Centruroides gracilis Photo Chris Burney ©
The bark scorpion is the largest of Florida’s three scorpion species, adults can grow up to 4 inches long. It is native to the tropics of Central America, Mexico and Florida.
These scorpions are nocturnal, and spend the day under logs or loose pieces of bark. They also hide under boards, or other pieces of debris, and often seem to find their way into recently built homes. They feed on termites, insects and spiders.
Scorpions live a long time – some as long as five years. The young are born alive and climb onto the mothers back where they ride around until after their first moult.
Bark scorpions are popular pets as they are very hardy and can be easily kept in a small aquarium with some pieces of bark. They readily take crickets as food.
In Florida bark scorpions are most often accidentally brought into the house with firewood, so it is wise to use gloves when carrying firewood and keep wood stacked outside. You may also encounter these scorpions in the crawlspace under the house or in attics, so be careful. The sting is extremely painful but not deadly.
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