert regions of California and Arizona and extreme southern Utah and Nevada. They hide under rocks during the heat of the day, coming out at night to hunt. Its large size allows it to feed readily on other scorpions and a variety of other prey, including insects, lizards and snakes. Although the sting is painful, their venom is considered mild and has little effect on most humans (unless you are allergic to it). Commonly thought to be insects, scorpions are actually in the same family as spiders, ticks and mites.

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