In Georgia, there are plenty of insects and arachnids that can be commonly spotted in the state. Even though only two types of scorpions are known to be native to Georgia, they make frequent appearances in nearly every county.
2 Native Scorpions in Georgia
In Georgia, there are two scorpion species native to the state. The southern devil scorpion and striped bark scorpion are commonly seen around the state but do not present any real danger to people. Their stings can be quite painful, but will rarely require medical attention.
1. Southern Devil Scorpion
As the name suggests, the southern devil scorpion is native to the southern regions of the United States. Unlike other scorpions that prefer desert regions, southern devils thrive in the tropical climate of states like Georgia.
The scientific name for the southern devil scorpion is Vaejovis carolinianus. Like other scorpions, they are arachnids and related to ticks and spiders. Despite the common name for these scorpions having the word devil in it, they are relatively harmless to people.
The southern devil scorpion is one of the smaller scorpions found throughout the state of Georgia. As adults, they average a length of 1.5 inches and have dark brown coloring. Their pincers and legs are a lighter brown than the rest of them.
Relationship to people
When possible, the southern devil scorpion will do its best to hide from people. If you come across one of these arachnids they are likely to run and hide. They have some venom in their stingers for subduing prey, but this venom is not dangerous to people.
While a sting from this scorpion can be painful, the pain and swelling typically go away shortly. However, some people may be allergic to southern devil venom and will need medical attention to help them recover. Stings usually happen by accidentally disturbing them, since these scorpions are small and like to hide in dark places.
Predators and Prey
Even though the southern devil scorpion is small, they can be fierce predators for insects smaller than them. However, these scorpions have their fair share of predators too, and they have defense mechanisms to help them.
Common prey that southern devil scorpions feed on include:
Common predators that may attack and eat these scorpions are;
- Larger scorpions
The southern devil scorpion will use its stinger to defend itself, rapidly striking out at predators. They will also hide whenever they can, getting under rocks and debris or in the cracks of buildings. These scorpions are not typically aggressive, and will usually run over strike if given the chance.
Females of the southern devil scorpion give birth to live young and will have between 25 and 80 babies at one time. These scorpions spend the first four weeks of their lives on the backs of their mothers. After this, they will molt for the first time, and disperse to be on their own. As adults, southern devils will live mainly solitary lives until time to mate.
2. Striped Bark Scorpion
These scorpions are one of the most commonly seen scorpions in Georgia, and they can frequently be spotted indoors and in residential neighborhoods. The striped bark scorpion is best recognized by two long stripes that run down its back and will be quick to sting if surprised.
However, these stings are not lethal to humans, and most of the time they will heal by themselves. They are mostly found in North and Central Georgia.
The scientific name for the striped bark scorpion is Centruroides vittatus. They are arachnids, just like other types of scorpions, and close relatives of spiders.
The bodies of striped bark scorpions are known to be long and slender, with pale legs and a dark abdomen. The tip of their stinger is black, and two long stripes run down the length of these scorpions. As adults, they reach an average of one inch long.
Relationship to people
While not lethal to people, stings from a striped bark scorpion can be pretty painful. Other symptoms of their venom include swelling at the site, vomiting, and sweating.
These scorpions are most likely to sting people when surprised. Since they like to find shelter in houses, this can happen pretty often.
Predators and Prey
Striped bark scorpions are one of the few scorpions that will climb trees in search of prey. This can also make them an easy target for birds and snakes. They use their pincers to hold prey, and stingers to repeatedly stab them.
Striped bark scorpions have a wide-ranging diet that includes;
There are numerous predators that prey on the striped bark scorpion, including;
These scorpions will hide from predators under rocks, fallen trees, and debris.
Like other scorpion species, the striped bark scorpion gives birth to live young, which spends the first few weeks with their mothers. As adults, they are solitary, until the mating season starts.
Striped bark scorpions are active during the day and night, and spend a lot of their time wandering around. They can be found in neighborhoods, woodlands, campsites, and more.
These two native Georgia scorpions may be seen as pests when they frequent residential areas, but they are not dangerous to people.
Their stings can lead to intense pain, and in rare cases an allergic reaction, but for the most part, don’t need medical attention in order to heal. The southern devil and striped bark scorpion have similar diets and predators and can be seen in the same areas of Georgia.