Nevada is the driest state in the U..S.A. It averages only 10 inches of rainfall each year. The terrain is made up of mountains, deserts, and valleys. These types of landscapes make great habitats for wildlife that live in arid and semi-arid areas. Animals like the scorpions in Nevada thrive in these habitats.
Scorpions are one of these animals. Scorpions are arachnids that have 8 legs and pincers (claws) on their front two legs. The tail is curved and contains a stinger that can release venom.
These animals are extremely resilient. After the atomic bomb testing in Nevada, some of the only living things left at the explosion site were roaches and scorpions.
Scorpions in Nevada
Nevada is home to the largest scorpion in North America. This and others will be discussed below. So keep scrolling to learn some cool facts and see great photos of scorpions in Nevada.
1. Arizona Bark Scorpion
Scientific name: Centruroides sculpturatus
The Arizona Bark is light brown and an adult will be 2.75 to 3 inches long. The average lifespan is 5 to 7 years. During the day, they will hide under rocks, dead bark, and logs.
Their diet includes insects, spiders, centipedes, and other scorpions! Predators of this species are bats, owls, large spiders, and snakes.
This scorpion is the most lethal in Nevada. It’s sting can easily be deadly to pets, children, and the elderly. In other populations, it can cause severe pain, swelling, numbness, vomiting, and shortness of breath.
2. Desert Hairy Scorpion
Scientific name: Hadrurus arizonensis
Also known as the Giant Hairy scorpion, this species is the largest in North America. An adult scorpion can be as long as 7 inches. Their color is yellow with a dark back, and small, black, stiff hairs cover their bodies.
These hairs help them feel vibration on the ground and detect danger. The Desert Hairy scorpion is large enough that it can eat lizards and snakes. They are usually found in valleys where they dig large burrows.
Despite its size, a sting from this scorpion is not lethal or even that severe. People say it’s equivalent to a bee sting.
3. Beck’s Desert Scorpion
Scientific name: Paruroctonus becki
Little is known about this secretive scorpion. On the few occasions they are seen, their tannish-brown bodies blend into the rocks they like to lay on. The white lines on their backs do make them easy to spot on the rare occasion they care to be seen.
4. Northern Scorpion
Scientific name: Paruroctonus boreus
This dark, striped scorpion usually grows to be about 1.5 inches long. In addition to hunting insects, they will fight larger scorpions, often win, and then eat their upper body.
Their large pincers allow them to dig deep burrows. This scorpion is the most tolerant of cold temperatures. Because of this, they are often found at higher elevations in Nevada.
The Northern scorpion can go up to 12 months without eating, as long as they have water. A sting from this scorpion is not deadly, but can cause discomfort, redness, and swelling.
5. Yellow Devil Scorpion
Scientific name: Paravaejovis confusus
The Yellow Devil scorpion is between 1 to 2 inches long. A yellow to golden brown color, their tails are long and slender. Think pincers, let them grab their prey of insects, and tear it apart.
Though venomous, they are not lethal. A sting is similar to a bee sting. Use care if you choose to handle them as they are very aggressive and will not only sting but grab you with their claws.
6. Black Hairy Scorpion
Scientific name: Hadrurus spadix
This scorpion is native to the southern deserts of North America. It’s got a black back and yellow legs. Usually, it will grow to be 5.5 inches long. The Black Hairy scorpion will spend most of its time digging in its burrow to enlarge it.
Nervous and jumpy, it will show aggression if scared. The sting from this scorpion is painful but not strong enough to cause concern. It is said that this species of scorpion makes a great pet for first-time owners due to its size and activity level.
7. Sin City Scorpion
Scientific name: Pseudouroctonus peccatum
Named for its penchant for being discovered in Las Vegas, this scorpion has a yellow to orange or brown base color, black markings, and yellow legs. A relatively new discovery (2013) was first sighted in the Spring Mountains outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Due to habitat destruction, it has relocated.
This scorpion is often found in homes searching for insects to eat. Not dangerous to humans even though they can sting. Usually, only minor pain and slight swelling will occur.
8. Superstition Mountains Scorpion
Scientific name: Superstitionia donensis
These scorpions prefer mountainous terrain. Staying under rocks and near plants enables them to hunt insects and spiders. Dark in color, they range from tan to dark brown, have black bands on their backs, and are shiny. There is venom in their stingers, but they are not dangerous to humans.
9. Golden Dwarf Sand Scorpion
Scientific name: Paruroctonus luteolus
Little is known about this secretive scorpion. It only comes out at night to hunt prey. Less than an inch long, they are milky yellow in appearance and can be found in the state of Nevada.
10. Striped-Tail Scorpion
Scientific name: Vaejovis spinigerus
Also known as the “Devil scorpion “, for its aggressive nature, it’s known to take on much larger scorpions and win!
Adults are 2.5 inches long, have brownish tan stripes with a yellow base. The average lifespan of these scorpions is 4 years.
The Striped-Tail eats crickets, mealworms, and termites. They prefer a humid, sandy area. Often they are found in shoes and bags inside homes.
11. Dune Scorpion
Scientific name: Smeringurus mesaensis
Also known as the Giant Sand Scorpion, this species grows to be about 2.8 inches and prefers desert terrain. Spending most of their time burrowing in the sand, they are active between 9pm and 3am.
During this time, they will prey upon insects and other arthropods for food. Their lifespan averages 5 to 7 years. A sting from a Dune scorpion is not considered dangerous to humans.