Desert Duets: Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion Info Web Page

Information about Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions

What is this strange animal? This arachnid is six inches long and looks like a prehistoric creature with lobster-like pincers. It hides by day, but crawls around at night delivering its venom from a stinger on its tail. At home in the hot,dry Sonoran Desert, this animal has yellow pincers and tiny brown hairs all over its brown body. It turns greenish blue under black (UV) lights.

It's a giant desert hairy scorpion - the biggest scorpion in the United States!

These scorpions dig burrows in or along a wash and come out at night to mate or to find their prey. They have been known to dig burrows up to 8 feet deep. With a keen sense of touch, they use the hairs on their body to detect vibrations in the air or dirt. Giant desert hairy scorpions lay in wait for their prey. When a victim comes along, this scorpion grabs and holds on with its pincers, then stings it. After the scorpion's venom paralyzes the prey, it uses its pincers to tear up the victim before devouring it. Giant desert hairy scorpions mainly eat crickets and other insects but are large enough to eat lizards, snakes, and small birds. They also eat other scorpions.

When threatened, the giant desert hairy scorpion curls its tail and body over its head, spreads its pincers, and strikes. Its sting is not dangerous to humans, except to people who are allergic to it. Like a honeybee bite, the pain is located at the site of the sting and swelling is mild.


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Launched: February 2008
Updated: 26 April 2009