Sand Scorpions

Sand scorpions are invertebrate predators that are classified as part of Arachnida, belonging to the order of Scorpiones. Their scientific name is Paruroctonus utahensis.

These scorpions live on dry sand, hence their name. Like many other scorpions, they have a unique method of sensing prey and locating mates. They use their sensitive vibration and chemosensory systems on the sand surface. As prospective prey gets closer, the scorpion can detect it using its vibration signals. The scorpion moves forward with its pincers outstretched until it makes a move to incapacitate the prey.

Meanwhile, they can also use these vibrations to find prospective mates. Male scorpions use sexually dimorphic chemosensory appendages, the pectines. These structures allow the scorpions to detect their environment, including prospective mates.

These burrowing nocturnal predators are also unique in terms of appearance. Their color matches the color of the sand, which is pale yellow to yellowish brown. Their pincers are swollen and keeled with short fingers in adults. Another feature is their legs, which have bristly combs that provide traction on sandy ground.

Sand scorpions can be seen in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. Like other scorpion species, they eat spiders and large insects.