Bark Scorpion

Small scorpion glowing white
Bark Scorpions glow white under a black light.  Ask a ranger about at Phantom Ranch or Havasupai Gardens about looking for scorpions with a black light.

NPS Eric Hope


Scientific Name

Centruroides sculpturatus



  • Bark scorpions are relatively small, and have a maximum length of about 2.5 inches (6.4cm).
  • Their bodies are tan, and their backs are slightly darker in color.
  • Under UV light, these scorpions will glow a bright bluish color making them easy to spot.
  • They are nocturnal and are generally only seen at night.


  • Bark scorpions are most frequently found inside the Grand Canyon, but they can be found on the Rims.
  • While they are well adapted for the desert and can be found in all parts of the Grand Canyon, bark scorpions prefer riparian (streamside) habitats.
  • Because they are nocturnal, and hard to see when they are still, bark scorpions are most commonly seen crossing trails at night.


  • Bark scorpions use their pincers to grab small insects while they sting them with their highly venomous tail.
  • Their venomous sting isn't always enough to protect these animals, and bark scorpions are eaten by bats, mice, lizards, tarantulas, and birds.
  • Females give birth to live young and carry up to 30 on their back for up to three weeks- protecting the young until they have their first molt (when they shed their exoskeleton to grow larger).
  • Arizona bark scorpions hibernate throughout the winter (until evening temperatures consistently stay above 73°F/23°C) in groups of up to 40 individuals.
  • Bark scorpions can live as long as 5-7 years. Because their hard exoskeletons do not change in size, scorpions and other arthropods must shed their current exoskeleton and grow a new one as they grow larger.
  • Bark scorpions are the most venomous scorpion in North America, and the most commonly seen scorpion in the Grand Canyon. Watch these amazing animals, but do not handle them.

More Information

Living with Scorpions in Arizona- PDF

Last updated: August 31, 2023

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PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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