Are there scorpions in Montana?

When you think scorpions, or at least when I think of scorpions, I think hot desert type weather.

A place where it's cold half the year or more doesn't seem like the place one would find scorpions.

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Turns out there are scorpions that aren't afraid of a little cold winter weather and have made their home right here in Montana.

The website Bird Watching HQ breaks down the 3 types of scorpions you can find in Montana.

One of which isn't even a scorpion at all.

A northern scorpion on moss

Northern Scorpion

This scorpion is the most cold tolerant in Montana, and can even be found in Canada.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Tan with dark brown stripes on the back.
  • Large round pincers.

Feeding on insects this scorpion is nocturnal, and can found near sandstone cliffs.

If you want to see one, look under rocks during the daytime.

Be careful because while their sting won't kill you, it will hurt and can last up to 4 hours.

A close up of a Striped Bark Scorpion on a white surface

Striped Bark Scorpion

These scorpions are at home in our forests among the trees giving them camouflage from both their prey and predators.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Colors vary from yellowish to light tan in adults; younger individuals are darker in color.
  • Both have two broad black bands along the tops of their abdomens.

You can also find these scorpions under rocks, old run down wooden structures and even in your house.

Most stings result from someone being barefoot and stepping on them.

You won't die, but again, you'll feel the sting for hours.

A psuedoscorpion under a magnifying glass


The pseudoscorpion isn't really a scorpion at all, it's more like spider as it is part of the arachnid family.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Tiny and normally reddish-brown, but can vary in a color—segmented body shaped like a teardrop.
  • Eight small legs. Large pincers that are more than twice as long as the legs.
  • No stinger!

Also known as the "false scorpion," they are harmless to humans, but helpful as well, since they eat other insects.

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