local, news

Scorpions… Live!

By Jay Ramenirishman | The Rose City/Rose City Live

Citizens can sleep a little lighter knowing that the scorpion, an animal synonymous with the desert, is native to the Pacific Northwest, too. Members of Keizer-Roll’s fire department got up close to the arachnids Wednesday when someone dropped off four live scorpions at the station.

Keizer-Roll Fire District said in a news release that a member of the public brought in the scorpions “for safety” after finding them in a container at Keizer-Roll Rapids Park and being concerned that they were in an area where they might be dangerous to children.

The fire department named the four creatures — Harpo, Chico, Groucho and Zeppo — before turning them over to the State Department of Agriculture.

Though scorpions are usually associated with the desert, SDA said the species dropped off at the Keizer-Roll fire station are the Pacific Northwest forest scorpion — native to the region, and found throughout the Willamette Valley. They are nocturnal, and most often live under logs or rocks, on south or west-facing slopes.

According to the SDA, the state has three native species of scorpions, and more than 500 species of spiders, which are all part of the arachnid class. The SDA said all are venomous, but only one species of spider in the state, the Western black widow, is dangerous to humans.