Not so scary scorpions

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Arthropod: animals that typically have hard segmented outer shells that work as a skeleton (exoskeleton). This includes spiders and insects as well as other animals......more

Characteristic: a quality that make something similar or different than other things. All birds have wings which are common a characteristic.

Anatomy of a Scorpion

You might have noticed that scorpions have some of the same characteristics as a lobster or crab. Their pinchers are one of the similar features. It might not surprise you that both scorpions and lobsters are in the same group. They are both part of the Phylum Arthropoda. What might surprise you is scorpions are even more closely related to spiders. Both are part of the subgroup (Class) Arachnida. If you do some research, you will find that these animals share common characteristics, such as having eight legs. This is unlike insects that have six legs. This means that scorpions are not insects. However, insects are their favorite food.

Illustration with the labeled parts of a scorpion

The anatomy of a scorpion has some similar characteristics to other arthropods, such as lobsters and crabs. They also have similar features to spiders and other arachnids. Just count the number of legs and you will see how they match the number of legs found on spiders. Click image to enlarge.


Arizona Bark Scorpion stinger by JAdams1776 via Wikimedia Commons.

Illustration released by Pearson Scott Foresman into public domain. Modified by Ask A Biologist.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Scorpion Anatomy
  • Author(s): Christopher Putnam
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: June 27, 2016
  • Date accessed: July 15, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Christopher Putnam. (2016, June 27). Scorpion Anatomy. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Christopher Putnam. "Scorpion Anatomy". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 27 June, 2016.

MLA 2017 Style

Christopher Putnam. "Scorpion Anatomy". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 27 Jun 2016. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 Jul 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
Close-up of a scorpion stinger

The stinger of an Arizona Bark Scorpion is not something you want experience.

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