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Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions (Hadrurus arizonensis) are large scorpions with a black "back" and a yellow "head." A similar species, the Northern Desert (Black) Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus spadix), has a black back and a black head. Other species are smaller. The common name comes from the size, habitat, and brown "hairs" that cover the body.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
This is one big scorpion!

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions are found in the arid deserts of the southwestern USA (Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah) and northern Mexico. They avoid extreme summer temperatures and low humidity by digging deep burrows (where it is cool and moist) and by coming out at night. They avoid winter cold by staying in their burrows.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Don't try this at home

For scorpions, Giant Desert Hairys grow very large (to about 5-1/2 inches). Like other scorpions, this species gives birth to live young, and the young ride on their mother's back before venturing out on their own.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Stinger (note the hairs on the hairy scorpion)

Scorpions are nocturnal and come out during warm weather, but they really like hot nights. Scorpions also glow under black lights, so they can be illuminated at night. A walk about in the desert on a hot night (over 100 degrees at night) with a black light can truly be a scary and life-changing adventure when they appear to almost cover the ground. After an adventure in the desert on a hot night several years ago when we saw literally thousands of scorpions just south of Las Vegas, my wife still doesn't like to sleep on the ground in the desert.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Note the dark back and light "head"

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpions feed on anything they can catch, including other scorpions. Their size also makes them big enough to feed on small vertebrates, including mice, lizards, and snakes.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)

Scorpion Stings

This large scorpion has weak venom and is said to be about as painful as a honeybee sting, but allergic reactions can be fatal; symptoms can include: difficulty breathing, swelling, and prolonged pain. In general, large scorpions are less toxic to humans than small scorpions.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Scorpion burrow

If you get stung, consider calling the National Poison Control Center toll-free at (800) 222-1222. This number is good for emergency information as well as general information and questions.

Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion
Knocking on a door in Tucson, AZ
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion
Knocking on a door in Tucson, AZ
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Knocking on a door in Tucson, AZ
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Knocking on a door in Tucson, AZ
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Momma carrying kids on her back (photo by Brittany Smolarski)
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Adult glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Adult glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Adult glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis) Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Adult glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Same scorpion under white (regular) light
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis) Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)
Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion in Gold Butte National Monument
More to come
More to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170922

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