Armor plated little tanks, the scorpion is a survivor. He is specially designed to last in the most severe conditions. These little guys are found on every continent except Antarctica, and come in over 2,000 species. But one must wonder how scorpions survive in the desert? Many ways. They are nocturnal. Scorpions get water from their prey. They become cannibalistic if need be. And a host of other reasons.
Scorpions are of the arachnid family. That means that they are carnivorous insects with eight legs. They have a large and dangerous stinger at the end of their tail. In addition, they also have two large pinchers for either crushing their prey, or holding it until it stings it with its tail. There are about 70 to 75 different species of scorpion in the United States.
LUNCH WITH A SCORPION
The eating habits of scorpions are very interesting. These insects are hunters by nature. Being nocturnal, they avoid the hot desert sun. They eat just about anything that moves, including other scorpions. Once they grab their prey with their pincers, they will sting it, and then start breaking it into small pieces. After it has built up a decent pile, it will spit strong digestive juices on the pile, making it into a soft and sticky stew. Then it sucks it into its mouth like a milkshake.
Scorpions have the unique ability to set their stinger to stun. They actually have two different venoms that can be administered. A very dangerous one that they reserve for prey, and a mild one that is used for protection. Often, when people are stung by scorpions, it is the milder version that is administered. Scorpions don’t drink water. They get water from their prey. This is how scorpions survive in the desert.
ADAPTING TO THE DESERT
These arachnids have many unique features that make them perfect for desert life. Their exoskeleton is very strong and difficult to crush. It is also very resilient to the sun. The exterior has a waxy covering that keeps moisture in. They can also regulate their metabolism. If they haven’t found food in a while, they will drop their metabolism down to one third of what is normal in order to conserve energy. They can bring their metabolism to full strength very quickly, if a meal walks by. No other hibernating animal can do this.
Scorpions burrow in the soil during the day. The loose soil of the desert protects them from the sweltering heat. Rocks and crevasses provide plenty of cover for these insects. Its here where humans usually find themselves at the wrong end of a stinger. Scorpions that find their way into a house will hide anywhere that they can. This includes places like shoes and laundry baskets. When someone puts their foot into a shoe, the scorpion will defend itself.
Scientists have actually frozen scorpions solid. After being frozen overnight, they defrosted them only to find that they walked away. Even though they can handle being frozen, one thing that they can’t handle is frozen ground. Without the ability to burrow into the ground, these insects are very vulnerable.
When a scorpion slows itself down, it can live on only one insect a year. Thats pretty impressive. Some of them can live under water for up to two days without coming up for air. And they also live for a pretty long time. The average life span is somewhere between two to ten years, but some species live as long as 25 years!
There are a lot of misconceptions about scorpions. It has been said that the sting of a baby scorpion is more dangerous than that of a full grown one. That’s just not true. The toxicity remains the same through out their life span. Some have said that these arachnids are so aggressive, that they will sting themselves to death. That has never been seen in the wild.
Others have said that all scorpions are deadly. Not true. Only about 25 species of scorpion are dangerous to humans. And we only have one of those here in the United States. That is the Arizona Bark Scorpion. Again, these scorpions only sting when they are defending themselves. If you are in the area where they live, then always shake out clothing before putting them on. And never put your fingers or toes where you can’t see.
Its important to understand how scorpions survive in the desert. If you are looking for an exterminator in the Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Oklahoma or surrounding area, Contact Us. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are here to help!