Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Vaejovidae

Eastern Sand Scorpion
Paruroctonus utahensis

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Paruroctonus utahensis

Scorpion (Paruroctonus utahensis). Photograph by Chad Lee.


Physical Characteristics

Pale yellow to yellowish brown, matching local sand color. Pincers are swollen and keeled with short fingers in adults. Legs have bristle combs that provide traction on sandy ground.


Paruroctonus utahensis prefers loose sandy soils. An obligate burrower, it often digs its burrow at the base of vegetation on sand dunes.

Geographic Range

This species is found in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.


Paruroctonus utahensis, like the other members of the Vaejovidae, eats spiders and large insects.


One of the two most common scorpion species around El Paso, Texas, it dominates in area of sandy substrates. Paruroctonus utahensis lives 6 to 7 years.



Jackman, J. A. 1997. A field guide to spiders and scorpions of Texas. Gulf Press, Houston.

Polis, G. A. 1990. The biology of scorpions. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.

Web Resources

Scorpions of the Chihuahuan Desert

Scorpions of Texas


Aaron Bodor, June 2006.