Thursday, June 10, 2010

Centruroides vittatus | Striped bark scorpion


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Buthidae
Genus: Centruroides
Species: C. vittatus
Binomial name : Centruroides vittatus

Background: The striped bark scorpion (Centruroides vittatus) is an extremely common scorpion found throughout the midsection of the United States and northern Mexico; indeed, it is perhaps the most frequently encountered scorpion in the U.S.. The Common Striped Scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, is widely distributed throughout the southwestern United States. It is a member of the Bark Scorpion group (Centruroides spp.) and is the primary scorpion that infests homes in Texas and Oklahoma. Scorpions will sting if disturbed. While the sting is not generally dangerous it is painful and is followed by local swelling and discoloration.

Description: The Striped Scorpion gets its name from two parallel longitudinal dark stripes on the top of its abdomen. This scorpion, about 3 inches long when mature, has four pairs of legs and a five segment posterior terminating at the sting. The scorpion hides during the day under loose bark, rocks, leaves, and tools left in the yard or any place that provides shelter, moisture and potential prey. In areas infested with scorpions, special care must be taken when moving objects on the ground. They are known to infest homes and commercial facilities, living in attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Scorpions are predators only, feeding primarily on insects or other
arachnids, coming out to hunt at night. Scorpions have very poor vision, primarily depending on a sense of feel for movement and hunting. Feeling is accomplished using feathery comb-like organs called pectines, located on the underside of a scorpion’s body between the last pair of legs. These pectines are used to determine what kind of surface the scorpions are on, in detecting low impulse vibrations, and for chemoreception.

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