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Northern Scorpion (Paruroctonus boreus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Northern Scorpion

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Image Credit: LAHR, taken in Wenatchee, WA
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Image Credit: LAHR, taken in Wenatchee, WA
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A cold-tolerant scorpion, the Northern Scorpion can be found at high elevations in warm states like Arizona, and in the valleys of mountainous provinces.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Northern Scorpion is native to states and provinces that many would find uninhabitable for a scorpion. This hardy arachnid can withstand colder temperatures that its desert kin would find deadly. The dark stripes on the body may appear brown or even black depending on what region it is in. Like all arachnids, it has eight legs; pincer-like pedipalps do not count as part of the eight. Like all scorpions, it has a venom-packed stinger on its tail, and it uses its pedipalps to hold down insect prey while stinging it. Strong chelicerae then chew and consume the insect.

Look for the Northern Scorpion roaming the ground, hunting for its next meal. It is usually the only type of scorpion in its area, and lives in a wide range of habitats and at various elevations, finding that 'sweet spot' that is not cold enough to kill it, and not warm enough to allow other species to move in.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect stinger icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Scorpiones
        Family: Vaejovidae
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          Genus: Paruroctonus
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            Species: boreus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Paruroctonus boreus
Category: Scorpion
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 55mm (1.37" to 2.16")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; yellow; ivory
Descriptors: stinging; tail; armor; brown yellow stripes; claws; pincers

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 35mm (1.4in) and 55mm (2.2in)
Lo: 35mm
Md: 45mm
Hi: 55mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Northern Scorpion may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Northern Scorpion. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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