Chihuahuanus coahuilae
(Williams, 1968)*



Common names:
Official US common name is "Lesser Stripetail Scorpion".

* See Gonzalez-Santillan & Prendini, 2013 (reference below) for taxonomic history. Vaejovis coahuilae was described by Stan Williams in 1968 from Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico, hence the name, although Dr. Williams reported a specimen from near Fort Stockton, Texas, in the description.

North America (Mexico and USA (Arizona, New Mexico & Texas)).

This species is found in a variety of habitats and elevations, from desert to montane pine forest (desert flats to rolling grasslands to rocky slopes in mountains to about 7,000 feet or more. Not known to occur in dunes but has been found in sandy areas.), though most common in the Chihuahuan Desert biomes. Because it is primarily a burrowing species, it is most easily found by using a black light, but it is also found under rocks and debris.

No data available. The sting is quite painful, with a little edema at the sting site. Pain and sensitivity last from 15 to 30 minutes, occasionally longer, with no medical side effects. Minor swelling and edema last about the same amount of time, all depending on severity of sting. Flick and run is the common defense, although they will occasionally "stand their ground" with a defensive posture

Selected literature:
Gonzalez-Santillan E, Prendini L. Redefinition and generic revision of the North American vaejovid scorpion subfamily Syntropinae Kraepelin, 1905, with descriptions of six new genera. Bulletin of The American Museum of Natural History. 2013(382):1-71.
Francke, O. F. and W. D. Sissom. (1984). Comparative review of the methods used to determine the number of molts to maturity in scorpions (Arachnida), with an analysis of the post-birth development of Vaejovis coahuilae Williams (Vaejovidae). J. Arachnol., 12, pp. 1-20.
Francke, O. F., and W. D. Sissom.  (1984).  The life history of Vaejovis coahuilae Williams ( Scorpiones,  Vaejovidae), with comparison of the methods used to determine the number of molts to maturity.  J.  Arachnol., 12, pp.  1-20.

On the Internet:
A picture from Scott Stockwells gallery

Males grow to about 35 mm. Females grow 40 to 45 mm, rarely as large as 55 mm.

This species appears to be closely related to Vaejovis spinigerus. It is similar in appearance, superficially, but V. spinigerus attains lengths up to 70 mm (rare), the metasoma is more robust, and the pectinal teeth counts are higher. Further, V. spinigerus appears more lustrous; V. coahuilae looks more shagreened. Juvenile V. spinigerus have a "horned" pattern on the carapace; when pigmented, the carapace of V. coahuilae is more or less uniformly mottled. The two species occur together only along the New Mexico and Arizona border, near Portal and Rodeo, with V. spinigerus entering from the Sonoran desert, V. coahuilae from the Chihuahuan Desert.

Most of the information in this file is written by Kari McWest. Photo: Rich Ayrey (C).


Jan Ove Rein (C) 2024