Aka the creepiest
animal in Kentucky.
By Jenny Kiefer
Photo by Terrence Humphery
"We think they've just been here forever. Who knows, a million
years?" says Blake Newton, who works in UK's entomology
department. He's talking about the only scorpion native to
Kentucky, mostly found in southern and eastern counties: the
Southern Devil Scorpion.
Adults are the size of the space between the knuckles on
your finger. Babies, soft and fragile and smaller than a fingernail,
ride on Mom's back. During the day they crawl under rocks
and leaves. At night they wait on a trail to capture a meal: ants,
crickets, beetles. If you're hunting for Southern Devils, this is the
best time to find them — they glow under a black light.
"(Those who have been stung) say it just hurts really bad, a
little worse than a wasp or a bee, and the pain lasts for a while —
maybe even up to a day," Newton says. These Southern Devils are
actually quite docile, more likely to run away than attack. "But if
you get them cornered, or press down on them, or accidentally
grab them," Newton says, "that's when they're gonna sting you."