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Scorpions of the Bay Area

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“There are absolutely scorpions in the Bay Area, in fact, California is one of the most diverse places on Earth for scorpions. We have somewhere between four and six species of scorpions locally. The good thing is that none of the ones we have here are dangerous.”

In this video, California Academy of Science entomologist, Assistant Curator of Arachnology, and 500 Queer Scientists creator Lauren Esposito explores the Northern California woods for local scorpions. Witness how they fluoresce in ultraviolet light, glowing yellow or light green, and how they give birth to live young. They’re the only arachnid that does. A bit more on their dangerous reputation:

“Some scorpions can only make venom that’s used for killing their prey. Other scorpions can make venom for killing prey, but also they make venom for protecting themselves against their predators. And so those are the scorpions that tend to be dangerous to humans because the predators of scorpions are things like other mammals. It opens people’s minds to the fact that these animals are certainly not trying to attack us.”

fluorescing scorpion
Explore CalAcademy’s iNaturalist to see scorpions that have been observed by science enthusiasts in California.

Watch this next: Scorpion evolution, scorpion moms, & glowing scorpions.

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