Official US common name is "Lesser
* 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
North America (Mexico and USA (Arizona, New Mexico &
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
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,
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:
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
Most of the information in this file is written by Kari McWest. Photo: Rich Ayrey (C).