Today's subject is Vaejovis spinigerus (Wood, 1863). The generic name, Vaejovis, is based on the name for an Etruscan god of the underworld (Etruria was an ancient country in what is now west central Italy). The specific name, spinigerus, is from the Latin words spini -, meaning "spine," and -gerus, meaning "bearing."
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This scorpion is in the family Vaejovidae and belongs to the subfamily Syntropinae. I place V. spinigerus in the Eusthenura species group, which in my opinion should be recognized as a genus. Don't forget to check out the high resolution JPEGs for Vaejovis spinigerus.
Wood, H.E. 1863. Description of new species of North American Pedipalpi. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philidelphia, (2):107-112.
Vaejovis spinigerus has been reported from southern California, Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, and Illinois in the United States. It is also found in Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora in Mexico. Vaejovis spinigerus may be found on sandy soil in a variety of habitats, from desert floor to rocky hillside. Though venomous, this scorpion is not considered dangerous.
Vaejovis spinigerus is one of the more commonly encountered "non-buthid" species in the southwestern U.S. It is typically found under any convenient surface object (including sleeping bags, shoes, etc.) where it digs a short burrow or "scrape" for protection. According to Joe Bigelow, Arizona Western College, this species is normally an obligate burrower, digging burrows about one meter deep in sandy soil.