The diversity of scorpions in Florida isn’t great, as there are only five species recorded in the state. And even though they’re a nightmare for some, these animals aren’t as nearly as dangerous as some people think.
The five types of scorpions in Florida are:
- Southern Unstriped Scorpion
- Striped Bark Scorpion
- Florida Bark Scorpion
- Hentz Striped Scorpion
- Guiana Striped Scorpion
1. Southern Unstriped Scorpion
Scientific name: Vaejovis carolinianus
Also known as the ‘southern devil scorpion’, they’re found all over the Sunshine State, where they usually inhabit leaf piles and wood stacks, where they hide during the day and only come out at night.
These scorpions are small, rarely larger than 3 inches, and they’re not dangerous to humans. Although their venom is painful, it’s not potent enough to harm an adult.
- Size: no larger than 3.1 inches.
- Color: different shades of brown.
- Venom: painful, but not lethal to humans.
- Habitat: woods, shrubs, and beaches – hiding during the day.
2. Striped Bark Scorpion
Scientific name: Centruroides vittatus
This species is possibly the most common species of scorpion in the entire country, and you can easily find them all across Florida. They usually occupy forests and grasslands.
Like all scorpions, they’re nocturnal and usually hide during the day. Even though their venom isn’t deadly, it will cause swelling, and at worst, it can cause anaphylactic shock.
- Size: 2.7 inches.
- Color: pale yellow with two dark stripes on its back.
- Venom: painful and it will cause swelling, but it isn’t lethal.
- Habitat: grasslands and forests.
3. Florida Bark Scorpion
Scientific name: Centruroides gracilis
Since they’re used to a more tropical climate, you can find these scorpions in wetlands and grasslands with high humidity in Florida, such as the Everglades. They’re the largest species of scorpion in Florida.
Males can be larger than 7 inches, and they’re usually dark red or dark brown. Their venom is quite harmful to humans, potentially causing arrhythmias and pulmonary edemas, which makes it potentially fatal.
- Size: about 7 inches.
- Color: dark red and dark brown.
- Venom: painful and dangerous.
- Habitat: under rocks and logs, they’ll also live in house walls.
4. Hentz Striped Scorpion
Scientific name: Centruroides hentzi
No larger than 2.75 inches, these scorpions are common all across Florida, except for the Florida Keys. They often share their habitat with the Florida bark scorpion, where they feed on insects and spiders.
Very little is known about this species, so the actual potency of their venom is still unknown, but it’s probably painful and causes swelling, just like the venom of its cousins.
- Size: about 2.75 inches.
- Color: dark brown and rusty.
- Venom: needs more research, but it’s most likely painful and needs medical attention.
- Habitat: forests, shrubs, and urban areas.
5. Guiana Striped Scorpion
Scientific name: Centruroides guanensis
Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties in Florida are home to this scorpion. They can grow up to 3 inches, usually yellow or dark yellow. Even though they deliver a painful sting, their venom isn’t that potent.
The pain and swelling usually go away after a few hours. They also don’t come in contact with humans often, so there’s usually nothing to worry about. They spend most of their time in grasslands and forests, not near humans.
- Size: up to 3 inches.
- Color: yellow and dark yellow.
- Venom: painful, but not lethal.
- Habitat: forests, grasslands, and shrubs.