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Scorpions can be easily identified by their elliptically shaped body and trade-mark trail. They also have two large pincers which are used for sensing as well as holding prey while stinging or eating. Scorpions have four pairs of jointed legs (like all arachnids). Sensory hairs on the legs can detect vibrations which helps them to locate their prey.

Natural History

More than 30 species of scorpions can be found in Arizona. The most common is the striped-tailed scorpion. The one considered most dangerous to humans is the bark scorpion (usually fairly easy to identify since it is the only scorpion that likes to climb).

Scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light, as can be seen in the photograph below.

Scorpions feed on other insects (as well as other scorpions) using their venomous tail to subdue their prey. In turn, scorpions are preyed upon by owls, lizards, snakes, mice and shrews. They mainly live under rocks and debris piles, though some species dig burrows and live underground. Scorpions give birth to live young during the summer. The babies are not fully formed and will crawl up onto their mothers back where they will ride around in relative safety until they first molt (usually after 7-21 days). 


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