Desert Hairy Scorpion Care Guide For Scorpion Lovers

Screenshot 2022 09 12 221357

Care for Desert Hairy Scorpions might seem intimidating because of their requirements, but if you learn a bit more about them by doing some research, it may not be as difficult as you think. However, because of their environmental demands, Desert Hairy scorpion is not advised if you are a beginner scorpion keeper. They require a desert setting with a three-inch layer of coarse sand and the occasional misting of water.

Scorpions are arthropods with two pincer-like appendages, eight legs, and a pointed tail that injects venom from two glands on its body called the telson. These creatures have exoskeletons formed of chitin, which is the same material found in shrimp shells, rather than bones.

If you’re thinking about keeping Desert Hairy Scorpion as a pet, we hope you’ll carefully go through any info you could discover to ensure they have a good, long life.

An Overview of Desert Hairy Scorpion:

Scientific Name  Hadrurus arizonensis
Common Names Giant Hairy Desert Scorpion, Giant Hairy Scorpion, and Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion
Family Scorpionidae
Habitat They live in wooded areas, grasslands, small caves, abandoned burrows, and crevices. They may also be seen in suburban regions of California and Arizona, where they hunt for beetles and other invertebrate prey.
Range The Mojave and Sonoran deserts in the southwest of the United States are where they are mainly found. Nevada and Utah are some places where you can find them.
Found by Wood in 1863
Size Giant desert hairy scorpions are the largest scorpions in North America and acquired their name for their size, which may reach more than 4 to 7 inches.
Weight They may grow up to 5.5 inches (1.4 cm) long and weigh between 4 to 7 gm (0.14-0.25oz).
Diet Carnivorous
Cost 20$ -40$
Lifespan In wild: 7-10 years In captivity: 15-20 years
Color The color of the desert hairy scorpion ranges from light yellow to brown. The pale yellow bark scorpion has a length of less than an inch.
Shape Oval, Long Tail
Type Fossorial
Growth Rate Medium to Slow
Experience Level Intermediate
Venom low potency, not hazardous to people unless allergic
Activity  Nocturnal
Defense Pincers and venom injected


Hadrurus arizonensis was first described by Ewing in 1928. 

Nutritional Requirements:

Their primary sources of food in the wild are locusts and smaller scorpions. But in captivity, it eats small vertebrates as well as large spiders and insects. This scorpion is active and aggressive and it, like other scorpions, is active at night. They give birth to a young, which sits on the mother’s back for around a week before leaving, as other scorpions do. This variety of scorpions can live without needing any more water than what they acquire from their weekly insect feedings.


Scorpions are venomous creatures with two body parts, a pair of large pincers, eight legs, a segmented tail, and appendages that resemble fangs near the mouth. The venom glands are located in the telson (the last bulbous portion) of the tail. As the telson puts the venom, the pincers assist in capturing prey. The term “exoskeleton” refers to the body’s tough, protective exterior. Although they’ve multiple eyes, scorpions have poor vision, thus they rely on a comb-like organ at the base of the final pair of legs to function as a feeler.

Arizona is home to the bark, striped-tailed scorpions, and desert hairy which are the three most common species. The light yellow to brown desert hairy scorpion may reach a length of six inches. The pale yellow bark scorpion has a length of less than an inch. It is Arizona’s most poisonous scorpion despite being smaller in size.

Behavior and Temperament:

Desert hairy scorpions are more sedentary in the winter and more active in the summer. They are nocturnal and seek shelter from the heat on rocks or in burrows during the day. As the weather becomes colder, these scorpions hibernate for the winter and frequently live underground in burrows or caves.

They are active, solitary, and predatory creatures. Desert hairy scorpions  frequently hide within a burrow, and when their victims approach, they ambush them with their stinger. They catch prey with their modified front pedipalps and sting it with poison using their stinger. In comparison to most scorpions, the venom of desert hairy scorpions is rather weak. However, it has a minor effect on vertebrates like small mammals and lizards. It will effectively immobilize small insects and other invertebrates.


Usually, Desert Hairy Scorpions attain sexual maturity at around 4 years old. Desert hairy scorpions do opportunistic breeding at night. Although they go into dormancy in the winter and probably don’t breed then, there is no set breeding season. Male and female pinchers are locked while they dance elaborately. When the male puts its sperm package, it drags the female over it, and she gets it into her belly. After releasing the female, the male flees, but frequently the female catches up to him and eats him.

The desert hairy scorpion’s gestation cycle is very long, ranging from 6-12 months. Females give birth to a large litter of twenty-five to thirty-five babies (average thirty). At birth, the young are whitish, small, and vulnerable, and they promptly crawl to their mother’s back. For approximately 3 weeks, the young are kept on their mother’s back until they’ve gone through at least one molt and are ready to live independently.

A desert hairy scorpion’s body shape remains constant as it grows, only expanding in size when it molts. They typically molt 4 to 6 times before reaching maturity at the age of four.


Owls, large lizards, and other scorpions are all predators of this species. They have a poisonous stinger that they may use if necessary in addition to their pincers for self-defense.

The Sting of Desert Hairy Scorpions:

Their venom only causes pain and local swelling in humans, despite the fact that desert hairy scorpions are aggressive and easily sting when irritated. Most people compare the pain from their stings to that of a bee sting. Though rare, allergic reactions could happen. Many people experience tingling and numbness. Touch, heat, cold, and pressure may cause the injured area to become hypertensive. The risk is greatest for children.


The desert hairy scorpion is a famous pet scorpion. They shouldn’t be taken from the wild because of their critical role as predators in the desert ecology. If you decide to keep a scorpion as a pet, be sure you understand how to care for it and that it was got from a reliable breeder. They are not on the IUCN Red List for endangered species.


With the exception of Hawaii, it is allowed to keep venomous arthropods including scorpions in all states. While some transportation regulations may apply, the sale and the capture of scorpions are not. There may be some paperwork involved with some medically important species, but permits are normally not required.


Generally, scorpions shouldn’t be handled unless using paintbrushes, foam forceps, deli cups, and coated rubber gloves because they’re not good at handling and will respond negatively by instinct. Hold them by the tail in the region directly beneath its stinger with your fingers or forceps. From this point on, you may gently pick them up and move them to the location you want.

Terrarium Requirements:

Housing for Desert Hairy Scorpion
Image credit @i.pinimg

An enclosure made of glass or plastic that is about 18x12x12 (length x width x height) can be preferred for a single adult, with the length being more important than height. As excellent burrowers, desert hairy scorpions spend the majority of their time in the hide.


As desert scorpions, they prefer temperatures of 30 to 34 °C for the warm end. Since the scorpion can control its own body temperature, the cool end could be at room temperature. You may place a light/heat bulb or ceramic bulb at the top of the terrarium to increase the temperature of the surrounding air (preferred method). Alternatively, you might attach a heat mat to one side of the terrarium to raise the temperature of the substrate. For scorpions, it is crucial that the heat mat never be placed beneath the vivarium since they frequently burrow to minimize the heat, which causes them to burrow deeper into the heat source.


To have a long and healthy life, desert hairy scorpions do not need UVB lighting. Although, they will require proper temperatures, which may be attained by placing a heating pad below the container and using various thermometers to monitor the temperature.


The Desert Hairy scorpion is particularly sensitive to humidity and must be kept in arid settings because they’re susceptible to fungal infections if housed in a damp environment.

Set the enclosure’s temperature between 75-90 °F and its humidity between 50%-55%. It is crucial to monitor the enclosure’s humidity level since excessive moisture has been found to kill these scorpions.


It is recommended to utilize a base of sand as the substrate because they’re present in the extremely arid terrain. This species likes coco fiber, dry peat moss, and sand as substrates. Some might even mix all three together. Depending on your particular scorpion, it may sometimes be best to just explore, try different things, and watch how your scorpion responds.

Desert Hairy Scorpions do well in a glass terrarium with at least a floor area of 40cm and a sand substrate 3-4 inches deep. So they may burrow like they would in their native habitat.


Cleaning up any leftover prey the day after serving your scorpion is an effective method to adopt because decomposing organic debris frequently brings mites, fungi, molds, and other potentially dangerous organisms into the cage. If your pet scorpion has recently molted, get rid of any uneaten prey right away. While their exoskeletons are still soft, newly molted scorpions are susceptible.

You must first take your pet out of the cage so that you may more conveniently clean it. Following their removal, you should empty their enclosure and clean it with a disinfectant safe for scorpions. To ensure they have a fresh, clean environment, you should also replace their substrate. Every three to four months, you should thoroughly clean out their container in this way. 

Tank Decor:

The decor isn’t actually that necessary, however, a hide built of slate or rock, cork bark will serve as their first base and eventually the beginning of their burrow. They may be both a practical and attractive addition to your tank arrangement.


If given the correct habitat, scorpions are typically highly hardy and adaptive. Loss of appetite, appearing lethargic or listless, having an excessively swollen stomach, and having deformed or missing limbs are a few symptoms that may suggest that your pet scorpion is not feeling or acting normal. A mite infestation is a potential additional issue.


The molt is one of the most frequent causes of scorpion mortality. The cuticle on the scorpion’s hard exterior produces its rigid exoskeleton. A process known as molting occurs when all scorpions secrete a new exoskeleton in order to grow. Six to ten times during their lifespan, scorpions molt. They use a lot of energy during this molting process, and until their new skin solidifies, they are extremely susceptible.

An average scorpion will become fairly lethargic for around 24 hours before molting.

Death or the loss of limbs can be the outcome of a difficult molt. It is believed that this is linked to humidity levels. Depending on the species, there may be either an excess of humidity or a deficiency. Many immature scorpions that are kept in captivity die when molting.

Mite Infestation:

Having a mite infestation is another potential issue. Unconsumed food may attract mites, which may be extremely harmful and unpleasant to scorpions. Remove any leftover food.

Other Problems:

Despite the fact that many scorpions can live for extended periods without eating, overfeeding can result in an excessively swollen stomach, loss of appetite, and ultimately death. Regular eating can cause a little amount of stomach swelling, which is not an issue.

Fun Facts:

  • The small brown hairs on the body of the desert hairy scorpion, which detect air vibrations and ground to assist find prey or escaping predatory birds and reptiles, are what give this scorpion its common name. This scorpion is endemic to the arid, thus its name.
  • This specific species of scorpion is placid. They will escape from confrontation quickly, but if provoked or cornered, they will take a defensive posture and sting. Although the venom of desert hairy scorpions is thought to be weak to moderate, it still causes pain and swelling if you get bitten.
  • The most venomous scorpion in the United States, the bark scorpion, is the exception to the rule that most scorpion stings do not pose a danger to human life. The majority of scorpions in the United States live in the southwest and like the hot, dry climates of California, New Mexico, and  Arizona.

Preventive Tips:

Try putting these preventative strategies into practice to make your property less appealing to scorpions:

  1. Never carry wood inside unless it’s supposed to be used for the fire.
  2. Remove all debris from the house and its surroundings.
  3. Keep window screens in good condition, and make sure they are securely fastened to the frame.
  4. Keep trash cans elevated.
  5. Hire a pest control firm that offers remedies for scorpions and other pests that are prevalent in Arizona.


The Desert Hairy Scorpions are a common species of arachnids kept as a pet in captivity because of their beauty and size. They could be a good option if you’re looking for a pet with pincers that has a distinctive appearance. The largest scorpion in the United States and one of the least frequent desert scorpions is the giant desert hairy scorpion. They are large and very active. 

This species has a lot to give and is not difficult to care for, however they’re a bit shy. We really hope that you found this information useful in your search for a pet scorpion or that you discovered something new and fascinating about desert hairy scorpions.


What is the rate of growth of desert hairy scorpions?

A desert hairy scorpion’s body does not change structurally as it grows; rather, it only gets bigger when it molts. Before becoming adults at roughly four years old, they often molt 4 to 6 times.

Can you house desert hairy scorpions together?

Because of their propensity to cannibalism, desert hairy scorpions can’t be kept in groups and can be challenging to breed in captivity.

How deep do desert scorpions burrow?

Scorpions draw this soil out of the burrow after it has rained and laid it on the slope’s bottom side. Depending on the microclimate in the ground, their burrows are about 30 cm long and 15 to 30 cm deep.

Are heat mats necessary for desert scorpions?

Scorpions need heat from an outside source, like a hot rock, heat lamp, or heat mat because they are cold-blooded (ectothermic). The ideal temperature is 25°C, with temperatures not more than 30°C. This is required 24 hours a day, all year. Additionally, humidity is needed to prevent scorpions from drying out.

About The Author

Azwa is a talented writer who recently joined our team. Azwa does a thorough investigation and gathers reliable data before writing about your pets and their care instructions so that you have all the knowledge you want. She works as a dietitian and has an incredible understanding of reptiles.

Share This Post

On Key

Related Posts