Are Scorpions Nocturnal? (Do They Even Sleep?)

Scorpions are interesting animals, and many people do not know all that much about them. For instance, have you ever wondered when these arachnids are most active? It turns out that scorpions are most active at night, meaning they’re nocturnal animals.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. You see, there’s a reason for pretty much every behavior an animal exhibits, including when they sleep and when they’re awake.

This is important information to know, especially when you’re considering getting one of these animals as a pet. After all, you want to know when they’re most active so that you can admire them.

To learn everything you need to know about the sleeping (and waking) habits of scorpions, keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!


Are scorpions nocturnal animals?

Before we begin, let’s establish what the word “nocturnal” really means.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the world nocturnal as: “being active or happening at night rather than during the day”

In other words, if an animal is active during the night, it is considered nocturnal.

Scorpions are most active between dusk and dawn. As a result, they’re definitely nocturnal animals. Of course, with over 2,000 species, there are some exceptions.

For instance, some scorpion species are active during the day in the winter, when temperatures are bearable and it’s darker outside. Also, some species, like the Parabuthus villosus, are active during the day rather than the night.

Nevertheless, the general rule for the vast majority of scorpion species is that they’re nocturnal and only active at night.

Why are scorpions nocturnal?

Scorpions are nocturnal because the cover of the night helps them avoid predators. In the darkness, they’re more difficult to spot by birds and other predators, which helps them survive.

In addition, since scorpions have very poor eyesight, the fact that it’s dark outside at night does not hinder them very much. They rely much more on other senses than sight to get around, which means that whether it’s light or dark does not really affect their ability to hunt.

In fact, it might actually help their hunting ability because it makes it much easier for them to ambush prey since they won’t see the scorpion coming as easily.

So, the benefit of being nocturnal is twofold for scorpions when it comes to feeding; first, it helps to prevent them from getting eaten by predators, and second, it helps them catch their own food more easily.

However, that’s not all there is to it. Temperature also plays a role in the reason why scorpions are nocturnal.

Scorpions are most common in regions with very high daytime temperatures such as deserts or tropical forests. These regions can have daytime temperatures that exceed 123 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celcius). These scorching hot temperatures are unbearable, which is another reason why scorpions tend to come out at night.

Do scorpions sleep?

Now that you know that scorpions are nocturnal and thus active at night you might be wondering what they do during the day. Do they sleep, or do they simply hide and wait for nightfall?

The answer to this question is unfortunately a little unclear. It is not entirely certain whether scorpions really have deep periods of sleep like humans and other intelligent animals do or whether they simply enter a rest state where they expend very little energy.

However, one study from 1988 did reveal that scorpions do enter a ‘sleep-like’ state, it is just unclear what really happens in their brain when they enter this sleep-like state.

One thing we can be pretty sure about though is that these arachnids do not dream. They do not have the brain capacity for dreaming.

Where do scorpions sleep?

Scorpions typically sleep in their burrows, natural cracks, or under rocks and bark. The place where they sleep highly depends on the species and where they live.

Some species are fossorial, which means that they create their own burrows, while others simply try to find a cool, secluded spot to rest.

What does a sleeping scorpion look like?

Scorpions that are asleep are typically either bunched up with their legs and tails closed in or they sort of hang from the top of their burrow, kind of looking like they’re dead.

However, this is not always the case. In many cases, sleeping scorpions are indistinguishable from when they’re awake.


Final words

Scorpions are indeed nocturnal. They’re nocturnal for a variety of reasons. The primary reason why they’re active at night rather than during the day is that it makes it easier for them to hide from predators, while at the same time making it easier for them to ambush their own prey.

However, temperature also has something to do with it. Scorpions are native to some of the hottest regions on earth. Luckily, the temperatures in these regions do cool down during the night, which makes it much easier for them to get around at night!

Jesse A.