What types of scorpions are found in West Virginia?
All the scorpions living in West Virginia 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!
Here are the 2 Types of Scorpions Found in West Virginia:
- 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.
- 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.
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
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. Southern Unstriped Scorpion
- Vaejovis carolinianus
- Dark reddish-brown body, pincers, and tail. Legs are tan and short.
- Pincers are thick and long. The tail is very wide with a big stinger.
- Also known as the Southern Devil Scorpion.
You can typically find the Southern Unstriped Scorpion in humid climates. They can be found in leaf piles or under stones and wood stacks in West Virginia.
Southern Unstriped Scorpion Range Map
This scorpion often enters homes, and they are commonly found in crawlspaces or cellars. Make sure to check your shoes before putting them on in the morning just in case they’re hiding there!
Stings are rare, but not unheard of.
But here is the good news:
The venom of the Southern Devil Scorpion is almost never lethal. Typical symptoms are swelling, redness, mild pain, and tenderness. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen, as you may be allergic!
Do you need additional help identifying scorpions in West Virginia?
Try this field guide!
Which of these scorpions have you seen in West Virginia?
Leave a comment below!