2 Scorpion Species Found in Washington! (state)

What types of scorpions are found in Washington?

Common Scorpions in Washington

All the scorpions living in Washington are nocturnal carnivores, so they are most easily seen at night. But did you know that all scorpions glow a bright blueish color under ultraviolet light?

So many times, people take blacklights to help them find and observe scorpions!

2 Types of Scorpions in Washington:

  • As a rule of thumb, scorpions with small claws and a large stinger are dangerously venomous, while those with large claws and a small stinger are less. This ID Guide will help you identify scorpions, but please seek medical attention if you get stung.

#1. Pseudoscorpion

  • Pseudoscorpiones

Washington Scorpions species

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Tiny and normally reddish-brown, but can vary in a color—segmented body shaped like a teardrop.
  • Eight small legs. Large pincers that are more than twice as long as the legs.
  • No stinger!
  • Also known as the False Scorpion.

Have you ever seen something that looked like a scorpion but didn’t have a tail?

If you have, well, consider yourself lucky! This tiny arachnid is called a Pseudoscorpion. They are rarely seen and are considered a FALSE scorpion! The Pseudoscorpion is harmless to humans, but since they are predators, they will help keep your home free of small unwanted creatures.

Despite the name, Pseudoscorpions don’t have a tail with a venom-filled stinger. Instead, these tiny arachnids have venom in their pincers that they use to kill their prey. But you shouldn’t have any fear as they cannot harm a human, so there is no need to be afraid of this 1/8 inch (3 mm) arachnid.

pseudoscorpion on finger

Pseudoscorpions are kind of like spiders too because they can make silk! However, they don’t make webs to catch prey. Instead, they use the silk to create a cocoon to use as shelter from cold weather.

Pseudoscorpion Range Map

pseudoscorpion range map

Pseudoscorpions are more common than you think! But since they are so tiny, they are often overlooked and live in homes. In addition, their preferred habitats include moss, leaf litter, and under stones, logs, or bark.

#2. Northern Scorpion

  • Paruroctonus boreus

northern scorpion pic

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Tan with dark brown stripes on the back.
  • Large round pincers.

This arachnid is the most cold-tolerant scorpion in Washington.

You will typically find Northern Scorpions near sandstone cliffs. Look for them in a variety of habitats and elevations.

Northern Scorpion Range Map

northern scorpion range map

Like other scorpions in Washington, this species feeds on small prey like insects. When they sting, venom is injected, which subdues their prey.

Northern Scorpions are nocturnal and rarely seen during the day. To find them, you need to go looking under rocks in the daytime. But please be careful if you do since they have a venom-packed stinger.

Luckily, the effects of a sting are mild and similar to a hornet. You can expect localized numbness, which lasts up to four hours.

Check out this video of the Northern Scorpion in the wild!

YouTube video

Do you need additional help identifying scorpions in Washington?

Try this field guide!

Which of these scorpions have you seen in Washington?

Leave a comment below!

Check out my other guides about animals in Washington!

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  1. I have lived in the North West for almost thirty year and I have yet to find a scorpion any where. I checked the crawl space of my house and all around the yard checked flower beds and looked under rocks and logs. I even check for them during the warmest months and still no scorpions in the North West. I have been in several places in the North West and never seen a scorpion yet.

    1. We do have two species of scorpion in Washington State, but pseudoscorpions are not one of them, because they are not scorpions.

      Northern scorpions are found east of the Cascades in Washington. Pacific forest scorpions (aka, Western forest scorpions and other names) are the ones found west of the Cascades, in the foothills on west or south facing slopes. They are black or dark brown, and about 1.5″ – 2″.

  2. There is another species of scorpion in Washington. I believe they were accidentally brought to the area. Growing up we constantly would find them. I believe they were able to survive the winter by burrowing into the mountain during the winter. The mountain was an old iron mine, so they were able to burrow pretty deep. During the summer we constantly had to dump them out of our shoes and would find them under furniture. They were relatively small, and very black in color. One day I’ll have to see if the current property owners will allow me to catch one for identification purposes

  3. Picked up a pen to write a note and a pseudo scorpion dropped onto the paper. I took a couple of photos and a short video for posterity. This one has a dark brown body with a lighter stripe running the length of his back. If you’d like photos, contact me by email.

  4. Found a northern scorpion on our property in Riverside Washington, bout the size of a quarter coin, hiding under some debris. Should I be concerned about more? Should I try to get rid of them? I live on a sandy cliff terrain and have small kids and pets, is there a way to preemptively test for allergies?