Are there scorpions in Florida? Reading this question is somewhat daunting, and if residents of Florida, who are afraid of scorpions, actually encounter them, what would happen? Let’s delve into this article and find out if there are indeed scorpions in Florida. And if there are, what kind of harm do they pose?
Scorpions are the most fearsome insect hunters on the earth. In Florida, all scorpions come equipped with 8 legs, 2 pincers, and 1 string. Pincers on the front two legs are used for hunting instead of walking. While using venom delivered by deadly stinger, scorpions incapacitate and kill their prey.
About scorpions, stingers and pincers are not just cool things, but also they are fluorescent. It means that under ultraviolet light, scorpions glow. So, in Florida, you need to pull out UV light and find scorpions in the dark.
Are There Scorpions in Florida?
The Sunshine State is home to three species of scorpions. Out of three, one is the bark scorpion, also named the brown bark scorpion or slender brown scorpion, is the largest species in Florida. An adult bark scorpion may grow up to 4 inches long. The Florida bark scorpion can be found throughout most of the states.
The Hentz-striped scorpion is the most common and smallest, up to two and a half inches long. The Guiana striped scorpion can only be found in Miami-Dade, Collier County, and Monroe. However, this scorpion is native to the Bahamas and Cuba.
Also Read: Are Lizards in Florida Poisonous?
Types of Florida Scorpions
Following are the types of Florida Scorpions.
Florida Bark Scorpion
Out of three species, the Florida bark scorpion is the largest found in the state. This reddish-brown to black with yellowish legs scorpion can grow up to four inches and typically hides during the day under bark, stones, and piles of wood.
Hentz Striped Scorpion
Hentz striped scorpion ranges from two to two and a half inches. This small scorpion has a tan to dark brown body, sometimes has yellowish-green stripes across the width of its abdomen, and may have a pair of dark stripes running the length of its body. This species is most common in Florida.
Guiana Striped Scorpion
The size of the Guiana striped scorpion falls between an inch and a half to three inches long.
Its body is yellow with a brownish area on the back, along with two dark stripes that run lengthwise. Guiana striped scorpion is limited to Miami-Dade, Monroe & Collier counties.
Also Read: Black Birds in Florida
Florida Scorpion Stings
Florida scorpion stings are not dangerous and can be painful, like a wasp sting. The sting’s site may swell and get sore. In case of a reaction to a scorpion sting, seek emergency help immediately. Scorpions rarely sting people.
Florida Scorpion Infestation
Scorpions have arachnids, eight legs, a pair of claw-shaped pincers, and a curled tail with a stinger. Scorpions use pincers to catch prey and inject nerve poison through the stinger.
Scorpions eat various insects, such as termites and spiders, and they only feed at night. At day time, scorpions seek shelter beneath logs, rocks or loose bark.
The Scorpion Life-Cycle
Unlike spiders and ticks, scorpions give birth to live baby scorpions. At a time, females can give birth to up to 100 young.
Baby scorpions cling to their mother’s back until they’ve molted, and exoskeletons grow hard enough to protect them.
The tiniest scorpion can sting. Babies look like miniature versions of their parents. In Florida, scorpions may live up to three years in the wild.
Florida Scorpions in the Home
In Florida, scorpions crawl inside homes while following insect prey, usually found in crawlspaces and attics. They’re found in newly built homes.
Sometimes, these critters get stuck in the sink or bathtub while searching for water at night.
After making its way into the living space, scorpions can take shelter anywhere when the sun rises. That’s why scorpions have been found in shoes, blankets, folded clothing, and bedsheets.
In summary, Florida hosts three scorpion species, with the largest being the Florida bark scorpion. While their stings are painful but not dangerous, these arachnids may occasionally enter homes in pursuit of prey. Despite their venomous attributes, encounters with Florida scorpions are more of a nuisance than a serious threat to residents, showcasing the intriguing aspects of these creatures, such as their fluorescent features and unique reproductive habits.