Why Do Scorpions Glow Under Ultraviolet Light?

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Scorpions are some of the fascinating creatures in the world. They have a deadly sting, but they are also fluorescent. It means that they emit light when exposed to ultraviolet light. Why do scorpions glow under ultraviolet light? It makes them glow? The answer lies in their exoskeleton. The scorpion’s exoskeleton consists of tiny crystals that fluoresce under UV light.

Continue to read to find out more about why scorpions glow under ultraviolet light. 

What did scorpions evolve from?

What did scorpions evolve from?

Scorpions are a group of predatory arachnids that have been around for over 400 million years. They first appeared as aquatic organisms, and, in evolutionary history, they almost certainly evolved from the Eurypterida.

Both groups share many morphological features- including the ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

Do scorpions glow under ultraviolet light?

Do scorpions glow under ultraviolet light?

When they are under ultraviolet light, scorpions fluoresce or emit light. Scientists are not sure why glowing occurs, but some speculate that it is for sunscreen purposes or to find mates in the dark.

All scorpions fluoresce under ultraviolet light, such as an electric blacklight or natural moonlight.

Why Do Scorpions Glow Under Ultraviolet Light? Scorpian need for Protection or Privacy?

A bioluminescent scorpion under ultraviolet light at a zoo.

Scorpions are fascinating creatures with many unique qualities, one of which is their glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. There are some hypotheses, but the most interesting one is that the scorpion uses its exoskeleton as a giant eye.

Some scientists believe that this helps them stay hidden from predators at night, while others think it is used to attract prey.

One reason is that the fluorescence helps scorpions avoid becoming prey; sunblock can also be identified under UV light, as can predators, which can help scorpions evade danger.

Additionally, scorpions may use their fluorescence to recognize other scorpions, which can help with communication. Scorpions are a few creatures that exhibit fluorescence, meaning they emit light in response to being exposed to a different type of light.

This quality is especially interesting for people who enjoy night hikes because scorpions glow under ultraviolet light, making them easier to spot.

Scorpions have a chemical in their exoskeleton called carboline. This chemical protects the cells in their skin from ultraviolet light by reflecting or scattering it.

Carboline is not just found in scorpions but in many other types of animals that live in desert environments or other areas with harsh conditions. These chemicals help protect the animals from the harmful UV radiation and allow them to thrive in these tough conditions.

Do all scorpions glow under black light?

Do all scorpions glow under black light?

Scorpions have a cuticle that contains a hyaline layer. This layer causes the scorpion to fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. Scientists are still working on what specifically causes the scorpion to glow, and there is no answer yet.

The hyaline layer is what makes a scorpion glow under ultraviolet light. This layer is composed of chitin and protein, reacting to UV light. The layer is very strong and can withstand time tests; fossilized scorpions can still glow under UV light.

Interestingly, scorpions do not immediately glow after molting. The glowing substance might come from the hardening process, or the scorpions might secrete it. 


Scorpions and other animals with an exoskeleton will glow when exposed to UV light at night. Scientists are still trying to figure out why this happens, but it is thought that the light makes them more visible to predators or prey.

In conclusion, the jury is still out on why scorpions glow under ultraviolet light. However, two studies have scientists leaning toward the glow serving as a way to find shelter in the dark environment.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.