The large pedipalps, or pincers, of the ubiquitous California Common Scorpion distract from the more nefarious stinger on its long tail.
California Common Scorpions are frequently seen throughout the state and areas near it. This species is adapted to a variety of habitats, existing comfortably in the desert scrub as well as the sandy coastline. Cooler areas, like forested mountains are also places one may find it.
The swollen pedipalps are a light tan or yellowish color with brown tips. These are used to hold insect prey while the long tail plunges its stinger into it. Once injected with paralyzing venom, the scorpion eats the insect. In humans encounters, the venom is known to cause pain, but it is not dangerous. The dark brown abdomen is slender in males, and more rounded in females. Strong, pale tan/yellow legs hold the body close to the ground while it prowls for a meal. They are active at night and typically hide under objects during the day. Ultraviolet light can help locate this species in the dark thanks to its light blue glow in that light spectrum.
Scorpions mature slowly, molting their exoskeleton as they outgrow it. They can have lifespans upwards of 10 years. To help keep California Common Scorpions from taking up residence indoors, remove debris piles and other items that make for easy hiding spots off the property. Be mindful of open doors and windows, keeping screens in place. Use weather-stripping to plug up gaps in door and window frames. Keep branches trimmed away from the roof of the house to prevent scorpion from dropping down and entering from above.
Scientific Name: Paruroctonus silvestrii
Other Name(s): Silvestri's Scorpion
Size (Adult; Length): 50mm to 76mm (1.95in to 2.96in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.