picture of scorpion

How Many Legs Does a Scorpion Have?

Confusion about how these strange pests are classified makes many people wonder “is a scorpion an insect?” In fact, because they have eight legs like ticks and spiders, scorpions are not insects. They are arachnids.

What Does a Scorpion Look Like?

In addition to its eight legs, a scorpion has a pair of large front pincers that catch, hold, and crush prey. Despite having two eyes in the center of its head and more on each side, a scorpion does not see well and depends on touch. A long, segmented tail curls around its back with a large stinger perched on the end.

What a scorpion looks like may also depend on species. There are around seventy varieties in North America that range in color from yellowish brown to brownish red or black. Some even have stripes or patterns.

Adults reach two to seven inches in length, while baby scorpions may measure less than an inch long.

Some of the major species include:

  • Bark scorpions – Small and solid light brown, these pests are considered dangerous to people.
  • Arizona hairy scorpions – This variety is the largest in the country and gets its name from the tiny hairs that cover its body.
  • Stripe-tailed scorpions – The most common species, they are usually less than three inches long and feature stripes on their bodies and tails.

Scorpion Development

Baby scorpions are born live and stay on their mothers’ backs until their exoskeletons harden. The appearance of a young scorpion is very similar to that of an adult, only smaller and lighter in color. Some baby scorpions do not reach maturity for several years, and certain species live for over a decade.

Scorpion Problems

Scorpions often hide among bricks and rocks or in wood piles searching for insect prey. Water and moist areas in homes can also attract the pests, which take shelter in the cool darkness of attics, closets, or sinks.

The sudden appearance of a scorpion can be frightening for homeowners and lead to stings if the pests are stepped on or disturbed.

Preventing Conflicts with Scorpions

Knowing what a scorpion looks like can help to avoid painful encounters. However, homeowners can also take steps to keep the pests out. Deter scorpions by clearing away hiding places in yards and sealing up foundation cracks or gaps around doors and windows.

For expert assistance with scorpions, contact the professionals at Trutech.