How To Care For An Emperor Scorpion
Native to Africa, the emperor scorpion is one of the world's largest scorpion species, averaging an impressive length of eight inches. This scorpion's low toxicity level, size, lifespan and stunning appearance are making them the most popular species for pet trade.
These exotic looking pets are clean and relatively simple to care for however, with an average lifespan of seven years, they are a long-term commitment that should be well thought out. Their sting is comparable to a bee sting so though it is painful, it rarely needs medical attention. That being said, certain individuals end up having an anaphylactic reaction to its venom and require emergency treatment so collectors should be prepared for that.
The emperor scorpion is quite docile but it does prefer to not be held too much. It is more common for one to use its pedipalps to pinch you rather than sting you however, this can be an even more painful option. These are a striking black species with large claws that are not recommended for novice collectors.
In the wild, the emperor scorpion feeds on many vertebrates and invertebrates including lizards, insects and other arthropods. When kept as a pet, they do well with crickets as their primary diet and then moths and mealworms added in. These types of scorpions do not need an abundance of food so be sure to not overfeed them. They typically eat every other day, so three to six crickets per week are about all you will need.
It is recommended to feed the crickets a nutritious diet so that the ingested nutrients are then passed on to your scorpion. Additionally, you can also dust the crickets with a vitamin and mineral supplement that is designed specifically for reptiles. Keep in mind that in the wild, the emperor scorpion eats at night so that is when they should be fed. Also, offer your pet a very shallow drinking dish of fresh water at all times, making sure that it does not contain enough water for it to drown.
The most challenging part of having one of these as a pet is providing it with its ideal environment. Proper humidity and heat are difficult to attain for even the most seasoned collector. Emperors do well when kept in groups or alone but with every additional scorpion, more space is necessary.
These scorpions need a lot of hiding places so when housing them, it is a good idea to have at least two more hiding spots than you do pets. If you happen to notice any type of aggression between them, it is definitely advised to separate them.
Glass tanks work best for housing an emperor scorpion and you need to make sure that it has a tightly fitting lid. It is also important to take into consideration that scorpions are nocturnal, when deciding where to place your tank.
Anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended temperature however, many collectors keep their tanks as hot as 100 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. The easiest way to help regulate their body temperature is with heating mats that are placed underneath the tank. It is very important when using these mats that they cover no more than one-third of the tank so that they are able to move to a cooler place if they choose.
The habitat will ideally be kept at a level of high humidity by frequently misting the tank. You don't want the substrate to be wet however, it should be damp. If you notice that you are getting condensation in the tank or mold is appearing on the substrate then the humidity is too high.