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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bark Scorpions

 We recently found a scorpion, crawling around (ewww). Not at our house, thank goodness! A friend called it a bark scorpion, but I had to research it myself.  Sure enough...and here's what we found out:

"Bark" scorpions are Centruroides exilicauda. They are considered a medically significant species, meaning they can and will take your life. Use caution around them.

Arizona Bark Scorpion-   Centruroides sculpturatus

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Scorpiones (Scorpions)
Family Buthidae
Genus Centruroides (Bark Scorpions)
Species sculpturatus (Arizona Bark Scorpion)

Originally Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928. Synonymized under C. exilicauda (Wood, 1863) by Williams (1980). But the distribution of the species is disjunct: C. exilicauda is endemic to the Baja California Peninsula, and in the north it is limited to the western side of the peninsula to near Ensenada; C. sculpturatus does not occur in BC, but is found in Sonora, Mexico, and the southwestern US in Arizona and the borderlands of adjacent states. Returned to C. sculpturatus by Valdez-Cruz et al. (2004) based largely on chemical makeup of venom, potency of venom, and DNA.

Explanation of Names
"sculpturatus" describes the sculptured appearance of the tergites (dorsal plates). "exilicauda" is for the elongation of the male metasoma (tail).

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