Saturday's nice weather warranted a little yard work. The very first rock I moved revealed this guy. When was the last time you saw a scorpion in Grand Junction?

Over the years I've seen three scorpions at this address. All appeared to be similar, but a little smaller, than this one. I've never had a "run-in" with one, just sightings. One such sighting was in my living room, one in the basement, and then this one in the front yard.

Growing up on Little Park Road back in the 70's and 80's, we'd see these from time to time. While most were simply sightings, on one occasion, the little dude stung my grandma right on the butt. She, of course, was not a happy camper.

I've never been one for looking up varieties, but my guess is this little guy represents a Northern scorpion. According to bugguide.net, this species is described as:

Highly variable throughout its range, and depending on habitat. Throughout much of its range, it is the only scorpion found. It has the basic identifiers of Paruroctonus scorpions, such as relatively robust hands and a somewhat slender metasoma/tail in which the keels do not terminate in an enlarged denticle. In most areas, it is pale, light brown. In volcanic habitats, it can be quite dark with a striped tail.

 

Bugguide.net adds that Western Colorado is precisely the location where one might encounter this species.

I spoke with a friend living just four blocks away, and they said they encountered one of these a week ago. So, apparently, they are common to the area.

What about their sting? According to entomology.wsu, they are not known to sting humans (tell that to my grandma). Their sting injects a paralyzing venom similar to that of spiders. In humans, some allergic reactions can occur.

Entomology.wsu adds, "They are very beneficial animals but are innocuous due to their rarity."

In any event, this encounter went without incident. I went my way, and he went on his. The remainder of my yard work was a bit creepy, with me being a bit more cautious when moving rocks.

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