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Why Are Scorpions Considered Arachnids?


If you live in a dry, warm environment such as Arizona or Nevada, you may face more than one unwanted encounter with scorpions. Whether you have met a few scorpions in your area or are preparing for the moment, it’s important to understand what this creature really is. With about 90 different species in the United States, there are specific ways to identify a scorpion, but all are considered arachnids (that is, cousins to spiders).

Characteristics That Make Scorpions Arachnids

An arachnid is a form of an arthropod—an invertebrate animal with jointed legs and an exoskeleton. Other arachnids include spiders, ticks, and mites. Unlike insects that have six legs, arachnids have a total of eight legs and do not have wings or antennae.

To be considered an arachnid, an animal must have two additional pairs of appendages: the chelicerae and the pedipalps. The chelicerae are the sharp mouthparts, and the pedipalps are the claws we see on scorpions. Additionally, the body of an arachnid is segmented into the prosoma (the head and thorax), and the opisthosoma (the abdomen), which is also the body structure of a scorpion.

You can easily identify a scorpion by its narrow tail curved forward with a stinger on the end. Scorpions are characterized as arachnids due to their number of legs, unique appendages, and segmented body structures.

Scorpions vs. Spiders: Compare and Contrast

At first glance, you might not consider spiders and scorpions in the same class of animals, especially because of the distinct tail on a scorpion. Spiders and scorpions do both fit the description of an arachnid, with four pairs of legs, segmented bodies, and a lack of wings or antennae; however, there are some differing features between the two.

Both spiders and scorpions are feared and predatory creatures. Although nonvenomous spiders and scorpions exist, each can be venomous in separate ways. A spider can inject venom into prey using its fangs, while a scorpion uses its tail as a stinger. Different from the claws on scorpions, the pedipalps on spiders are long, leg-like structures. Similar to a scorpion, the chelicerae is the mouth or jaw part of a spider. Thus, the arachnid-defining characteristics of spiders and scorpions make them more similar than you may think.

Arizona Scorpion Control and Elimination

If any scorpions or alarming arachnids make themselves at home in your Arizona or Las Vegas home or office, contact Burns Pest Elimination for scorpion control services. Simply request your quote online today to find out how our professional, high-quality pest control can help you take back your home!