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Striped Scorpion Fact File

Centruroides vittatus

Credit: Public Domain

Weight

Insufficient

Data

Length

5.5-7.5cm

(2.25-3in)

Lifespan

Wild 3-5 years

Captive 25 years

Diet

Carnivore

Invertebrates

Conservation Status

IUCN

Not Evaluated

The striped scorpion is considered one of the most common scorpions in North America. They may be seen in houses where they will seek out shelter.

These animals are carnivores. They will use their stinger to immobilize prey which includes insects and other venomous arthropods such as spiders.

Females give birth to live young which then climb on to her back and are carried around until their first moult. Following this they will become independent.

This species has benefited from human expansion as they can make use of homes as a habitat.

Read on to learn more about these incredible invertebrates.

Appearance

What does the striped scorpion look like?

The name of the striped scorpion is taken from two broad stripes which run down the back. Across the rest of their body they are colored pale yellowish-brown. Younger individuals tend to be lighter in color.

Their coloration is an adaptation which will provide camouflage from predators and stop prey detecting them before they can attack.

Sticking up above the body is the stinger. This can be used to inject prey. Their stringer is found at the end of the long, thin tail.

Across the body they are covered by a waxy cuticle. This is an adaptation which will help to prevent water loss.

A dark triangular patch is present on the head which helps to distinguish this species.

Across their body are a number of eyes. Some are located in the middle of the back with another two to five located along the front of the body. Despite this they have poor vision.

An average striped scorpion will measure between 5.5 and 7.5cm (2.25-3in) long. Males have longer tails than females.

Diet

What does the striped scorpion eat?


Striped scorpions are carnivores. Their diet is made up of other invertebrates and may include other venomous species such as centipedes and spiders. On rare occasions they have been seen to capture small mice and lizards.

Between their legs are comb-like sensory organs which are used to detect their prey.

Prey is captured between the pincers and crushed before being injected with venom using the stinger. Small prey can be eaten immediately while they may need to wait for larger prey to stop moving.

While their venom is considered mild as with all venomous animals you should seek medical attention if stung due to the potential for allergic reactions.

Scorpions must chew their prey until it is in a semi-liquid state before they can suck it up through their mouth.

Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus)

Credit: Public Domain

Range

Where can you find the striped scorpion?

North America is the native home of the striped scorpion. Their range takes in parts of the southern United States and Mexico with the largest concentration located in Texas.

Habitat

What kind of environment does the striped scorpion live in?

They will seek shelter within warm, rocky areas. Their natural habitat is located in desert glades, forests and prairie.

Where this species lives alongside humans they will seek shelter under wood and trash.

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Reproduction

How does the striped scorpion produce its young?

Mating can take place during spring, fall and summer.

Young are born after a 30-50 day gestation period. Eggs develop inside the mother with a placental connection used to nourish them.

After their birth the young are carried by the mother on her back. They remain here until their first moult. It takes between five and fifteen days for this first moult to take place.

They grow larger through a series of moults. It will take six moults for them to achieve their adult size.

Behavior

What does the striped scorpion do with its day?

These animals are active during the night. By day they are most often seen under rocks or logs in damp areas. They may also hide among dense vegetation if these are not available.

Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus)

Credit: Public Domain

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the striped scorpion?

Humans have assisted the striped scorpion by providing additional home areas through the creation of buildings.

Quick facts

They may also be known as the striped bark scorpion.

These animals will flouresce if exposed to ultraviolet light. This can be used by researchers to find them at night.

This species is considered the most common scorpion in North America.

Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus)

Credit: Public Domain

References

Ambrose, J., 2015. Wildlife Of The World. 1st ed. London: Dorling Kindersley

Schaefer, J. 2001. "Centruroides vittatus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 24, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Centruroides_vittatus/

2021. Biodiversity of Illinois.. [ebook] Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Available at: <https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/education/CDIndex/StripedBarkScorpion.pdf> [Accessed 24 December 2021].

Missouri Department of Conservation. 2021. Striped Bark Scorpion. [online] Available at: <https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/striped-bark-scorpion> [Accessed 24 December 2021].

Fmcprosolutions.com. 2021. FMC Corporation. [online] Available at: <https://www.fmcprosolutions.com//Home/PestLibrary/CommonStripedScorpion.aspx> [Accessed 24 December 2021].

Field Guide to Common Texas Insects. 2021. Striped Bark Scorpion – Field Guide to Common Texas Insects. [online] Available at: <https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/striped-bark-scorpion/> [Accessed 24 December 2021].

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