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Checklist to the Scorpion Families Buthidae, Diplocentridae, Iuridae, and Superstitioniidae of The United States


Photograph links are to sites created by Scott Stockwell (Scorpion Emporium), Jan Ove Rein (Scorpion Files), Warren Savary, and R. David Gaban. Their permission, given either privately or worded in the website, to link to their images is greatly appreciated. The images are copyrighted by the photographers, whose rights should be respected.

Note: Some of the links to the Dr Stockwell's photos may not work; It seems that because he is no longer affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution he has no access to keep his Scorpion Emporium site running, and it is slowly being dismantled. (Information provided by Dave Gaban.)

The following is an annotated checklist of the "non-vaejovid" scorpions of North America, north of Mexico. These families are the Buthidae, Diplocentridae, Iuridae (which contains the well-known Hadrurus or giant desert hairy scorpions), and Superstitioniidae. The systematics of the American species of all but one of these families are pretty well worked out, but the zoogeography is in need of research. The family Diplocentridae, however, has at least one new species from western Texas which will soon be described by Scott Stockwell and Andrew Baldwin. Description of this one is now In Press!

The distributions included herein are largely from published sources and my own collection records. Several distribution extensions are currently in manuscript form, and therefore are not included at the request of the authors.

This site is continuously under construction.

Paruroctonus/Smeringurus Checklist
Vaejovidae Checklist (excluding Vaejovis and Paruroctonus/Smeringurus)

Species I have collected or seen in nature are noted with an asterisk (*) in the Checklists! Compare your lists!

Order Scorpiones Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1837
Suborder Neoscorpionina Thorell & Lindstrom, 1885
Infraorder Orthosterni Pocock, 1911
Superfamily Buthoidea Simon, 1879
Family Buthidae Simon, 1879 (52? genera)

Genus Centruroides Marx, 1889. (About 35 spp., 32 sspp.)
Distribution: Southern United States to northern South America and West Indies.

* Centruroides exilicauda (Wood, 1863)
Distribution: * New Mexico (specific localities not yet published); Utah: along Colorado River; * Arizona: all counties; California: along Colorado River.
Mexico: Length of Baja Peninsula(photo of male from northern Baja California Norte, specimen courtesy Jim Berrian; (C)2002 KJMcWest), northern Sonora (possibly extreme northwestern Chihuahua).
Juvenile also from Baja, courtesy Jim Berrian, (C)2002 KJMcWest.
Notes: Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928, and * Centruroides gertschi Stahnke, 1940 are junior synonyms.

Centruroides gracilis gracilis (Latrielle, 1804)
Photo at right of female C. gracilis, typical form, courtesy of and Copyright 1999 Jan Ove Rein. (Yes, I know photo is inverted.)

Distribution: Central to southern Florida.


Centruroides guanensis Franganillo, 1931
Distribution: Southern Florida, Bahamas, Cuba. Photos of colormorph (1) and colormorph (2) by Dr. Rolando Teruel, Cuba.


Centruroides hentzi (Banks, 1900)
Photo of preserved male (left) and female (right) from Florida, Copyright 2001 KJM & W.M. Burrell.
Distribution: Florida, southern Georgia, including coastal islands, southeastern Alabama
Notes: Originally described as Buthus vittatus Say, 1821. See Stockwell, 1985, and Stockwell and Levi, 1989.


* Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821)
Photo of live adult female from Randall County, Texas, copyright 2001 Kari J McWest.
Distribution: * New Mexico: East of the Rio Grande; Colorado: Pueblo County; Nebraska; Kansas; Missouri; * Arkansas; Louisiana; * Texas; Oklahoma.
Notes: Introduced populations exist in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Columbia, South Carolina.
Mexico: Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Coahuila, * Chihuahua. Visit Dr. Stockwell's Scorpion du Jour for interesting information on this species.

Genus Isometrus Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1829
(Cosmotropical, 2 subgenera, 15 spp.)

Isometrus maculatus (DeGeer, 1778)
Distribution: Pantropical. Likely native to southeast Asia. Reported from Channel Islands and Long Beach, California, Brownsville and Galveston, Texas. Established in Hawaii and southern Florida. Surviving populations may exist in California though it has not been reported there in recent years.

Superfamily Scorpionoidea Peters, 1862
About thirty-five genera worldwide, except Europe and Russia.

Family Diplocentridae Pocock, 1893
Eight genera distributed in North America, Circum-Caribbean Islands, Central America, and the Middle East.
Subfamily Diplocentrinae Pocock, 1893 (7 genera)

Genus Diplocentrus Peters, 1862
About 28 species in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and widespread in Mexico.

* Diplocentrus diablo Stockwell & Nilsson, 1987
Distribution: Texas: "Upper" Lower Rio Grande Valley, in Hidalgo, Starr, and * Zapata counties.
Mexico: Tamaulipas.

* Diplocentrus lindo Stockwell & Baldwin (in press)
Photo of live juvenile female collected in 'Texas", courtesy of R. David Gaben, copyright 2001 Kari J McWest & W.M. Burrell.
Distribution: * Texas: Much of Trans-Pecos Region. Into northern * Mexico.

* Diplocentrus peloncillensis Francke, 1975
Distribution: Arizona: Cochise County, in Peloncillo Mountains; New Mexico: * Hidalgo County, Peloncillo Mountains.
Possibly in adjacent Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Notes: Pronounced "pell-own-see-YEN-sis" in reference to the Peloncillo "pell-own-SEE-yo" Mountains along the Arizona/New Mexico border.

* Diplocentrus spitzeri Stahnke, 1968

Photo Copyright 2000 R. David Gaban.
Distribution: Arizona: * Santa Cruz County and adjacent Cochise County; Also in adjacent Sonora, Mexico.

* Diplocentrus whitei (Gervais, 1844)
Distribution: Texas: * Brewster and * Presidio counties, in the southern Big Bend Region.
Mexico: Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo León. Notes: Junior synonym is Diplocentrus bigbendensis Stahnke, in Stockwell & Nilsson, 1987.

Superfamily Vaejovoidea Thorell, 1876 (25 genera)
Family Iuridae Thorell, 1876
Six genera distributed in the western United States to northwestern South America, and eastern Mediterranean Region. This disjunct distribution is not much unlike that of Diplocentridae.

Subfamily Hadrurinae Stahnke, 1974
Two genera in Western North America to Central Mexico.

Genus Anuroctonus Pocock, 1893
One polymorphic species in western North America.

Anuroctonus phaiodactylus (Wood, 1863)
Distribution: Nevada; California; Utah; Oregon. Possibly in western Arizona.
Mexico: Baja California Norte.

Genus Hadrurus Thorell, 1876
Eight species from western North America to Central Mexico.

* Hadrurus arizonensis arizonensis Ewing, 1928
Distribution: Fairly common inhabitant of the Sonoran Desert Region. Arizona:* Gila, La Paz, * Maricopa, Mohave, * Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties; California: Inyo, San Bernardino, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and Imperial counties, mostly avoiding Colorado Desert (apparently inhabited by Hadrurus arizonensis pallidus) and westward; Nevada: Clark and Nye counties; Utah: Garfield, Kane, and Washington counties.
Mexico: Sonora: Tiburon; Buena Vista.

Hadrurus arizonensis "pallidus" Williams, 1970
Distribution: Now a junior synonym of H. arizonensis arizonensis (Fet, et al., in press) it is basically a color variant of the nominate subspecies usually restricted to sandy regions. Arizona: Pima, La Paz, and Yuma counties, from Organ Pipe Cactus NM to Yuma and Parker; California: Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties, in Colorado Desert.
Mexico: Northwestern Sonora and Baja California Norte, and Patos Island.

* Hadrurus obscurus Williams, 1970
Photo of adult female from California, courtesy of and Copyright (c)1996 R. David Gaban.
Distribution: Mojave Desert of southern and central California into Baja California. California: * Inyo, Kern, Fresno, San Benito, * San Bernardino, Imperial, and Tulare counties.

* Hadrurus spadix Stahnke, 1940
Distribution: Arizona: * Coconino and Mohave counties (possibly in Apache and Navajo counties). California: Death Valley region to near I-40; Nevada; Utah; Colorado: near Grand Junction; Idaho and Oregon in Snake River basin. Possibly extreme northwestern New Mexico.
Notes: In a revision of the genus, Michael E. Soleglad noted difficulties distinguishing between this species and Hadrurus obscurus based on morphological characters alone.

Family Superstitioniidae Stahnke, 1974
Six genera from Oaxaca, Mexico to southwestern United States.

Subfamily Superstitioniinae (1 genus)

Genus Superstitionia Stahnke, 1940
* Superstitionia donensis Stahnke, 1940
Photo of preserved specimens from Catalina Mountains, Arizona, Copyright 2001 KJM & W.M. Burrell.
Distribution: * New Mexico: (brief mention in Williams, 1980, and Sissom, in Fet, et al., 2000; specific localities unpublished); Arizona: Cochise and * Greenlee counties, northwest and westward to southern Nevada to San Benito County, California.
In Mexico in the states of Sonora and Baja California Norte. Photo of live specimen from norrthern BCN courtesy of Jim Berrian, San Diego Natural History Museum, (C) KJM & WM Burell.
Notes: Diplops desertorum
Mulaik and Higgins, 1944, is a junior synonym.

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