While exploring the desert, I often come across this creature, which lives primarly in Arizona and occupies a wide variety of habitats, from sandy deserts to grasslands to mountains.
Like other scorpions, it has a long tail equipped with a venomous stinger used for defense and to subdue struggling prey (usually insects). It also is equipped with pincers to catch prey and tear it to pieces.
Although the sting of this very common scorpion is reportedly quite painful, it is not dangerous to people with normal reactions and the pain soon vanishes.
Scorpions have been found in fossil records, including coal deposits from the Carboniferous Period. They are thought to have existed in 425-450 million years ago. These arachnids have changed little in the hundreds of millions of years since they first climbed from the primal seas and took their place among earth’s first terrestrial arthropods.
Devil Stripe-tailed Scorpions are sturdy and medium-sized. They usually are under rocks during the day. Like all scorpions, they are nocturnal and venture from their shelters at night to forage for prey.
A stout tail with darkly-marked ridges running lengthwise and a total body length of about two inches are identifying characteristics of this desert ground dweller.