There are about 19 scorpion species which can be observed in Texas. From the common scorpions that may come into the home, to those that live in burrows in desert areas.
Wondering what scorpions you can observe or wondering what scorpion you just saw in your yard or home? Continue reading for more information.
Are there dangerous scorpions in Texas?
There is only one poisonous scorpion in Texas and that is the Arizona Bark Scorpion which is known for its venomous sting, which can last up to 72 hours with swelling, redness, and discomfort.
Some experience immobilization in the area where they were stung, while some may experience convulsions, due to an allergic reaction to the venom.
It is recommended to seek medical treatment for children who are stung by one of these scorpions.
Scorpions In Texas
The 19 scorpions you can observe in Texas includes:
1. Centruroides vittatus
Scientific name: Centruroides vittatus.
Common name: Striped bark scorpion.
The striped bark scorpion is very common and often the most observed in the United States.
This is a medium-sized scorpion that grows to around 7cm and is a uniform yellow with two dark stripes.
They live in desert and forest regions and often found under rocks and in crevices, in barns and sheds, along with houses now and then.
Even though they are considered semi-arboreal, they spend most of their time on the ground where they hunt at night.
2. Pseudouroctonus reddelli
Scientific name: Pseudouroctonus reddelli.
Common name: Texas Cave Scorpion.
Texas cave scorpions are active foragers with adults having a fluoresce glow. They are often observed in dead vegetation, homes, and fallen logs. They can also be found in limestone features, including grottos.
3. Diplocentrus lindo
Scientific name: Diplocentrus lindo.
Common name: Trans-Pecos Smoothclaw Scorpion.
Trans-pecos smoothclaw scorpions are active burrowers living in desert regions.
They are maroon in color and their sting may be painful, but they are not that venomous. Anyone stung may experience some redness, swelling, and irritation for a day or two.
4. Chihuahuanus coahuilae
Scientific name: Chihuahuanus coahuilae.
Common name: Lesser Stripetail Scorpion.
This scorpion is found in a range of habitats from desert regions to forests. They can be found in sandy areas and are active burrowers with females being larger than the males at around 5.5cm, with males growing to 3.5cm.
They are more likely to run and hide if approached, though they will sometimes take a defensive pose if they feel threatened.
5. Vaejovis intermedius
Scientific name: Vaejovis intermedius.
Common name: Intermediate Scorpion.
The Intermediate scorpion is a rock dweller and does not burrow, often found on cliffs and rocky areas.
Their thick and milky venom is not deadly, but rather painful and uncomfortable. They are fast and moody scorpions that will sting for any reason.
They can grow to 6cm.
They are not easy to find, but if you do observe one, chances are there are more around the immediate area.
6. Maaykuyak waueri
Scientific name: Maaykuyak waueri.
Common name: Wauer's scorpion.
The Wauers scorpion is a member of the Vaejovidae family. These scorpions are often observed in Southern Texas with females growing to around 2.5cm and males growing to 1.75cm.
Their venom is uncomfortable and painful, but not dangerous to humans.
7. Diplocentrus whitei
Scientific name: Diplocentrus whitei.
Common name: Big Bend Scorpion.
The big bend scorpion is a New World scorpion that can be observed in southern Tea with adults reaching 2.95 inches.
They have a harmless sting, but their pinchers are strong and can draw blood.
They are dark red-brown and are very active.
This is the largest of the Diplocentrus species.
8. Chihuahuanus crassimanus
Scientific name: Chihuahuanus crassimanus.
Common name: Thick-handed Scorpion.
Sandy-colored scorpions stay out of sight during the day, hunting at night, which is why there have only been few observations in Texas to date.
9. Pseudouroctonus brysoni
This scorpion belongs to the Vaejovidae family and has a few observations in Texas with most taking place in August.
They are endemic to Texas with males growing to 2.65cm.
10. Chihuahuanus russelli
Scientific name: Chihuahuanus russelli.
Common name: Russell's Scorpion.
The Russell's scorpion can grow to 5.5cm in total length.
They have red fingers and an elongated tail. Their overall color is brown to yellow with no markings.
They burrow under objects in deserts and grasslands, often found at the base of plants.
11. Pseudouroctonus apacheanus
This is a very rare scorpion that is very seldom observed and can be found near Del Rio.
They are burrowing scorpions that are shy and nervous, staying out of sight during daylight hours, coming out at night to hunt for their next meal.
12. Paruroctonus utahensis
Scientific name: Paruroctonus utahensis.
Common name: Eastern Sand Scorpion.
The Eastern sand scorpion is yellow to brown in color, matching the sand where they live.
They have swollen pincers and bristles on their legs, which help them move around the sandy ground.
They prefer loose soil and will dig a burrow at the base of plants which are located on sand dunes.
It is one of the most common scorpions in El Paso, dominating all sandy substrates.
13. Centruroides sculpturatus
Scientific name: Centruroides sculpturatus.
Common name: Arizona bark scorpion.
The Arizona bark scorpion is light brown with adults reaching 8cm in length.
They are nocturnal and adapted for desert living.
They tend to hide during the day under rocks, tree bark, and woodpiles. They do not burrow and prefer areas with cottonwood and sycamore groves, which are humid and moist with plenty of insects to feed on.
They prefer an upside-down position, which is why so many people are stung when picking up an object, as the scorpion may be located below.
This is the most venomous scorpion in North America with the venom causing pain, numbness, tingling, and vomiting, which can last up to 72 hours.
Extreme pain coupled with immobilization of the stung area or convulsions have been recorded in those who have an allergic reaction to the venom.
Basic first aid can help manage the sting by cleaning the site with soap and water and applying a cool cloth, while taking over the counter medication for pain and swelling, such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol.
The amount of venom the scorpion injects varies, it is recommended to treat this as a medical emergency in younger and weaker individuals.
14. Chihuahuanus globosus
This scorpion belongs to the Vaejovidae family and can be observed in southwestern Texas with females growing up to 4cm.
Due to the fact they are nocturnal and only come out to hunt at night, they are seldom observed unless you pick up a rock or some loose wood, where they could be hiding below.
15. Paruroctonus gracilior
This yellow-brown to green-brown scorpion is also a member of the Vaejovidae family with an elongated tail and slender body, growing up to 4.5cm in length.
They prefer sand and gravel soils, where they burrow at the base of shrubs, but can also be observed under rocks.
Their diet comprises of insects, spiders, and other smaller scorpions.
16. Paruroctonus boquillas
The paruroctonus boquillas is a member of the Vaejovidae family and endemic to Texas, observed in Big Bend National Park and Brewster County.
Males are smaller than the female growing to 4.9cm, with females reaching around 5.5cm.
17. Vaejovis chisos
This species lives in canyons, caves, and forests and is a member of the Vaejovidae family.
It is also endemic to Texas and can be observed in Chiso Mountains and Brewster County where the scorpion grows to around 2.75cm.
18. Hadrurus arizonensis
Scientific name: Hadrurus arizonensis.
Common name: giant desert hairy scorpion, giant hairy scorpion, Arizona Desert hairy scorpion.
The desert hairy scorpion is considered a giant scorpion that grows to 5.5 inches (14cm) in length. Its large size provides it with an excellent food source, including other scorpions, snakes, and lizards.
They are yellow with a dark top and strong pincer. The entire body is covered with brown hairs.
They are adapted to hot and dry conditions and often dig elaborate burrows. They forage and feed at night. They are mostly observed under rocks.
Even though these scorpions are an impressive size, they are not very poisonous with their sting described as the same as a honeybee. While their sting and venom are not dangerous, the same as a bee, those that are allergic could find a single sting fatal.
19. Paravaejovis puritanus
This scorpion belongs to the Vaejovidae family.
As active burrowers that only come out at night, they are not that easy to observe.
Their sting is uncomfortable and painful, that will fade within 72 hours. Place a cold compress on the sting site to reduce inflammation and redness.