Common Name: The Northern Scorpion

Scientific Name: Paruroctonus boreus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Scorpiones

Family: Vaejovidae

Genus: Paruroctonus

Species: P. boreus


Have you ever wondered if there was an animal in the world that you didn’t even know existed? Well, this has happened to me and I’m going to explain some important information on my animal. I have a scorpion as my animal, and its scientific name is Paruroctonus Boreus. Boreus means northern, which explains why its common name is The Northern Scorpion, and that it lives in northern areas. For example, it can be found in Canada, which is the only species of true scorpions found there, the Sierra Nevadas, Northern Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, etc. As you can tell, it lives in mostly dry regions, and its relatively robust hands are used in these types of environments.


The Northern Scorpion is a significant animal with many fascinating features. First of all, my animal’s size can range anywhere from about 35 to 55 mm in size, from a baby to an adult. P. Boreus is known to commonly have a pale, light brown coloration, or in some cases a dark brown color. It has these two different colors because depending on where they live, will determine their color. If they were to live in dry, desert areas they would have a light brown shade, and if they lived in volcanic habitats they would be darker with a striped tail to help blend with their environment and hide from predators. P. Boreus also contains robust hands, as stated above, and their tails are somewhat slender in which the keels do not terminate in an enlarged denticle. This is just a little bit of general information about my animal, Paruroctonus Boreus, wait until we get into the juicy details!


Where does P.Boreus live? What is their population status like? Are they battling extinction, or thriving? Well let me tell you. P. Boreus lives in many different places, as I have said before, such as: Twelve or more of the states in the U.S., in Canada, or areas northern nearby. Also, this species is known to prosper better in warmer, dryer climates, but the cooler the temperature the less growth in population. There is no accurate or actual population of this species, because it varies depending on its environment. The conservation status of P. Boreus highly depends on the climate where they are found. For example, if you were to find this scorpion in Alberta, the population would be overwhelming because of the warmer climate. However, if you were to find P. Boreus in an area with cooler climates, such as Montana, you would not be able to spot as much as you might in Alberta. Therefore, wherever P. Boreus lives, is going to determine all three of these subjects that I have discussed.


Paruroctonus Boreus is known for having a unique way of feeding, dieting, and using their defensive skills against predators. First of all, P. Boreus has two different food chains it plays a role in, therefore it has two spots. In the Desert Animals Food Chain, P. Boreus is all the way at the bottom in part 13. However, in the World Wide Food Chain it is located somewhere at the top, but I could not find an exact spot. Then, P. Boreus’s diet consists of grasshoppers, crickets, and ground spiders. This may sound boring, but how they do it is quite interesting. P. Boreus is active during the night, so it will hide and wait for its prey to come along. Once dinner has arrived, P. Boreus will not hesitate to crush it or inject it with its poisonous venom. After all this hard work is done, P. Boreus can finally enjoy its meal by sucking its fluids and disposing of the prey’s solids. Lastly, P. Boreus has a couple predators, such as: Birds, lizards, snakes, mice, and rats. P. Boreus is not defenseless though, it will use its light or dark brown color to blend with its environment, and if the predator comes too close, it will immediately sting it. In the end, P. Boreus is not just a fascinating creature, but also has amazing feeding techniques and good defensive mechanisms for their prey and against their predators.


As you can see, Paruroctonus boreus is highly important because of its habits and behavior, their prey captures, and how their reproduction thrives depending on the climate that they live in. What stood out the most to me was probably the way P. Boreus consumes its food. I’m so familiar with how humans and how commonly known animals eat their food, that it was really cool to learn how this type of arthropod catches and digests its prey. However, I still would run away if I ever saw this creature no matter what I knew about it. Although, knowing what I have learned throughout this research, I would at least have a better understanding on who they are, and what they are.


Author: Marissa Z.

Published: 02/2013


Sources: Desert Food Chain, February 14th, 2013 Scorpion Predators, February 13th, 2013 Scorpion   Habitat, February 10th, 2013 Species Paruroctonus Boreus- Northern Scorpion, February 6th, 2013    The Northern Scorpion, By Dan L. Johnson, February 8th, 2013


Picture Source: Copyright © 2006 Mark Leppin


  Northern Scorpion (P. boreus) - Paruroctonus boreus

  Near Dallesport, Skamania County, Washington, USA

  April 17, 2006