Paravaejovis spinigerus
(Wood, 1863)*



Common names:
* See Gonzalez-Santillan & Prendini, 2013 (see reference below) for taxonomical history.Official US common name is "Arizona Stripedtail Scorpion". "The Arizona Devil Scorpion" has also been used. The latin name spinigerus means "spine bearing" and does not refer to the stinger, rather the enlarged, spinelike processes at the distal ends of the dorsal keels on tail (metasoma) segments I--IV. This is one of the earliest Vaejovis species described (1863), and this character is now known to be common throughout the genus, however not nearly as pronounced as in this species.

North America (Mexico and USA (Arizona, California, & New Mexico). The type specimen was reported from "Texas", but has not been found in Texas since the original description!

An inhabitant of the Sonoran Desert and associated grasslands, pine-juniper forests, and chaparral. Barely enters California from the east and New Mexico from the west (basically along the borders of Arizona with both states) and northwestern Sonora, from Guaymas northward. Found in almost every situation within its range except dunes, rare in excessively sandy soils. Although it is a burrower, it is very commonly found under rocks and surface objects, under which it digs out "scrapes".

Update: This species is more widely distributed in New Mexico than described above: It has been found in the Albuquerque area in the center of the state and it is also found in colony situations and populations appear to be disjunct (Thanks to A. Dale Belcher for this information!).

No data available, but vaejovids are generally not know to be of medical importance. Sting might be painful, though.

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.

On the Internet:
Scott Stockwell on Vaejovis spinigerus.


Reaches 70mm (for a BIG female), commonly 55-60mm.

This species is common in captivity and captive breeding has been reported.

Vaejovis spinigerus (male) photo by Jan Ove Rein (C)
Part of the information in this file is supplied by Kari McWest

Jan Ove Rein (C) 2023