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What is the Most Common Scorpion in Austin, TX?

 

Scorpions in Austin, TX

With Texas’s hot and dry summer quickly approaching, the likelihood of Austinites encountering a scorpion is increasing. Although Texas has around 20 different species of scorpions, the most common species in Austin is the Striped Bark Scorpion. As these scorpions can’t create heat with their own body, they depend on the warmth of the environment to help them to stay alive. This means that during cooler weather, scorpions look for warmer indoor or outdoor environments. In this article, we will provide more awareness about the Striped Bark Scorpion in Austin, TX.

What Do Striped Bark Scorpions Look Like?

Close Up View of Bark Scorpion On White Surface

The Striped Bark Scorpion is part of the arachnid family, has eight legs, and has a set of front pincers like that of a lobster. Their long tail is about half of their total length (60mm) and includes a venomous stinger at the tip, with the males usually having a slightly longer tail. Additionally, the Striped Bark Scorpion’s base color varies from a yellowish color to a medium-dark tan color, with two distinct, dark stripes running down the length of their back.

What Do Striped Barked Scorpions Eat?

A striped bark scorpion eating its prey

The diet of this scorpion consists of primarily eating centipedes, flies, crickets, and spiders. Striped Bark Scorpions will hunt for their food, typically catching them with their pincers and following up with a deadly sting to their prey. They also consume their prey by digesting them externally. They do this by coughing up digestive fluids onto their prey and then drinking their liquefied remains.

What is the Striped Barked Scorpion’s Environment?

A striped bark scorpion on old log in the forest.

The Striped Bark Scorpion is an extremely common scorpion found in the United States, Mexico, and within Austin, Texas. Since scorpions, including the Striped Bark Scorpion, are typically nocturnal, they will look for shelter in cool, damp spots. When the Texas summers begin to get too hot, they will seek refuge from the scorching sun in our homes and the shade of our gardens. Additionally, they can be found hiding from the intense sun’s rays under logs, rocks, or within an air-conditioned home.

Are Striped Barked Stings Fatal to Humans?

A close up view of the striped barked scorpion's stinger

If a Striped Barked Scorpion stings a human, it is because they were surprised or provoked by getting too close. Although there are approximately 25 species of scorpions capable of fatally stinging humans, the Striped Bark Scorpions is not one of them. However, if stung, the person will experience about 20 minutes of piercing stabbing pain, followed by a couple days of mild discomfort. Additionally, just like how people can be allergic to the venom in bee stings, the same can be true of the venom of Striped Bark Scorpions. In this case, death is possible due to anaphylactic shock if medical treatment is neglected. Symptoms of allergic reactions vary, but a sure sign is difficulty breathing.

 

Although there are roughly 20 different scorpion species living in the Austin, Texas area, the Striped Barked Scorpion is the most common. Attracted to cool and damp places, they can be found hiding under rocks or wandering within your air-conditioned home. Luckily, their main source of food is centipedes and spiders, and they will only sting a human if provoked.

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