• Species: Striped scorpion.
• Scientific name: Centruroides vittatus.
• Claim to fame: Practically everyone has heard of scorpions, primarily because these stinging creatures have been vilified in numerous movies and TV shows. Some people don’t realize the stings of most types of scorpions aren’t nearly as potent as Hollywood has portrayed them to be.
In Missouri, scorpions prefer glades and other dry habitats in the southern part of the state and can be found in this area. Scorpions are among earth’s oldest land-dwelling organisms. Fossil records show they have been around for more than 400 million years. (Dinosaurs first appeared approximately 250 million years ago.)
• Species status: Although scorpion population studies aren’t done in Missouri, it is presumed numbers are holding steady.
• First discovered: The first scientific description of the striped scorpion was written by the American naturalist Thomas Say in 1821.
• Family matters: Striped scorpions belong to the family Buthidae, a group of 500 species commonly referred to as the thick-tailed scorpions. Scorpions are arachnids, which mean they are in the same taxonomic classification as spiders and ticks.