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How to Tell a Dangerous Scorpion

| Updated September 26, 2017

Scorpions are recognized by their lobster-like pincers and tail. Most scorpion species are harmless to humans but some are known for their venomous stings, which can be fatal. Identifying dangerous scorpions include careful examination of the size, length and thickness of the arachnid.

Examine the length of the scorpion from head to tail, since scorpions less than 4 inches in length are dangerous to humans.

Look at the thickness of the scorpion’s claws, which are also known as pincers. Scorpions with chunkier pincers, similar to a lobster, are less venomous than those with slender pincers.

Examine the length and thickness of the scorpion’s tail. Scorpions with large, thick tails contain dangerous neurotoxic venom, while those with small, thin tails are harmless.


  • Scorpions tend to hide in pieces of wood or under stones. Avoid touching or capturing the insect in the wild.