They’re sun spiders not scorpions says local expert

Sep 6, 2022, 3:00 PM
Image of sun spider, which some in southern Utah may be confusing for scorpions. (Canva)...
Image of sun spider, which some in southern Utah may be confusing for scorpions. (Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY – Attention arachnophobes, the reported scorpion sightings in St. George could actually be sun spiders. At least sometimes.

A closer look shows the creature has 10 legs compared to the eight legs on a scorpion. Zach Schumm, Arthropod Diagnostician and Urban IPM Associate, with Utah State University, said he can understand the confusion.  

“If an individual does not know anything about sun spiders, but does know what a scorpion looks like, it is only reasonable to identify the organism as the thing you are familiar with if they look somewhat similar,” said Schumm in an email to KSL NewsRadio. 

Schumm said these critters typically avoid humans. He also said that they can bite but are not dangerous because they do not have venom. If you were bitten by a sun spider, it would feel more like a pinch, Schumm said.

And hold on to your arachnophobia — Schunn said sun spiders should be embraced.

“Sun spiders should be a welcomed member of the landscape, and they can even be considered beneficial due to their predatory nature upon other insects and even some small vertebrates,” said Schumm. The same is true for scorpions.

More sightings of sun spiders in southern Utah may be linked to the monsoonal moisture the area has experienced. Awareness may also play a part.

“As hype get out from news and other social media sources, it can result in increased awareness and reports from the public,” Schumm said.

If you do see a sun spider, Schumm urges you to take advantage of it.

“Sun spiders, like most spiders, get a bad rep. If you just sit back and observe for a minute, you may find that the thing you are fearful of is actually quite beautiful and interesting.”




Today’s Top Stories


Utah homes are recording high levels of radon gas. 
Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News...
Heather Kelly and Elizabeth Weiler

Utah homes have some of the highest levels of radon gas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that one in 15 homes in the U.S. have dangerous levels of radon gas. Utah is at much higher risk.
3 days ago
Another earthquake hit Utah, following two yesterday, around 2:58 p.m. It was located 2.8 miles nor...
Waverly Golden

Another earthquake hits Utah, near Magna

Another earthquake hit Utah, following two that shook the Beehive State on Monday.
9 days ago
Family of beavers released in Carters Creek...
Aubri Wuthrich

Beavers rescued and released in Uintas to rebuild Carter Creek

A family of beavers was relocated with the hope that they will repopulate a formerly thriving beaver habitat.
13 days ago
Deer creek algae...
Alejandro Lucero

Professor receives $3 million grant to study algae blooms

The research of harmful algae blooms will take place at Utah Lake, Zion National Park and areas near the California-Nevada border
22 days ago
utah heat high elevation people on sidewalk in salt lake city...
Curt Gresseth

Preparing for and staying safe in extreme heat

Extreme heat is the story of Utah during summer 2022. Salt Lake City saw 33 days of 100 degrees or greater -- and counting. An expert shares tips and advice on preparing for -- and staying safe -- in extreme heat.
23 days ago
The Great Salt Lake has reached a historic low level of water....
Alejandro Lucero

Utah youth to hold funeral style demonstration for Great Salt Lake

A funeral style demonstration will be held by Utah Youth Environmental Solutions Network on Sept. 3. It will begin at 11 a.m.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
They’re sun spiders not scorpions says local expert