Fun Scorpion Facts For Kidsx

Moumita Dutta
Nov 11, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Scorpion facts for kids are interesting.

Scorpions are predatory animals that fall in place with arachnids. They share a close connection with spiders, ticks, and mites and fall under the Scorpiones order.

There are six superfamilies of scorpions that have been identified so far. These are further divided in 22 families and have been classified into over 1,500 species so far. Some families of scorpions include pale-legged scorpions and burrowing scorpions.

Scorpions are known and feared for their venomous sting. They are mostly found in the deserts but can also be spotted in other terrestrial habitats like in forests and in the mountains.

However, contrary to popular belief, not all scorpion stings kill humans and only around 25 species of scorpions of family Buthidae have venom that can kill or paralyze their prey.

With an evolutionary history that dates back to several million years ago, the scorpions are sturdy, adaptable arthropods that can thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions.

Some of the well-known members of these arachnids are the emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator), Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus), Malaysian black scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer, an Asian forest scorpion), Indian red scorpion (Hottentotta tamulus), and the giant scorpion (Heterometrus swammerdami).

With a range of sizes and habitats, these arachnids are quite the stealthy predators with a stinger at the rear of their bodies.

But, do not mistake them to be normal insects!

Do you find scorpion facts intriguing? Then read on for more scorpion animal facts. You can also check out facts on Mexican red-knee tarantula and wolf spider.


Scorpion Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a scorpion?

Scorpions are arachnids (not insects) belonging to the order Scorpionidae with over 1500 species divided across several families.

What class of animal does a scorpion belong to?

Scorpions are arthropods (belonging to phylum Arthropoda) with eight legs like spiders. As in most other arthropods, these arachnids have an exoskeleton (external skeleton) made of chitin and a segmented body.

How many scorpions are there in the world?

There is no exact figure on the number of scorpions in the world, but there are over 1500 scorpion species documented to date.

Where does a scorpion live?

While scorpions are primarily found in desserts, these deadly animals have evolved to live in the tropics, subtropics and even the temperates, including environments like savannas, humid and scrub forests, and grasslands.

What is a scorpion's habitat?

With the exception of Greenland and Antarctica, the scorpion habitat spreads across all major continents. Their geographical range extends from central Europe and Canada to the southernmost tips of Africa and South America.

Scorpions have been accidentally introduced by humans in England and New Zealand.

Further, scorpions have been reported from elevations as high as 16,000 ft (5,000 m) above sea level in the mountains of North America, South America, and Europe. Some species have also been found in the far north in Russia, southern Germany, and southern Canada.

However, the scorpion's population diversity is greatest in the subtropical regions and it gradually decreases towards the equator and the poles.

Most scorpions dwell in burrows and hence, prefer habitats with either loose soil or sand. Since scorpions are mostly nocturnal animals, most of the daylight is spent in the burrows which can be as long as 39 in (1 m) and help to keep the scorpions cool throughout the day.

Who do scorpions live with?

Scorpions are not known to nest together or congregate in large groups. They are quite solitary animals and prefer to stay in burrows or under rocks by themselves. But, if you spot a group of scorpions together, it is more likely that there is a limitation of nesting space rather than them forming a colony.

How long does a scorpion live?

The average lifespan of the scorpion varies with the species. But these relatives of spiders can typically live for five to eight years in captivity and may live even longer in wild habitats.

How do they reproduce?

Mating in scorpions is seasonal and occurs throughout the warm months from late spring to early fall. The male of the species may travel long distances to find their potential mating partner.

The females release a pheromone from the end of their abdomen that the male detects and localizes his mate. Scorpions engage in a characteristic and elaborate pre-mating courtship that is usually initiated by the male.

The male faces the female and uses his pedipalps (pincers) to grasp the female.

Once the contact has been made via the pedipalps, the pair performs a 'dance' called promenade à deux by moving forwards and backward. The 'dance' goes on until the pair finds a suitable spot where the male can deposit the spermatophore (structure containing sperms).

Once the spermatophore is deposited on a smooth surface, the male guides the female over it so that the female's genital opening comes in contact with the spermatophore and triggers the release of the sperms, thus fertilizing the female. The pair separates soon after the mating process is over.

Unlike other arthropods such as spiders that lay eggs, scorpions are viviparous and give birth to live young scorpions. Once fertilized, the females retain the eggs inside her body where the embryos are nourished for several months to one year.

The litter size ranges from 3-100, and even more in some species.

After birth, the young scorpions crawl on their mother's back and remain there until their first molt.

The time required for the first molt varies with the species and accordingly, the young can stay on their mother's back for periods ranging between 1-50 days. The first molt takes about six to eight hours after which the exoskeleton of the young becomes hard enough for them to survive on their own.

What is their conservation status?

Most species of scorpions are understudied and their survival threats are largely unknown. Hence, their International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status remains to be evaluated. Some species are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora & Fauna (CITES) Appendix II.

Scorpion Fun Facts

What do scorpions look like?

The scorpions' body is divided into two parts - the cephalothorax (prosoma) and the abdomen (opisthosoma). The abdomen is further sub-divided into a broad anterior part and a narrow tail.

Both the cephalothorax and the abdomen are covered with a hardy exoskeleton made of chitin and the head  has an additional covering called the carapace. Depending on the species, the hard exoskeleton of the scorpions can come in a variety of colors like black, red, brown, yellow, blue, and even green.

The cephalothorax has two eyes on the top and as many as two to five pairs of lateral eyes. Besides the eyes, the cephalothorax of the scorpions have chelicerae, appendages that the scorpions use to pull bits of food towards the mouth.

The chelicerae are pincer-like with three segments and sharp teeth-like structures. The cephalothorax also has a pair of pedipalps, structures like pincers for capturing and tearing apart the prey.

These pincers are also used for sensory and defense purposes. The cephalothorax also includes eight legs (four pairs) for walking.

Like other arachnids, the nervous system of the scorpions is primarily concentrated in the cephalothorax. The opisthosoma is the posterior (rear) portion of the body with 13 segments, the last five of which end in a tail and a terminal venomous stinger.

How cute are they?

Scorpions look anything but 'cute.' You may call them deadly-looking and some may also look brilliant with vivid colors.

How do they communicate?

Even with two large centrally-located eyes and up to five lateral pairs, scorpions have pretty poor eyesight. However, the scorpions' eyes are most sensitive to UV light and green light.

Further, sensitivity to dim light makes it possible for the nocturnal scorpions to navigate around in starlight. The lack of good eyesight is compensated for by the presence of sensory receptors in the legs of the scorpion.

Scorpions can pick up vibrations from the ground via specific regions in their front legs, a mechanism that is usually used by the females to identify mating partners.

Females are known to attract males through pheromones. But being primarily solitary, the scorpions hardly communicate with each other.

How big is a scorpion?

In terms of body size, scorpions have a wide range. The smallest known species is the Typhlochactas mitchelli measuring around 0.3 in (8.5 mm) and the largest is the Heterometrus swammerdami (giant forest scorpion) that holds the record for being the largest scorpion in the world with a size of 9.1 in (23 cm).

A scorpion can be as large as a common house gecko.

How fast can a scorpion move?

Scorpions can be quite fast with speeds of up to 12 mph (19.31 kph).

How much does a scorpion weigh?

The largest scorpion (giant forest scorpion) can weigh up to 2 oz (56 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female scorpions do not have distinct names.

What would you call a baby scorpion?

Baby scorpions are often known as scorplings.

What do they eat?

The scorpion diet comprises arthropods, any small insect such as grasshopper, termite, cricket, wasp, and beetle. Besides insects, they may also kill and eat small vertebrates such as lizards or mice.

Are they dangerous?

Only some species of scorpions are venomous, causing human fatalities. Otherwise, a vast majority of the scorpions are not dangerous and a healthy adult would not normally need medical treatment after being stung by a non-venomous scorpion.

Would they make a good pet?

Scorpions are frequently kept as pets or in captivity. They are pretty low maintenance and all they need is a safe enclosure such as a glass scorpion tank with a lockable lid, and the proper temperature and humidity conditions.

Did you know...

The flying scorpion (Panorpa communis) or scorpionfly is an insect that has a scorpion-like appearance due to the presence of claspers at the end of its tail.

The wind scorpion or the camel spider are arachnids but are neither true spiders nor true scorpions.

The sea scorpion with a scorpion-like tail is an extinct arthropod.

The water scorpion is actually an insect that gets its name from the apparent resemblance to scorpions.

The scorpion tail has a vesicle with a symmetrical pair of venom glands.

The exoskeleton of scorpions has fluorescent chemicals, making it glow on exposure to ultraviolet light.

What does a scorpion sting look like?

Normally, a scorpion bite or sting will cause redness, pain, and warmth at the site, unless the scorpion venom is very toxic such as that of the bark scorpion. Symptoms may also involve tingling, swelling, and numbness around the affected area.

Severe symptoms of a scorpion sting may include muscle twitching, high or low blood pressure, vomiting, sweating, and restlessness. A physician should be consulted for treating a scorpion sting.

How do scorpions die?

Scorpions are quite tough and can even survive heat and radiation. However, some of the most common ways to kill these insect predators are by using spider sprays, boric acid, diatomaceous earth, or simply squishing them with a heavy object.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including water beetle, or atlas beetle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our scorpion coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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