Sand Scorpion Scientific Name: Paruroctonus Utahensis
Sand Scorpion Facts
While you may not be thrilled by the presence of a scorpion in your home, they make for a great pest control worker and can eat many other domestic pests, such as mites, spiders and other annoying insects that could be found in the home. The sand scorpion, as the name would suggest, prefers to live on top of sand. So states such as Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah are all susceptible to sightings, where dry dessert or soil present opportune habitats. Most other southern states also host Sand scorpions in smaller population numbers.
Sand scorpions prefer climates of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and above, but generally avoid anything which exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit. During these hot periods, they are known to come inside the home where air conditioning units provide ample protection against the heat.
During the day, Sand scorpions hide beneath rocks and other quiet areas to seek shelter and are nocturnal by nature; which means they hunt and are otherwise active at night. They use vibrations to monitor their local area, so its unlikely to come across one that hasn’t departed upon sensing your arrival.
Sand Scorpion Identification
This particular species is often what people think of when they think of a scorpion. They take the classic shape and form, large, and what most other scorpions derive from. They may also be called giant sand scorpions because of their relative size to other species of scorpion but are not enormous, by any means. They can easily identified by holding a black light over them. If true sand scorpions, they will shine a light purple or violet in the dark.
More traditional methods of identification include its long, tanned shell, which is well-suited to its sandy name and preferred conditions. They are slightly larger in size than most other scorpions, but only moderately so and can grow upwards of six inches. They have a long tail which curves around its back, so that its stinger hovers aggressively over its head, waiting to attack.
Sand Scorpion Habitat
While its name is self-explanatory, the Sand scorpion is also be known as dessert scorpions, or giant scorpions. These creatures enjoy warm or hot climates with sandy conditions that enable them to send their vibrations across the grains. They are larger in size, and as such, spend more time sitting on the sand than beneath it. They are found in all deserts and dry states in America, as well as many other desserts around the world and are one of the larger species of scorpion.
The Sand Scorpion is nocturnal and hunts throughout the night. They also live a solitary existence, only seeking out other scorpions during mating or hunting. The young will be carried on the mother’s back for a considerable time compared to other species, and may follow her around for up to seven years prior to independence.
Many scorpions will nest, but the sand scorpion is just as happy on the surface of sand as it is under it. They will rarely spend time in trees like others, but can sometimes be found living under rocks.
Life Cycle of Sand Scorpions
Due to their unusual ability to detect prey with vibrations, sand scorpions can use this feature to find their potential mates by sending out unique mating vibrations. These vibrations will be picked up and returned in kind by any local and wiling partners. They also use scent and touch to narrow down the search until they finally meet.
Upon meeting, the male and female Sand scorpions engage in a courtship and mating ritual common to certain other scorpions, in which the male dances with the female in order to inseminate her. They do so by holding “hands” or claws and may last for several hours until successful.
Sand scorpions may live between fifteen to twenty years, much longer than other scorpions. They are sexually mature from age seven to ten, also considerably later, and the female will mate once per year thereafter. She will give birth to one set of young at a time, and up to as many as twenty per litter each year. The female will carry the young on her back, but sand scorpions do not stay with their young to maturity, which means that many will go through the insar development stages alone. Each insar requires a meal before shedding their skin.
Sand Scorpion and Humans
While many people fear scorpions because of their aggressive looking stinger, only 25 out of some 2,000 species of scorpions are actually venomous. That’s not to say their bite won’t be unpleasant, but the sand scorpion is very unlikely to kill you or cause you much more harm than a painful sting. You may want to consider medical attention however, if the skin is pierced, as other infections may become a complication.
The sand scorpion was actually the first creature which was discovered, in 1957, to have Ultraviolet abilities and set forth a string of research regarding other scorpions and animals.
Sand scorpions have shown considerable medicinal merits and have an array of beneficial properties that are used in modern medicine. Their toxins have a protein which can be extracted and used in many applications, such as antiseptics and pain killers. For this reason, many Asian countries choose to eat them for their perceived health benefits, though this manner has not been scientifically verified.
Sand Scorpion Control
You can check the parameter of your home by using a UV light at night. This will quickly alert you to any stray sand scorpions, which will shine a light purple color in the dark. Once you find one, loud noises or bright lights will usually send them running in the opposite direction. Be sure to water your garden and monitor dry soil spots, as they are grounds for an ideal scorpion environment.
For the most part, sand scorpions are relatively harmless and you can use common pesticides and insecticides to deter them from coming into your home. Simply dilute the solution according to the label, and spray the walls, doors and outside of your home to deter them. This won’t kill the insect, but can help if you want to use preventive action or stop the stray scorpion from wandering in. Likewise, screening and sufficient seals on doorways is advised.
Sand Scorpion Entomology
Sand scorpions belong to the animalia kingdom, under the arthropda phylum and are closely related to spiders, mites and other similar insects. There are some 2,000 known species, of which, 111 are now extinct. Only 25 of these remaining scorpions are venomous, and the sand scorpion is not one of them.
They belong to the arachnida class, but also the dromopoda subclass which better defines their differences between spiders. They also have their own order which is known as the scorpiones which is specifically for sand scorpions and the like.