Scorpions are not prolific in the humid climate of Georgia, but since they generally prefer hot weather, you are still sure to find them there. There are only two scorpion species that are native to the region, although a third has been spotted in the southern region of the state occasionally. While this third species is rarely seen, the other two can be found in and around homes fairly often, especially the Southern Devil scorpion, which prefers high-moisture areas like sinks, bathtubs, cellars, and basements.

Luckily, there are no poisonous scorpions found in Georgia that will post a threat to most humans, but people with allergies to venom could experience serious signs. Let’s take an in-depth look at these three scorpion species and how you can identify them.scorpion divider

The 3 Scorpions Found in Georgia

1. Southern Devil Scorpion

Close up macro image of devil scorpion
Image Credit: Rob Hainer, Shutterstock
SpeciesVaejovis carolinianus
Longevity2–3 years
Good to own as a pet?Yes
Legal to own?Yes
Adult size1.5–3 inches
DietCarnivorous insectivore

Southern Devil Scorpions may not be lethal, but their sting is certainly not painless. They are easy to identify, with a uniformly brown coloring and small size. These scorpions are comparatively small and only grow 3 inches long as adults. They prefer humid environments to the usual hot, arid environments where most scorpions thrive.

They typically feed on spiders and other large insects, using the stinger on their tail to inject poison into and kill their victims and using it to hold their victim down until it dies to prevent it from possibly running away. The strong pincers are then used to pull their food apart. While they have fairly short lifespans in the wild due to predation from birds, mice, or large lizards, as pets, they can live for up to 10 years.

2. Striped Bark Scorpion

Striped Bark Scorpion front view_Sari ONeal_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Sari ONeal, Shutterstock
SpeciesCentruroides vittatus
Longevity4 years
Good to own as a pet?Yes
Legal to own?Yes
Adult size2–2.5 inches
DietCarnivorous insectivore

The Striped Bark Scorpion is one of the most commonly found scorpions in the United States and is a yellow to orange scorpion with a dark brown back, usually with pale yellow spots or stripes running down their back with a dark triangle on their head. They have a non-lethal but painful sting and are known to sting people when they are surprised or threatened. In the wild, they can readily be found under rocks, in trees, and woodpiles, and they are routinely found in homes where they search for moisture.

Interestingly, these scorpions and several others will glow under UV light, and scientists can only speculate as to why this occurs. They feed primarily on worms, spiders, crickets, and other small insects in the wild, and they will do well on a similar diet when kept as pets.

3. Florida Bark Scorpion

Florida Bark Scorpion side view_IrinaK_shutterstock
Image Credit: Irina K, Shutterstock
SpeciesCentruroides gracilis
Longevity6 years
Good to own as a pet?Yes
Legal to own?Yes
Adult size3–4 inches
DietCarnivorous insectivore

As the name suggests, the Florida Bark Scorpion is native to Florida but has been seen in the southern parts of Georgia occasionally too. They are medium to large-sized scorpions with dark brown, almost black bodies, which can have a red tinge at times. The legs are usually lighter in color, and they often have very faint yellow markings on their backs.

These scorpions are carnivores and will eat almost any insect that they come across in the wild, but feeder insects, like gut-loaded crickets or mealworms, are ideal when they are kept as pets. They are known to be fast, feisty animals with a sting that is not lethal but is known to be more painful than that of most other scorpions.

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Interesting Facts about Scorpions

While most of us recoil at the very sight of scorpions, for many people, scorpions make interesting pets. They are low-maintenance, and while they may not be cuddly animals, they are certainly fascinating to watch.

To help ease any fears that you may have about these little creatures, here are a few striking facts about scorpions:
  • Scorpions are an ancient species that according to fossil records, may have been around before the dinosaurs.
  • Due to their low metabolism, scorpions can go 6–12 months without eating, although they typically eat every 10–14 days.
  • They give birth to live young.
  • In the wild, most scorpions only live to about 10 years — if they are lucky — but some species can survive for 20 years when kept as pets.
  • Only one scorpion found in the United States is potentially lethal: the Arizona Bark Scorpion.

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Final Thoughts

There are only two scorpions native to Georgia, neither of which are venomous enough to cause any harm to most people. The third, the Florida Bark Scorpion, is not native to Georgia but can be found in the southern-most parts of the state occasionally. Scorpions can make great pets with the right care and feeding, and even though most of us run a mile when spotting one of these arachnids, they are most certainly fascinating and uniquely beautiful creatures!

Featured Image Credit by Hanjo Hellmann, Shutterstock