Indeed, throughout history, both scorpions and lobsters have become well-known crawlers within the kingdom of nature.
Scorpions and lobsters look alike because they both are part of Arthropods’ family. They both also have tough outer shells, two front-facing claws, walk on eight legs, and have a fondness of the dark. Amazingly, both scorpions and lobsters can regenerate a lost limb, as well!
Even though the chance that one will come across a scorpion or lobster is rather slim, we have all nonetheless become somewhat familiar with the two crab-looking little animals. Therefore, let’s take a look at the ways in which scorpions and lobsters look alike.
Anatomic and Behavioral Similarities Amongst Arthropods
There are plenty of differences between scorpions and lobsters, as there are likewise striking similarities to address when dissecting the little crawlers.
Therefore, let us look at 8 interesting similarities, reasons why scorpions and lobsters look-alike in regards to their physics, their behavior, and relation and symbolism in the culture of mankind.
A Common Ancestor
First of all, Scorpions and Lobsters are both parts of what we have come to call the Phylum Arthropoda, also known as Arthropods.
Arthropods are generally divided into four different subcategories – also referred to as the taxonomic classification:
- Arachnids such as scorpions and spiders
- Crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs
- Hexapoda such as insects and a small group of wingless arthropods
- Myriapods such as centipedes and millipedes
Although not residing within the same subcategory, the fact that scorpions and lobsters are both Arthropods means they have some further similarities in their behavior, anatomy, and physical appearance.
Fun fact: the actual common distant ancestor, Kootenichela Deppi, discovered by paleontologist David Legg at the Imperial College London, was partially named after a rather famous Hollywood Actor who may have starred in a movie where he had scissors, for hands…
Exoskeletons: a Layer of Protection
Noticeable enough, both scorpions and lobsters are evolved and equipped with an exoskeleton – they wear their skeleton on the outside!
Arthropod exoskeletons are made of chemically hardened protein, and biomaterial called chitin and cuticle.
An exoskeleton, literally being an external skeleton as opposed to an internal one, serves as a first defense in order to protect the animal’s body from external harm and decay.
With smaller animals, these exoskeletons are usually referred to as shells, as, for instance, is the case with shellfish, such as snails or oysters. Besides serving as a wall of defense, it has been noted that exoskeletons help to pave the path towards a strengthened and accelerated growth.
Overall, the exoskeletons are rigid and hard to bend, thus safeguarding the inner structures of the animals themselves.
Claws in The Front
Besides their exoskeletons, what scorpions and lobsters have in common are their claws, also referred to as pincers.
Interestingly enough, whereas the claws of a lobster serve as its two front legs, the claws of a scorpion are attached to its head and serve mainly to grab and capture prey.
This distinction contributes to the fact that scorpions are known to be predators – together with their ability to release venom as to sting their prey.
Lobsters, naturally, do not have this “venomous” sting. Still, however, their pinchers can be quite painful. Don’tDon’t get your finger caught!
They Both Have Eight Legs
Lastly, we can, of course, not forget to point out the fact that both scorpions and lobsters walk on eight legs.
However, what is less straightforward is the fact that both animals can regenerate a lost leg – although it takes a considerate time to do so. Interestingly enough, a scorpion can also detach itself from its tail, also known as a stinger, as a way to opt for a flight in the face of danger.
That said, unlike a salamander who can regenerate its tail, a scorpion, once it has detached itself from its tail, will, unfortunately, be deprived of stinging for the rest of its life.
A Life in Solitude
Scorpions and lobsters are both known to usually live their lives in solitude, which on occasion could explain their aggressiveness when meeting others.
Scorpions, when at comfort, will rarely change their chosen territory – and overall prefer to call a dark hole their home. They do not live in groups, tend to wander through life alone, and usually only travel a short distance in their lifetime.
The same goes for lobsters, who like scorpions, live in solitude in a fixed territory, often preferring to shelter under a rock – although underwater at a sandy bottom at sea.
In general, the rock signifies yet another external shell used for comfort and protection.
Both are Extremely Territorial Creatures
Scorpions and lobsters are considered to be both highly territorial, meaning they tend to stay put once they have found a cozy spot – which clarifies why they are not readily seen out in the open.
As Lobsters are aquatic, they can be found in the water or in close proximity to water, and like scorpions, they tend to stay put.
Although scorpions live on land, lobsters are known only to survive a couple of days outside the water. Likewise, a scorpion can only live underwater for up to 48 hours.
Both Have a Fondness of The Dark
It is also interesting to note that both scorpions and lobsters are nocturnal animals, making them creatures of the night. Indeed, both animals prefer to roam during the night, whilst keeping daytime activity to a minimum. This once more explains why they often remain out of sight.
Actually, lobsters, like most bottom dwellers and animals who sink to the deep, are nocturnal creatures to some extent.
Scorpions, which belong to the class of arachnids, such as spiders, are also considered to be nocturnal to some extent. The degree of night vision and activity is determined by the animal’s conditioned behavior.
Meaning that they can grow up becoming less nocturnal – thus becoming diurnal, which refers to an animal’s active activity during the daytime.
Aggressive Little Crawlers
Finally, an entirely different comparison we can draw between scorpions and lobsters refers to our perception of their behavior. Both animals are considered aggressive little crawlers amongst themselves, yet relatively harmless to us.
Both animals are known to be aggressive when it comes to establishing dominance within their community or territory. Not only do they both regularly enter into a fight until a victor has emerged on top, but they are also foremost known to be aggressive amongst each other when disputing shelter, food, and mates.
Unlike lobsters, scorpions are furthermore represented as dangerous within our folklore and mythology, almost universally around the world.
Furthermore, in folklore and mythology, almost universally around the globe, scorpions are known to represent some kind of wickedness and sin.
In the end, through their representation in myth and folklore, or as used in symbolism in relation to both culture and nature, scorpions and lobsters have righteously managed to take a seat on the stage of life – although remaining somewhat covered in mystery.
Just remember, however amusing, lobsters are not immortal, and scorpions themselves aren’t evil (unless you get stung by one, then you might have a different opinion.)
Instead, they are both a part of the wonders and diversity of life.
That’s a Wrap!
Well, I hope this gave you some fantastic insight into the world of scorpion s and lobsters. One comparison that we didn’t provide, which isn’t the total focus of Pest Pointers but is a comparison indeed, is that both are considered delicacies in the modern world!
Yes, in different parts of the world, most definitely, but scorpions and lobsters have many more similarities than one would have thought at first glance.
Fascinating, surely. Thanks for reading!
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Colin Smith (16 May 2013). “Actor Johnny Depp immortalized in ancient fossil find”. Imperial College London. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
Gwee, M. (2002). Autonomic effects of scorpion venoms and toxins. CEPP, National University of Singapore.
Kellersztein, I. (2019). The exoskeleton of scorpions’ pincers. Acta biomaterialia, 94, 565-573. Elsevier.
Phillips, B. (2008). Lobsters: biology, management, aquaculture and fisheries. John Wiley & Sons.
Putnam, C. (2021). Scorpions, Biologist edu. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/not-so-scary-scorpions
Warburg, M.R. (1998). Qualitative and quantitative analysis of intra-and interspecific behavioral patterns among scorpions. J Ethol 16, 115–121.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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