Phoenix Scorpions: Why Do They Glow Under UV Light?

By | July 19, 2013

Black Light ScorpionThey’re frightening! They’re creepy! They sneak into our homes; hiding in our beds and even in our shoes. As if these Valley pests weren’t terrifying enough, when illuminated by ultraviolet rays from a black light, they will glow aberrant neon blue… But why?

Why Do Scorpions Glow Under UV Light?

Scorpions glow under ultraviolet light because of the presence of fluorescent chemicals found in their exoskeleton or cuticle. One such chemical component is determined to be beta-carboline. The scorpion’s entire body, from the stinging tail to the crushing pincers, collects UV light from the environment and converts it into blue-green wavelengths. The process is called fluorescence. What is the exact purpose and functionality of this?

The truth is that nobody really knows what the exact purpose and functionality of a scorpion glowing under UV. Scientists and arachnologists alike have been studying this phenomenon for years and all they have is theories.

One theory is that scorpions may be using UV as a way to determine whether or not to come to the surface to look for prey, based on the light levels. Scorpions hunt insects like crickets and roaches at night. It’s believed that there is a UV component in moonlight. Scorpions can sense light levels, so they know when to hunt. Scorpions adjust their activity level depending on the amount of UV shining on them. During a full moon, scorpions lay low and stay hidden. When there is little light (or UV light) scorpions come out in full force hunting their prey.

Other scorpion fluorescence theories suggest fluorescence helps scorpions find each other, attracts their prey, and the light conversion effect acts as sunscreen. Other theories suggest that fluorescence has no function at all, and is a product of evolution.

Glowing ScorpionsHunt Phoenix Scorpions With Black Light Flashlights

A fun and effective way to eliminate scorpions from your property is to hunt them with black light flashlights. As for the black light flashlights, I’d recommend using a LED one. The LED black lights are very bright and work well for lighting up the glowing scorpions. You don’t need anything huge or fancy or extra powerful. The glowing scorpions jump out at you when see them. Scorpion hunting is a great nighttime adventure. I’d advise wearing closed toed shoes. A pair of gloves is useful if you plan on handling the scorpions.

Phoenix Scorpions

There is no question that one of the most common and most dangerous pests in the Phoenix Valley is the Arizona Bark Scorpion. These scorpions are small, and light yellowish-beige in color. They prefer to eat roaches and crickets, ambushing their prey at night. They come into your home in search of water, and to harbor from the weather and elements. Arizona Bark Scorpions are the most venomous scorpions found in North America.

Desert Hairy Scorpions are also found in the Phoenix Valley. These pests, however, don’t frequently invade the homes of Valley residents. While you can find these scorpions inside your home, Desert Hairy Scorpions prefer the outdoors, finding harborage in the natural Phoenix landscape. Their stings, while painful, are far less toxic than that of the Arizona Bark Scorpion. Desert Hairy Scorpions are noticeably bigger then other scorpion species found in Phoenix, reaching lengths of almost five inches.

All species of scorpions found in the greater Phoenix area, including the Arizona Bark Scorpion and the Desert Hairy Scorpion, glow under UV lights.

Phoenix Scorpion Control

If your Phoenix area home has been overtaken by stinging scorpions, try hunting them with a black light. Be very careful while doing this, as not to get stung. Thick soled boots work well to squash them, as does a shovel. If you don’t want to have to worry about hunting these scorpions in your backyard or home, just get professional scorpion control in Phoenix.

Bulwark Exterminating
10401 N 91st Ave
Peoria, AZ 85345
(623) 572-3016
Bulwark Exterminating
1228 East Broadway Road
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 969-7474
Critter Control
Phoenix, AZ 85001
(602) 569-2360

2 thoughts on “Phoenix Scorpions: Why Do They Glow Under UV Light?

  1. Pingback: How To Go Scorpion Hunting | Pest Control and Bug Exterminator Blog

  2. Pingback: Best Of 2013: Year End Pest Control Links Round Up | Pest Control and Bug Exterminator Blog

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