7 Different Types of Scorpions (With Pictures)

Photo: Head_Snake / Shutterstock

Scorpions are generally known as eight-legged predators, similar to spiders in many ways, with a pair of pincers and a very long tail with a venom stinger at the end of it.

There are differences between different scorpion types, and in this article, we’ll be taking a look at 7 types of scorpions.

  • Chaerilus Scorpions
  • Pseudochactidae Scorpions
  • Fat-tailed Scorpions
  • Iudridae Scorpions
  • Bothriuridae Scorpions
  • Burrowing Scorpions
  • Chactidae Scorpions

1. Chaerilus Scorpions

Scientific name (genus): Chaerilus

These scorpions are only found in South and Southeast Asia, where they usually inhabit tropical environments. They rarely grow longer than 3 inches in length.

Their representative is the Asian bush scorpion, usually found on the Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. These types of scorpions in Asia are stocky, and their venom is very weak by human standards, so they pose no threat to people.

Asian bush scorpions usually feed on insects, and unlike many other scorpions, they can’t climb vertical surfaces.

2. Pseudochactidae Scorpions

Scientific name (family): Pseudochactidae

This family of scorpions was discovered only recently, so very little is known about them. They’re usually found in Central Asia, often in arid or at least partly arid habitats.

There is still much more to be researched, as there’s no data about their venom or about their behavior.

3. Fat-tailed Scorpions

Photo: Vinicius R. Souza / Shutterstock

Scientific name (superfamily): Buthoidea

These scorpions are appropriately named, as their tails are very thick in comparison to other families of scorpions, whose tails are very thin. They’re the largest family of scorpions, with over 1,000 species in it.

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Fat-tailed scorpions are large – as the largest scorpions can reach 5 inches, which is very long for scorpions. They can have up to 10 eyes, which is similar to spiders, which usually have six eyes.

Most scorpions within this family have very potent venom. Although human fatalities are rare (because people don’t come in contact with these animals that often), they should still be avoided. The most venomous scorpion, called the deathstalker, is a member of this family.

Scorpions within this family are spread all around the world, barring Antarctica. Some venoms from these scorpions have been used for medical research.

4. Iuridae Scorpions

Photo: Dominic Gentilcore PhD / Shutterstock

Scientific name (family): Iuridae

The Iuridae are a small family and they’re best represented by the genus of ‘giant hairy scorpions’. These scorpions are only found in the deserts of northern Mexico and the southwestern USA. They’re very large, with only a few genera measuring larger members.

They can measure up to 6 inches and they’re easily recognized by their yellow color. The venom of these types of scorpions in the USA usually isn’t dangerous, but it’s still very painful.

Just like all scorpions, they’re mostly nocturnal, while they burrow during the day to avoid overheating during the day.

5. Bothriuridae Scorpions

Scientific name (family): Bothriuridae

These scorpions are found in tropical and subtropical areas across Australia, Asia, Africa, and South America. No sightings have been recorded in Europe and North America.

The forest scorpion (Cercophonius squama) is the representative of this family, usually found in southeastern Australia. They’re nocturnal and sedentary, only defensive if backed into a corner and agitated.

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Most of these species are great burrowers and one genus (Cercophonius) was also discovered in the Himalayas, expanding the range once thought they had.

6. Burrowing Scorpions

Photo: Head_Snake / Shutterstock

Scientific name (superfamily): Scorpionidae

Species of this family are found in parts of tropical habitats in southeastern Asia, as well as tropical and arid habitats of Africa. Some scorpions within this family are the largest scorpions in the world growing up to 8 inches in length.

The pincers of these scorpions are especially strong and they’re used for grabbing and killing prey, as well as tearing meat apart.

They don’t rely that much on their venom – it’s very mild and it only causes local redness and pain to humans.

7. Chactidae Scorpions

Scientific name (family): Chactidae

There are more than 200 species of scorpions in this family, while most of them have only recently been discovered and described. They’re indigenous to the Americas and haven’t spread to other continents.

One of the representative species is the California forest scorpion, which is usually found in Redwood Forests and Oak Woodlands.

These types of scorpions in California thrive in moist environments, where they usually avoid people as their sting is completely painless, making them defenseless.

To End

Scorpions are animals adapted to live in arid and semi-arid areas. They usually burrow to hide from larger predators (birds, foxes, coyotes, larger scorpions) and to survive the heat. Because of this, they’re considered nocturnal animals.

Most scorpions aren’t dangerous to people because they rarely come in contact with us, and most scorpions do not possess venom potent enough to kill a healthy person.

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James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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