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Insects are Amazing: Bark Scorpion

Updated: Aug 29, 2023


Bark Scorpion

The Bark Scorpion can be found in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and down to Central Mexico. This little creator is the perfect desert dweller. Scorpions can go a year without eating and have a waxy layer on their exoskeleton, preventing water loss due to evaporation. But another key feature of its survival is that it's rarely out during the day as it is a creator of the night. The bark scorpion is relatively small, with adults typically measuring less than 3 inches in length. Despite its small size, however, its venom is highly potent and can cause severe neurological symptoms in humans, including numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms


Holding a Bark Scorpion

Normally when I'm prepping hostile insects for a photo shoot I place them into the refrigerator to slow them down. This is very helpful for hopping and flying insects, especially for biting and stinging ones. But, with the bark scorpion, I found out the hard way that they are one of the few insects around that can survive being frozen solid, and tend to recover fairly fast from just a short stint in the frig which was fine for all the other insects I had done this too. Now that I knew of this unique survival feature of the Bark Scorpion I had to experiment. While in Mexico I had a steady supply of scorpions to work with. My experiment entailed placing scorpions into the freezer for different periods to see if it would change the outcome in any way. To my surprise placing a scorpion in the freezer for an hour and another for 24 hours didn't seem to matter as they both recovered within about 10 minutes at room temperature to full grumpy mode.



During the late '40s the United States tested nuclear bombs in the New Mexico desert, and scientists found scorpions living in the blast zone that had no adverse effects from the radiation. Another scary fact about scorpions is they can survive about 6 days without oxygen and 2 days underwater. This prehistoric insect has been around for over 400 million years and will be around until the end of time.

Bark Scorpion
Did you Know:

A black light can be a useful tool for detecting the presence of bark scorpions. Bark scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, which causes them to appear a bright blue-green color. This fluorescence is caused by certain chemicals in their exoskeleton that reflect UV light. Scientists are not sure why scorpions reflect UV light but they have a few theories. It helps them locate other Scorpions, it's used to confuse prey, or it could be a form of sunscreen to protect from sunlight.


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