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Scorpions of the Scorpion Genus Vaejovis

Look HERE to see some characters of MOST species of Vaejovis. Note the pentagonal sternum (where the legs come together), and the spines that terminate the keels of the metasoma (tail).

Genus Vaejovis Koch, 1836

eusthenura group

* Vaejovis confusus Stahnke, 1940
Photo of adult male from Maricopa County, Arizona, specimen courtesy Chad Lee.
Distribution: In the Sonoran Desert, sands to rocky areas. Arizona: * Graham, * Maricopa, * Pima, Gila, and Pinal counties (other localities not yet published). California, Idaho, Nevada, * Utah. Also northern Mexico.
Note: Vaejovis confusus may actually turn out to be a tightly-knit species complex of three or more species (Bigelow, pers. comm., 1994).
Here is an Undescribed species from Fresno County, California. (Thanks Dave Gaban!)

Vaejovis flavus Banks, 1901
Distribution: New Mexico: Albuquerque, Bernalillo County.
Note: Type locality is "Albuquerque, New Mexico," based on a single female specimen. To this date, the type female is the only known specimen referable to Vaejovis flavus.

Vaejovis puritanus Gertsch, 1958
Distribution: California: Chaparral and coastal mountains of southwestern California in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. Also Baja California Mexico. Type localities: Santo Tomas, Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Jacumba, San Diego County, California.
Note: Vaejovis schwenkmeyeri Williams (type locality Bahia de los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico) and V. terradomus Williams (type locality Rancho Canipole, Baja California Sur) are junior synonyms.

Vaejovis waeringi Williams, 1970
This and the above several species look superficially like Vaejovis confusus, one needs a microscope fitted with a micrometer to ensure identification in most cases. Usually, measurement ratios involving finger length and other lengths are the key.
Distribution: California: Colorado and Mojave deserts of southern California in Imperial and San Bernardino counties. Also Baja California, Mexico (type locality Oakie’s Landing).
Note: Vaejovis coloradensis Williams (type locality Andrade, Imperial County, CA) is a junior synonym. Vaejovis waeringi is easily confused with its eastern relative, Vaejovis confusus.

* Vaejovis coahuilae Williams, 1968
Photo of adult female from Loving County, Texas, specimen courtesy W. David Sissom.
V. coahuilae from New Mexico, courtesy and Copyright 1999 R. David Gaban.
Distribution: Common inhabitant of the Chihuahuan Desert and associated grasslands and mountains. Arizona: * Cochise County; throughout much of * New Mexico (specific localities yet to be published); Western Texas from the * Panhandle to near Val Verde County and westward into Mexico and New Mexico (Jackman, 1997). Also in Coahuila (type locality Cuatro Cienegas), Mexico, doubtless Chihuahua.

* Vaejovis globosus Borelli, 1915
Distribution: Soft sandy soils of the Chihuahuan Desert. Texas: Brewster and * Presidio counties, in silty sands along the Rio Grande. Also in Durango (type locality Dinamita), Coahuila, and Zacatecas, Mexico.
Note: Vaejovis gilvus Williams (type locality Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico) is a junior synonym.

* Vaejovis spinigerus (Wood, 1863)
Photo of Male and Female from Maricopa County, Arizona, specimens courtesy Chad Lee.
Distribution: Sonoran Desert and associated chaparral, grasslands, and mountains, roughly the same distribution as the saguaro cactus. Arizona: * Cochise, * Greenlee, * Maricopa, * Yavapai, * Gila, * Santa Cruz, * Graham, Pinal, and * Pima counties. * New Mexico: along border with Arizona (specific localities not yet published). Extreme southeastern California. Also in Sonora, Mexico.
Note: Not reported from its type locality of “Texas” since 1863. Possibly a species complex representing several species (Bigelow, 1994; Sissom, 2000).
Additional photos:Ventral view of female; Ventral view of male (both Chad's). Note the shape of the pectines (combs) and you will see the gender difference in nearly all scorpion species.
Dorsal view of a different male.
A 70 mm female from near Four Peaks, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2007.

* Vaejovis waueri Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972
Photo of adult female V. waueri courtesy of and Copyright 1999 R. David Gaban. Scroll the image down to note the comparative size of the penny! Distribution: Rocky areas in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas and Mexico (Hendrixson, 2001), and along the Rio Grande to as far south as * Zapata, Texas. Texas: Brewster (type locality Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park), * Crockett, Crosby, Garza, Jeff Davis, * Kinney, * Maverick, Pecos, * Terrell, * Starr, Webb, and * Tom Green. Mexico: * Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon.
Note: The specimens reported in the original description from near Alamos, Sonora, Mexico now represent a new species, Vaejovis pequeno Hendrixson, 2001.

mexicanus group Soleglad, 1973

Vaejovis carolinianus (Beauvois, 1821)
Photo at right of female V. carolinianus, courtesy of and Copyright 1999 R. David Gaban.

Distribution: Southern Appalachian Mountains and foothills of the Southeastern United States. Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
Note: Old Texas records of Vaejovis carolinianus and Vaejovis mexicanus are referable to Pseudouroctonus reddelli.

Vaejovis chisos Sissom, 1990
Distribution: Texas: Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Brewster County.
Note: Only three specimens known, even though several return trips to the known localities produced no additional specimens. Adult male unknown.

Vaejovis jonesi Stahnke, 1940
Distribution: Colorado Plateau/Monument Valley in mountains and desert. Northern Arizona (type locality is Flagstaff) and southern Utah (specific localities unpublished). Possibly western New Mexico and southwestern Colorado.

* Vaejovis lapidicola Stahnke 1940
Distribution: Arizona: * Coconino County, Flagstaff and vicinity (additional records unpublished; Bigelow).

* Vaejovis paysonensis Soleglad, 1973
Distribution: Pine forests along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona west and southwest of Showlow. Type locality is along the * Mogollon Rim near Payson, Gila County.

Vaejovis vorhiesi Stahnke, 1940
Photo of preserved female compared to dime for size.
Distribution: Arizona: Santa Cruz and Cochise counties, in Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains.

Additional undescribed species occur in the forested mountains of * Arizona and * New Mexico.

nitidulus group

* Vaejovis intermedius Borelli, 1912
Photo at right of female V. intermedius, courtesy of and Copyright 1999 Jan Ove Rein.

Distribution: Rocky areas, mountains, canyons, and rocky roadcuts in the Chihuahuan Desert Region of Trans-Pecos Texas to Dinamita (type locality), Durango, Mexico (type locality): Texas: * Terrell, * Brewster, Crockett, * Presidio, * Val Verde counties. Also in Mexico: * Chihuahua, Durango.
One of my all-time favorite species! Very quick, large, and apt to sting!

spicatus group

These little vaejovids have fat hands, are yellowish, and have a large subaculear spine on the telson.

Vaejovis mumai Sissom, 1993
Distribution: Arizona: Gold Road and Parker (type locality is “P” Mountain), Mohave County.
Note: Presumably very rare on rocky slopes.

Vaejovis spicatus Haradon, 1974
Distribution: California: Berdoo Canyon, Little San Bernardino Mountains (type locality), and Pleasant Valley, Joshua Tree National Monument, Riverside County.
Note: Presumably very rare on rocky slopes.

punctipalpi group

These species do not have "spines" on the metasoma (tail) segments, making the metasoma (only) similar in appearance to Centruroides, Paruroctonus, and Smeringurus.

* Vaejovis crassimanus Pocock, 1898
Preserved adult male V. crassimanus from Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX. Photo (c) 2001 Kari J. McWest.
Distribution: Creosote/desert scrub communities in the Chihuahuan Desert. Arizona: near Portal, Cochise County. * New Mexico: Chihuahuan Desert (specific localities unpublished; Sissom). * Texas: Chihuahuan Desert counties of western Texas, extending along the * Rio Grande south to near Zapata. Also in Mexico (unpublished localities).
Note: Not known from San Diego, Texas, the type locality (as with Vaejovis bilineatus, San Diego may be only the mailing origin and not a collecting locality: V. bilineatus is not known from Texas, but is found southwest of Texas in Mexico).

* Vaejovis hirsuticauda Banks, 1910
Distribution: Wide-ranging and common in the western US deserts into Baja California. Arizona (western border with Utah and Nevada), southern California (type, “San Bernardino County”), and southern Nevada (possibly widespread) and * Utah (possibly widespread). Baja California, Mexico. Photo of preserved female from Kofa Mtns, Yuma County, Arizona (Joe Bigelow), copyright 2001 Kari J McWest.
Photo of living female courtesy of and Copyright Graeme Lowe.

* Vaejovis russelli Williams, 1971
Distribution: Widespread, but not very common, in the northern Chihuahuan Desert and associated mountains and grasslands. Arizona: eastern Cochise County (type * Portal). * New Mexico: widespread (specific localities unpublished: Sissom). * Texas: Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Brewster counties north and west into the * Panhandle (Jackman, 1997). Doubtless occurs in Chihuahua, Mexico.Photo of adult female from Randall County, Texas, copyright 2001 Kari J McWest.
Photo of living male (note massive hands) by Mein;
Photo of living female, posterior view, showing lack of stripes and darkened fifth segment (as in Vaejovis crassimanus, which can be found together in parts of their distributions), specimen courtesy W.D. Sissom.

Vaejovis species
Note: A punctipalpi group species has recently been found near Tucson, Arizona. Its identity is still being investigated by Joe Bigelow and David Sissom.

Paruroctonus/Smeringurus Checklist
Non-Vaejovis Vaejovidae Checklist
Non-Vaejovidae Checklist

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