Did you know that the Bay Area is home to four different species of scorpions? The most notable of these four species is the western forest scorpion (Uroctonus mordax). Though this species has the classic menacing scorpion look — oversized pincers, intimidating stinger and eight crawly legs — this scorpion has the sting equivalent to a honeybee’s and is only the size of a human thumb. The western forest scorpion is also quite shy; it doesn’t even like to leave its burrow on nights when the moon is too bright! This species is almost entirely restricted to California’s iconic redwood forests and oak woodlands, but can be found in at least 30 of California’s 58 counties.
There is very little known about the natural history of most scorpions, including our local scorpion species. Researchers guess that Uroctonus mordax lives for about 10 years. All known species of scorpions give live birth. The young (called scorplings) are cared for by their mothers and often seen riding around on her back until their first molt. All local species of scorpions fluoresce under black lights, making them easier to spot at night with the right tools.