Spying the small bulge just before the stinger of the California Swollen Stinger Scorpion is not worth the risk of close proximity.
Dark, brown coloring make it harder to see the California Swollen Stinger Scorpion at night. It also helps hide it during the less active daytime. Huge, brown pedipalps look more like mighty claws with dark brown or black tips. Tiny dark bumps run along the squared ridges on them. These mighty 'arms' hold down insect prey, allowing the scorpion to begin eating it with strong jaw-like chelae. Oftentimes, the California Swollen Stinger Scorpion stings it by curling its long tail forward, thrusting the stinger into the insect. A venom gland injects a paralytic substance that subdues the prey, allowing the scorpion to eat without a struggle.
The dark brown body may be wide or slender, with females appearing a bit larger than males. The legs, tail, and 'arms' are a medium brown. In the center of the plate-like carapace (head region), sit a pair of eyes. More eyes are on the sides of the 'face'. The large, round, last tail segment is a shade paler than the rest of the tail and has a small swollen bulge just before the stinger. A sting from this scorpion is indeed painful, causing swelling and redness for a day or so, but it is not a deadly species.
Maintaining tight seals on doors and windows can help keep the California Swollen Stinger Scorpion from wandering indoors. Removing wood piles, debris, or other areas that could hide them is also good practice.
Scientific Name: Anuroctonus pococki
Size (Adult; Length): 50mm to 78mm (1.95in to 3.04in)
Colors: tan, brown, black
Descriptors: large pedipalps, swollen, pincers, stinger, tail, painful
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.