The Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion is the largest scorpion in North America, reaching lengths of 6 inches.
They have sensory hairs can detect air movement up to a foot away. They also have a long tail that is tipped with a bulb-like poison gland and stinger as well as large pinchers and four pairs of legs.
This creature burrows deep in the desert soil and often follows the moisture line, creating burrows as deep as 8 feet below the surface. It emerges from its burrow at night to hunt. Its nocturnal habits allow it to withstand the extreme heat of its desert habitat.
The scorpion’s large size allows it to feed on other scorpions as well as a variety of other prey, including desert insects, spiders, centipedes and small vertebrates, such as lizards.
As with all scorpions, the Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion bears live offspring. As the babies are born, they quickly crawl up their mother’s pincers and legs and onto her back where they will safely ride for about one week. After that they leave their mother and are independent.
Scorpions are the oldest known terrestrial arthropods, having been on earth for 430 million years. Finding this ancient creature that still makes a living in modern times and in a harsh environment was one of the highlights of visiting the Mojave Desert.