Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Order Scorpionida


Scorpions are wingless, have no antennae and have bodies that are broad near the front and taper to a tail. The tail has a sting at the tip and is often held over the body. Front appendages are enlarged forming pincers. They are often found under loose bark of logs or under trash piles. The stages are eggs, young and adults. Size ranges from one inch to thee inches. All scorpions can sting, but only a few are deadly poisonous.

Scorpions are easily recognized by the pincers on the first set of appendages (pedipalps), the long tail with a stinger at the end and the flattened appearance of the body. They have four pairs of walking legs. Scorpions have two eyes on the top of the head region and usually two to five along the side of the head. Nevertheless, they do not see well and rely more on the sense of feel for most of their activities. Between the last pair of legs is a comb-like structure of pectines that is used to identify substrate structures and for chemoreception of pheromones.

There are about eighteen species of scorpions in Texas. Many of these are uncommon or are known only locally. Centruroides vittatus is the only species reported from the eastern half of the state. The number of species increases in the western parts of the state with the highest number of species (14) reported in the Big Bend region.

See striped bark scorpion.

Striped bark scorpion, Centruoides vittatus ( Say).  Photo by G. McIlveen, Jr.
Click on image to enlarge
Striped bark scorpion,
Centruoides vittatus (Say)
(Scorpionida: Buthidae).
Photo by G. McIlveen, Jr.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999, Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University •  Department of Entomology  •  412 Heep Center, TAMU 2475
College Station, TX 77843-2475 • 979.845.2516
Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University