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Breeding Emperor Scorpions

Please see Part I and II of this article for information on scorpion natural history and further details on emperor scorpion care.

Emperor ScorpionThe captive reproduction of emperor scorpions is a most interesting endeavor (for hobbyists and, I imagine, the scorpions themselves!).  When properly housed and cared for, emperor scorpions are relatively easy to breed.  This is surprising, given that they are such unique and highly specialized creatures, and is an opportunity that should not be missed.  Many prominent invertebrate specialists started out with this species…keeping them is a wonderful way of becoming involved in invertebrate husbandry, and will almost certainly “hook” you for good.

Distinguishing the Sexes

In captivity, as within certain parts of the natural range, mating may occur during any month.  Adult females are longer and stouter than males, but this is not a reliable means of distinguishing the sexes.

There are some slight differences in the shape of the genital openings.  View the scorpions from below, in a clear plastic box, when attempting to sex in this manner – do not restrain them via hand or tongs.  Photos of the undersides of male and female emperor scorpions are posted at http://www.pandinusimperator.nl/EN/biology_EN.htm.

Courtship and Mating

Reproduction is most likely to occur if your scorpions are housed in a large terrarium that provides ample burrowing opportunities.  All species studied thus far perform a “mating dance”, with the pair locking claws and moving about.  It is theorized that this helps to clear a patch of ground for the deposition of the males’ sperm packet.  I imagine, but have not been able to determine for sure, that the specific dance “moves” also aid in species’ recognition among these nearly blind creatures (this is the case in “dancing” scorpion relatives, such as jumping spiders).

The male deposits a sperm packet on the ground and pulls the female over it (it is tempting here to draw analogies to salamander reproduction).  Hooks along the edges of the sperm packet latch onto the female’s genital opening, and the eggs are then fertilized internally.

Gestation and Birth

Gestation is highly variable, ranging from 7-10 months on average but sometimes exceeding 1 year.  It is likely that stress, temperature and other factors play a role in determining the length of the gestation period.

Females continue to feed while gravid, and may swell noticeably…when viewed from above, the carapace segments appear widely spaced, and seem ready to split apart (heavily-fed scorpions of either sex, however, may also appear gravid).

The young (sometimes called “scorplings”), 8-30 in number, are born alive and measure about 5/8 of an inch in length.  They are white in color and remain on the female’s back until their first moult, at which time they darken and begin to venture off on their own.  Once this occurs, they will readily accept ½ inch crickets, small waxworms, newly molted mealworms, wild-caught insects and canned silkworms.

Maternal Care of the Young

Female emperor scorpions feed their young with finely-shredded insects – this really is something to see.  By all means, try to do so by viewing yours at night with the aid of an incandescent “nocturnal” bulbThe degree of care they provide to their young is extraordinary, and is far greater than one might expect from such supposedly “primitive” creatures.  Even among those scorpions that exhibit social behavior, emperors stand out as being very advanced in this regard.

Caring for the Mother and Her Brood

Once the female has given birth, all other scorpions should be removed from the terrarium, as she will become highly aggressive and defensive.  Do not relocate the mother…this inevitably stresses her and may cause her to consume her young.

Females with young react aggressively to any disturbance, even occasionally grabbing and eating scorplings that become dislodged from their backs.  This is not an uncommon occurrence – do not remove the remaining young unless she begins eating them regularly, as the overall survival rate is improved when clutches are reared with their mother.  I have raised several clutches to adulthood with the mother present – the key lies in disturbing her as little as possible and in providing a deep, secure burrow.

I usually raise the terrarium’s temperature to 85-90 F when rearing young emperor scorpions – this may not be essential, but I have found it to work well.

Sexual maturity in the wild is reportedly reached in 4-7 years, but captives may breed when only 12-14 months of age.  Emperor scorpions under my care have reproduced at age 3 and 4 years.

The Woodland Park Zoo provides interesting information on emperor and other scorpions in nature and captivity at:



  1. avatar

    I have two females and one big male
    and i have been trying to breed them but they seem to just fight.
    should i make a seprate tank for the females and try agen later. Thank you

  2. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Courtship does look a lot like fighting, with the pair locking claws and spinning about. However, if it appears to be true aggression, than it would be best to separate them for the time being…the larger animal could very well kill the smaller ones when they molt and are in a soft, vulnerable condition.

    Perhaps the females are not yet sexually mature…usually, but not always, adult females are longer and more heavily-built than males. Allow the females to establish burrows in a new tank and wait until they put on some size. When trying again, introduce the male to their terrarium.

    Please keep me posted on your progress.

    Enjoy your scorpions, Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  3. avatar

    hi within 1 year how many times an emperor scorpion can give birth or can be breeed?

  4. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Emperor scorpions have, for invertebrates, very long gestation periods…8 to 12 months on average, and so give birth only once each year.

    Diet, terrarium and burrow design, temperature and humidity levels all likely play a role in determining the actual interval between births, but I’m not aware of any examples of gestation periods shorter than 7 months in length.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  5. avatar

    my scorpion reproduced a sexually. i have seen nothing on the internet about this. i have had my scorpion for a little more than a year now, and it hasnt been around any other scorions since i got it well over a year ago.

  6. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the most interesting comment.

    We have a great deal to learn about scorpion reproduction…based on what we do know, there are a few possible explanations for what you have observed.

    Gestation in emperor scorpions is very long…while it typically lasts from 7-10 months, birth may occur over a year (exactly how long is not known) from the time of mating. Stress is a primary factor – females of certain fishes (i.e. guppies) and invertebrates are able to somehow suspend birth for a time if they perceive a threat. In the case of the scorpion, collection, shipment and adjustment to a new environment and diet could all be involved. Temperature, humidity, nutrition and other factors can also play a role.

    Many invertebrates, fishes, herps and even mammals can store sperm…in the most extreme case known, a single mating allows queens of certain termite species to produce young for up to 20 years! Sperm storage is a very real possibility as regards emperor scorpions, but has not been definitively proven as far as I know.

    Finally, we have true asexual reproduction. This is known to occur even in a few vertebrates (Brahminy blind snakes, many fishes, whip-tailed lizards) and is very intriguing. Please keep me posted as to future births… your observations might prove very helpful in learning more about emperor scorpion reproduction. I’ll be sure to pass along your notes to others working on this species, and will report back on this blog.

    Enjoy and good luck,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  7. avatar

    hi there
    my emperor scorpion gave birth to about 16 infants
    they are now 12 days old and are nw only 8 left as mum has been eating them
    they have not had there fiirst molt yet but can i take them away from her to save what is left?
    if so how do i cae for them?
    many many thanks to yo all

  8. avatar

    Hello Ric, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Some females just seem to do that no matter what, although stress is often a factor. If she is set up in a good environment – a tank with a deep substrate into which she can burrow and plenty of room, and is not disturbed by lights or people, then your best option would be to remove all the young.

    If her tank is not ideal, you might try giving her more room and cover, and then leaving her with a few young and removing the others, but it would be risky (the change to a better environment is still a stress).

    You can set the young up as you do adults, but keep them damper as they will be shedding more frequently and also may have less control over moisture loss. Be sure to provide a deep substrate and lots of ground covering…driftwood, cork bark, caves – to break up the area and prevent cannibalism (not common, but they molt often and are defenseless at that time).

    Start them off on ¼ inch crickets. You’ll need to overload the tank with crickets, as the young are not good at catching them at first (try tong feeding if necessary). 1/4 inch crickets should not be a problem re attacking newly-molted scorpions. It might be a good idea to provide the crickets with some food and water, or a slice of orange, when many are at large in the tank.

    The scorpions will not likely feed until after their first molt.

    Good luck and please keep me posted on your progress. This is a common problem but we still do not have a good handle on perfect solutions…your observations will be most useful to myself and others, so please write back when time permits.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  9. avatar

    just to add to my story, i too was not aware my scorpion was pregnant
    i have had her almost 14 months now alone. but whn she was in the petshop she was in with many others so maybe thats when she had her bit of fruity time!!!
    just took babies away from her and she is not very happy!!
    going to try feed them some cut up worm thiings that yo get in tubs of crickets.
    will keep you posted
    thanks agaiin

  10. avatar

    Hello Ric, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for the feedback.

    Actually, that’s a very interesting observation you have there. Emperor scorpion gestation periods vary quite a bit, and it hasn’t really been quantified whether long gestations or sperm storage (or, possibly, parthenogenesis) are at work. I suspect sperm storage, based upon your and my own experiences. Most resources put an outside limit of 12 months for emperor scorpion gestation.

    I’ll file the information and let you know what else turns up.

    The insects you note in the cricket boxes are the larvae of beetles in the Genus Dermestes. Commonly known as museum beetles, colonies are still maintained by most major museums for the final stages of skeleton/bone cleaning…to date, nothing we can come up with surpasses them! No harm in trying, but most species are covered with tiny irritating hairs that repel predators. Please let me know how it works out.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  11. avatar

    I was wondering if there is any way of telling how old my scorpion is I bought him about a month or so ago maybe longer I have read alot of intresting facts that have been posted on here actually the first site that I have found that is informing if there is any way of telling how old he is that would be great to know thanks

  12. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your kind words and interest in our blog.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t any reliable way of estimating an emperor scorpion’s age. Size and age at sexual maturity are greatly affected by diet, both in the wild and captivity. Also, scorpions living in different parts of the natural range vary as to size, so the origin of your specimen’s ancestors will have an effect as well.

    Please let me know if you need any further information.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  13. avatar

    I first off want to thank you on the quick responce on my last question.. I as well have another question about feeding my emperor. Is it ok to thaw out a pinky mouse n feed it to him or does it have to be alive? And how about june bugs or june beetles which ever you call them. also on meal worms when they are the adult mealworms can they eat through the stomach of my scorpion if the head are not crushed? That is all I have to ask for now.. Thank Ya Much…

  14. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here. You’re quite welcome, I’m glad the information was of use to you.

    Actually, emperor scorpions do not need to eat pink mice or any other vertebrates. Field research has shown that there diet is composed entirely of invertebrates, and this is what their digestive systems have evolved to deal with most effectively. Certainly I scorpion might on occasion stumble across a rodent nest in the wild, but this would be an extremely rare event. In no case should a live mouse ever be given to a scorpion – their venom is not designed to subdue such creatures and hence the mouse would suffer unnecessarily if the scorpion did attack it. I understand that this is common practice in some circles, but such is for the benefit (?) of those doing the feeding, not the scorpion…vertebrates are never used in zoos or professional collections.

    Dietary variety is, however important…this is easily accomplished by tong-feeding canned invertebrates (snails, grasshoppers, silkworms) to the scorpion, or by collecting native insects. The June bugs you mention are fine, as long as they are collected from a pesticide free area.

    Mealworms are not a concern and may be fed to scorpions. The “head crushing” idea might be useful for animals which swallow their prey whole and alive, i.e. frogs, and then only in certain situations. Scorpions masticate prey beforehand, killing the animal before or as it is consumed. Super mealworms, or newly molted “regular mealworms” (white in color, are your best choice as their chitin content is fairly low.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio

  15. avatar

    Ok thanks for that info. Spike is doin great he is very active at night not every night just every other night. When I gut load my crickets is it ok to do it with a home made gut load and every once in a while dust the crickets with other vits. or should I just dust n not gut load or gut load and not dust. Sorry for all the questions I just dont want nothing to happen to my scorpion due to me not being well educated about him. Thanks Again!!

  16. avatar

    OH!! I forgot is it ok to use a regular 40 watt light bulb as a heat source. I do keep it dark in his cage. Well Not pitch black but its dark. I was just wondering if that bulb would hurt him any. Also I have like 3 hides in his cage would it be ok if I were to put a female in with him? Ok thats all for now im sure ill have more later.. Thanks

  17. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here. Nice to hear from you again.

    We know very little about the actual nutritional requirements of scorpions, and so must rely on what has been shown to work over the years. It’s always a good idea to feed and gut load crickets. There are a number of ways to do this – cricket gut-loading products are very convenient, or you can use tropical fish flakes along with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

    I powder crickets once weekly for adult scorpions, 2-3x for youngsters, most often using Reptivite. Variety is very important…include the insects you mentioned last time, and offer canned invertebrates as well.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  18. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your feedback…glad to see that you are so concerned about your scorpion’s welfare, and are covering all the most important points.

    A 40 wt. incandescent bulb is fine as a daytime heat source, as long as you check that it does not dry out the substrate. For nighttime heating, a reptile night-viewing bulb is preferable. Scorpions do not sense the light emitted from these, and so will not be disturbed during their normal activity period. These bulbs will also allow you to observe your scorpions when they are most active.

    Male-female relations are (as with us!) complicated and variable. You’ll need to watch them closely for awhile. Having numerous hides and a deep substrate for burrowing, as well as lots of driftwood etc. to break up the habitat, is important when keeping multiple scorpions in the same terrarium.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  19. avatar

    My sister found a texas bark scorpion or a stipped bark scorpion in her house are they highly venumous or are they harmless.. I got it here at my house now she cought it and brought it to me just wonderin how are they to care for or is it somethin i should get rid of? I kinda wanna keep him just dont know much about them any info would be nice thank ya much

  20. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again and glad that you wrote in, as you raise an important point.

    It’s very difficult even for experts to identify some of the smaller scorpions native to the American Southwest…colors vary within a species and by age, etc. Also, especially in Texas, there is always the possibility of a non-native species turning up from Mexico or via the pet trade. Some are quite toxic, and we know little about the actual functioning of their venom, which complicates treatment. There is also always the very real possibility of a serious and/or fatal sensitivity to the venom on the part of the person who is stung.

    I strongly urge you to release the animal or turn it over to a local zoo or museum, and commend you for talking the trouble to ask.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  21. avatar

    Well I took your advice and took that scorpion that was found to a few people and let them take a look at it.. and they both told me that it was a Centruroides vittatus… they said that it does pack a painfull sting but not deadly.. but possible deadly to younger kids or older people.. being that i do have young nieces i went ahead and let him go at the river.. i dont believe on want nothin happing to them due to my facination with scorpions.. thanks for your info about it.. and what do you think would help my sister with controlin them scorpions around her house she has found 2 of them in her house n the past week or soo.. thanks again and sorry for the misspelled words..

  22. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for getting back to me…sometimes people write in after having collected scorpions and venomous snakes and then fail to follow-up (which I assume means they kept the creature, or had a mishap).

    You made the right decision…that’s not a species you want to have around if possible, especially as they are such adept escape artists. I’ve had small Middle Eastern species escape even from zoo exhibits…and with the common name of “death stalker”, believe me they caused a stressful situation!

    Unfortunately, other than sealing cracks and all there’s not much that can be done to dissuade scorpions from entering a home…they can squeeze through very tight places. Most don’t care to cross wide, open areas, so clearing brush and plants, lawn furniture etc. from between the nearest cover and the house may help somewhat. It’s very important that adults stress to children that they must bang their shoes hard on the floor before putting them on… scorpions hidden in shoes account for the majority of stings recorded. I have found 2 that way, as well as a huge centipede, while on field research (so I still bang my shoes, even when in NYC!) Clothes, even those taken from closets or drawers, should be shaken well before wearing.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  23. avatar

    quick question if anyone is around
    I think my scorpion is gravid and has been for some months now but from time to time she limps her tail for extended periods…almost an entire day in some cases…she still gets around but has been getting worse..
    any ides?

  24. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Unfortunately we know very little about what sort of medical problems afflict scorpions, or how to treat them. However, gravid females have the ability to delay giving birth if environmental conditions are not ideal, or if other sources of stress are present. If this goes on for to look, it could possibly lead to physical problems, perhaps including that which you have described (I have seen something similar, once, in another species).

    If you have not already done so, I suggest providing her with a deep substrate and ample hiding spots and ground cover. Be sure that temperature and humidity levels are optimal, and disturb her as little as possible. Keep the terrarium in a secluded location if possible, and avoid turning on room or terrarium lights at night. If you wish to check on her after dark, I suggest using a night-viewing bulb, as such will not be perceived by the scorpion.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  25. avatar

    i was just wondering this time is it normal for an emperor scorpion to suddenly become aggressive.. because mine has become very aggressive for some reason and also not eating as much i was just wondering if you might have any ideas what might be the problem his cage has 3 hides the substrate is almost 5 inches deep has water bowl it is just him in there as well it stays 80 – 82 % humidity very warm umm i really dont know what could be the problem like i said any ideas would be great thanks

  26. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    I have observed that, but always while dealing with large numbers of scorpions at the zoo…I assumed that a gravid female might become aggressive and cease feeding…made sense but unfortunately I was never able to keep close watch and follow up.

    Another possibility could be some sort of disturbance – they are very sensitive to air vibrations and react strongly to vibrations from certain machinery, even, some say, to barometric pressure changes i.e. before a storm (this is common in many herps as well…alligators will bellow a day or 2 before a storm front).

    Sorry I cannot offer anything more useful…please let me know if you learn anything new, or have any ideas.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  27. avatar

    is it ok to leave a black light on an emperor or is it not a good idea

  28. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Good question…scorpions seem not to notice black light, even though they fluoresce under it and it would seem logical that this has some survival adaptation. I kept emperor scorpions in an exhibit at the Bronx Zoo that allowed visitors to hit a switch and turn on a black light (or old style Vita-light). I did not observe the scorpions to change their behavior at all, despite the fact that the light was going on and off incessantly all day long (many visitors, for reasons I could never understand, seemed more interested in the “bells and whistles” than the animals themselves). At night, when the zoo closed, the exhibit was brightly lit so as to give the scorpions a somewhat natural day/night cycle.

    Reptile night viewing lights similarly seem not to register on scorpions or affect their behavior.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  29. avatar

    so it is ok to leave the the black light on him at night it gets kinda bright n the house when its day time so if they cant sence the black light at night it will seem dark to him also about them striped bark scorpions my sister has found out that she has an infestation she found 6 more n her daughters bathroom and 1 in her shower she brought them to me and only 2 of them made it to the house but i think they are very interesting to watch i plan to release them at the same spot as the other one but they act way differant from my emperor also how do i keep mite out of my emperors cage i think they are n it little white bug comeing out of his water bowl any ideas on how to control them

  30. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    You can leave the black light on at night if it helps you to see the scorpion, but I don’t believe it provides any benefit to the scorpion itself…they have not been shown to need any sort of light in order to remain healthy, other than a normal day/night cycle.

    As you noticed with the native species, scorpions do indeed follow a great many different lifestyles, depending on their habitats, sizes, food preferences etc. Some never leave the rainforest canopy, others dwell miles below ground and never emerge from caves, etc. and all behave differently.

    The white mites that are often seen in scorpion terrariums appear harmless, and are likely of many different species, but similar to the eye. They enter as eggs along with substrate, wood etc. and are not known to parasitize scorpions, but rather feed upon feces, dead crickets and other organic material. If huge populations build up, they may stress the scorpion by crawling over it, or, in rare cases, by nibbling on newly molted scorpions.

    Freezing substrate before use may help, as does picking up dead insects and such. Mites are prone to desiccation, so in planted terrariums that cannot be stripped you can relocate the scorpion and allow the substrate to dry. Zoo Med Terrarium Cleaner and hot water can be used on wood, water bowls, etc.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  31. avatar

    hi there frank i was wondering if there was a way i could send u a photo of the scorpions my sister has around her house and get your opinion about them

  32. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    You can email photos to me at findiviglio@thatpetplace.com.
    Scorpions are difficult to ID by photo, especially individuals collected from areas where many species occur…often one needs to check the shape of the chelicerae, arrangement of telson segments and so on. However, I can forward the photos to a colleague who is more knowledgeable than I if need be.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  33. avatar

    alright i just sent u a few photos sorry if they are not very clear im not much of a photographer

  34. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here. Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Well, based on body shape alone (color varies a great deal) it does appear to be in the genus Centruroides…many of which are quite toxic, especially to children and elderly or immune compromised people. Over 20 species of scorpions inhabit Texas, and some of the more dangerous ones are extremely difficult to tell apart.

    The most commonly encountered species, especially in homes, is the striped bark scorpion, C. vittatus (which I believe someone mentioned to you as a possibility after looking one over?). That could be hat you have, but again there are others that resemble it. C. vittatus is not considered dangerously venomous, but individual sensitivities must be considered. I’ve sent the photos off to a colleague and will get back to you as soon as I have more news.

    As I mentioned, keeping a home scorpion-free can be quite difficult. You may want to contact your State Department of Environmental Protection (Dept. of Wildlife, etc.) for suggestions. Once you have their input, you can contact an exterminator if they so advise.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  35. avatar

    Ok I just wanted to update you on my sisters scorpion problem… She has used Demon WP and she has not had any problem in the past few days… before she used it she was finding them every day but Im going to guess that the stuff she has used has helped… Well just wanted to tell you that.. And I also took some time and took that scorpion that she found to the Tyler Tx. Zoo and they have confirmed that is was just a stripped bark scorpion… Just as you and your colleague have discovered by the pictures I sent you.. Also I found out that it is rather easy to unknowingly breed crickets in you scorpions cage… I looked in my emperor’s cage this morning to clean his water and other messes that he had made… And discoverd almost 100 if not more baby crickets…. Should I seperate them from my scorpion or are they harmless to him? Thanks

  36. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks very much for the update. Glad your sister found something that works…I’ll keep that product name on file, in case someone else writes in.

    I appreciate your letting me know that the folks at Tyler confirmed the scorpion’s ID. Is that Caldwell Zoo? I missed it my last time in Texas, would like to see their native fish/herp exhibit in the future. Texas has some zoos with great herp collections and very knowledgeable people working there – Fort Worth is a favorite of mine.

    I’ve seen striped scorpions in such a variety of shades and patterns; it’s good to have the photos that you sent for reference in the future. The striped scorpion gets further east than some of the similar species (my friend collects them in Louisiana) – I think it gets very complicated in West Texas, however, as there many more types there.

    Its funny how that works with crickets, isn’t it? It’s pretty difficult to breed them in colonies, as adults eat any eggs they find. But in a terrarium, where there is more room and deeper substrate, sometimes it works out. I once had a self-sustaining group in an exhibit housing cottonmouths, anoles and green treefrogs…made for a very lively exhibit. They shouldn’t bother the scorpion, although as they get larger it might not be a good idea to have so many in there at molting time. You can easily lure them into a baited jar if you want to remove some.

    Thanks again, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  37. avatar

    Yea I believe it is the Caldwell Zoo…

  38. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks very much, I’ve heard good things about that zoo.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  39. avatar

    Hi Frank … I had emperor scorpions years ago, and have just recently picked up a new pair. Happy to add them to my menagerie! :) I’ve set them up in what I think is a 15-gallon terrarium (rather flattened and elongated), with a nice deep soil substrate for burrowing, and several bark hiding places. I’d like to add some small plants, preferably something native to their African rainforest home, but I’m open to other species too. Any small tropical plants you would recommend which will do well under a fluorescent light and damp substrate?

  40. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again.

    The Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is native to West African, within the range of the emperor scorpion, and does very well in damp to wet substrate and moderate light levels. It is readily available, and the leaves are sturdy and able to stand up to scorpions and other terrarium animals. It does grow tall, however, and is difficult to prune due to the nature of the leaves. In low light, however, it grows very slowly.

    Cast Iron Plants, Earth Stars and Chinese Evergreens also do fine in scorpion terrariums, but are not native to West Africa.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  41. avatar

    I have owned four black emporer scorpions. The origional two fought alot at first but eventually warmed up to each other. A male and a female. It seemed that the female got sick. She started looking plump, dragging her body. She ate ALOT at first aswell. She would eat four or five crickets in one day sometimes. It looked as if she had even been eating the dirt alot when there was food in the cage. What happened to her? She died. I replaced her and had my old male and my new female living together. The male became extremely sedentary after a while. He was sooo active for the first month or so. He eventually stopped depending himself and slept all the time. He would let the new female crawl all over him. He died within about six months of me getting him. withing a month my origional female dying. I had got the origional female about two months prior of getting my prigional male. It did not appear they were molting. These first two scorpions never burrowed. Now I have another two. It turns out the pet store accidently gave me two males so I currently have them seperated. One of my new scorpions had lived with the origional male that died. he was very active at first. Amazing would catch him hanging upside down on the top of the tank. He would run around faster then ive ever seen them run. Without stopping. Now he still defends himself and hes active sometimes. But not as fast and he sleeps alot more now. Is he ok? I think the newest guy is ok so far. Not quite as active as at first but he burrows alot when hes awake. It doesnt look like there are parasites in the tank. I used a light and stared in one spot for a while and didnt see anything. I keep the temp between 70-100 and try and not have the light on too much.theres always water and i feed them every week. Why did my first two die? And how can I prevent these two guys grom getting sick? How can they get there old active lifestyles back?
    Sorry this letter is so long.
    Thank you so much for your time.
    Sincerly, Jessica.

  42. avatar

    Hello Jessica, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Unfortunately, we know next to nothing about the diseases that inflict scorpions; your animals may have been ill when purchased. Age is difficult to access as well, so it is possible that they were elderly and died of natural causes. The symptoms you describe could be indicative of either. Providing a proper environment is the closest thing we have to “medicine” for scorpions.

    Activity is not always a good sign…in fact, scorpions tend to be relatively inactive if well fed, moving about only to hunt, seek a mate or maintain their burrows. Frantic running about as you describe, and, especially, hanging from the screen top, are likely signs that something is wrong – i.e. aggression from a tank mate or overly warm temperatures.

    Emperor scorpions fare best at 78-85 F; much above 90F would be stressful. In the wild, they burrow deeply during hot and dry weather. If you are not currently doing so, you might try providing 6-8 inches of substrate, to allow for deep burrows and also ground cover in the form of cork bark and dead leaves.

    A night viewing bulb will assist you in observing your scorpions at night, when they are most active.

    I’m sorry I could not be of more help concerning the deaths of your animals.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  43. avatar

    Hi Frank – thanks for the planting suggestions! It looks like the earth star bromeliads are the way to go for me, as the other species you mentioned are too tall for my current shallow terrarium. But I will keep them in mind for a future project! Hoping for some offspring eventually from my two emperors (some years ago I raised baby Asian forest scorpions in a very similar set-up), but for now I just want them to settle in and be comfortable….

  44. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    You’re quite welcome, thanks for writing back.

    Earth stars are a great choice…I first became aware of them through one of the early pioneers in tarantula keeping. He was searching for an interesting-looking plant that thrived in dark terrariums. In low-light conditions, they turn brownish but regain their red coloration as soon as more light is provided. Their structure is actually perfect for scorpions…the leaves are sturdy and raised slightly off the ground, providing a secure network of “underbrush” through which the scorpions can navigate.

    I hope the scorpions settle in and breed in time.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  45. avatar

    Hi there Frank

    I was just reading some of the other posts.. Mainly the one about the plants.. Spike is doing well I believe.. But I was wondering if I need more plants in his cage.. Currently there are 2 hides plus a burrow or 2 along the sides of his cage and 2 fake plants.. Do I have to put live plants in there?? Or is that just for humidity?? At the moment his cage runs 74-77 degrees at night and 80-87 degrees during the day.. There is like a dew on the cage where you see substrate.. Soo anyways do I need live plants or does it sound like his cage is just fine the way it is??

  46. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to see that you are so thorough in seeking to provide an ideal habitat for your animals.

    Your temperature and humidity levels seem to be fine. Plants in scorpion tanks can assist in breaking down waste products, but are not necessary. Most people add them simply for their decorative value. Some also enjoy recreating habitat replications, using plants native to the scorpion’s range, as we do in zoos. While this is critical for some animals, as regards emperors it is mainly a matter of personal interest.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  47. avatar

    Dear Frank.
    Thank you so much for your reply to my last message about my two scorpions that passed away. I found your reply to be extremly helpful and I am much less worried about the health of my scorpions. I can understand why the scorpions would be stressed out when I first got them. New home and being stuck in a container for a week or so with no food probably did a toll on them. Now that they are settled I can see that they are actually very healthy. They burrow alot and have tons of sand to do it in. I do need some bark and plants like you said for moisture though. I had read on many websites that the temp should be between 70-90F and over 100F at times. From experience and your reply I can clearly soo you are right. They don’t seem to like it too hot or bright most of the time. They will only come out of their homes with the light off. Just one last question sorry. Have you ever heard of a scorpion overeating? or eating the sand they live in? The Owner of the store I got them at says he’s never heard of such a thing. I have only seen one website that said otherwise out of the several I’ve vewed. I notice that you also can’t trust what most of the websites say. They are all different. Some very uninformative. I am very gratefull to have found your site. Thank You So Much once again for your quick informative reply. You are awesome.

  48. avatar

    Hello Jessica, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks so much for the kind words…very glad I could be of some help.

    Yes, scorpions are very much aware of their environment, despite being more or less blind. The tiny hairs they possess are incredibly sensitive to changes in air pressure (the most sensitive known, and basically unchanged for millions of years), and chemo-sensing abilities also help them to form a good picture of where they are and what is happening. Glad they have settled in.

    Concerning temperatures, people often extrapolate an animal’s needs from the average temperatures of its natural habitat. However, many species, including emperor scorpions, utilize micro-habitats that are vastly different from the general habitat in terms of temperature, humidity, etc. The classic example is the Gila monster lizard, which lives in one of the hottest, driest places on earth. So zoos kept them hot and dry, and the lizards did poorly, spending most of their time lying in water bowls. Turns out they spend 98% of their time deep below-ground, where the temperature is 20-25 F lower than ambient, and humidity levels are as high as 6o-70%. They eat 2-3 big meals each year, and move about only during the breeding season. Emperor scorpions are also very good at avoiding temperature extremes.

    Regarding over-eating, many animals do not have a “shut-off”, as meals are un-predictable in the wild, and often become obese in captivity. Scorpions seem rather individualistic in this regard – perhaps it depends upon where within their range they originated. Some will gorge until the body plates are stretched apart, revealing the underlying exoskeleton layer; others take only a cricket or 2 every few days. Gravid females eat a great deal early on, and then slow down. As the young develop the female will appear ready to burst – this usually comes on rather quickly, i.e. one day she looks fine, then huge. Let them eat heavily for now, as they may be making up for lost time while in transit, then please write back and let me know how they are doing.

    I have not heard of scorpions consuming sand or earth, but watch them…many animals do so, in order to obtain salts and minerals. Please let me know if you see anything interesting.

    Many serious hobbyists are making great strides in invertebrate husbandry, more so than zoos in many cases, but many people also seem to enjoy seeing their ideas or opinions in print, regardless of the validity of what is being written. The inter net is a great research tool, but unfortunately you need to be able to evaluate the writer before accepting any advice as there is no peer review or fact-checking of posted information in most cases. For subjects with which I am unfamiliar, I always turn to books. Books published by reputable publishing houses must pass rigid evaluations by several experts in the field in question, and are therefore far more reliable than most inter net sites.

    Please don’t hesitate to write in at any time…animal care and conservation is my lifelong career and passion, and so I am always pleased if I can make some useful contribution.
    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  49. avatar

    Hey Frank
    I wanted to thank you for you very helpfull information on my emperor scorpion.. I really would like to have a few differant species.. Rather than just the emperor.. I have been looking into the desert hairy scorpion… And I read what substrate of course its gonna be sand.. But my question is would it be safe for the scorpion if I use the play sand that goes into like sand boxes or does it have to be a certain kind of sand… Also any information that you have to offer as far as their habitat and basically anything would be great… Ok another thing how can you tell if a scorpion is gravid or is there no certain way to tell.. Well thanks again…

  50. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the kind words…I’m glad the information was useful to you.

    Regular sand is technically okay, however scorpions are quite sensitive to pesticides and other chemicals that may find their way into the sand. Also, since the sand will be dry, burrows do not usually hold up well. I prefer something like Zoo Med Repti-Sand , which has no harmful chemicals or other additives. The sand used also holds up a bit better as regards burrows, and you can mix white and red/tan to create a nice desert-like effect. I find that mixing in some aquarium gravel is also useful when keeping burrowing scorpions, as it helps the burrows retain their structure. Desert hairy scorpions often burrow near or below cover, so add some bark on the surface as well.

    They need only be misted lightly every other day or so, and be sure the tank dries out. A small water bowl can be offered once weekly, but most of their water comes via food. Provide as much variety as possible – waxworms, newly molted mealworms, etc., in addition to crickets. They often go off feed, perhaps keyed to an internal cycle, but this is not a concern if they are in good weight.

    The type of swelling exhibited by gravid females is slightly different than that of one that is merely heavy, but I think you need to see quite a few up close in order to notice the difference. To be honest, I have often been surprised by babies, even after working with many species long term. Gravid females often feed heavily, then cease and become either shy or aggressive, but again this varies greatly among individual scorpions.

    Please write back if you need further information. Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  51. avatar

    hello… i have a question about my scorpion… it probably is a female seeing how u said females are bigger than males and i got the biggest possible one petco had.. my question is why she isnt settling down in her new cage… its like she keeps tryin to climb out but obviously its not gonna climb a glass cage… its eating regularly but i dunno whats wrong with it please maybe u can help me out the dirt is still a little moist maybe its just trying to escape from that? i dont know i have a heat lamp and everything PLEASE HELP ME

  52. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Newly acquired scorpions are often stressed by shipping and the change in their environments. The behavior you describe usually means the scorpion is seeking a secure hiding place or that the environment is too hot or too dry.

    Try providing at least 6 inches of substrate into which the scorpion can burrow, preferably a material that helps to maintain the structure of the burrow (i.e. Coconut Husk and Jungle Earth Reptile bedding). Be sure to provide plenty of cover in the form of cork bark etc., on the ground as well.

    Please also let me know the size of your enclosure and the day/night temperatures, as these will also affect your scorpion’s behavior.

    If you observe your scorpion at night, do not put the lights on in an otherwise dark room, as this can startle the animal (they are nearly blind, but do sense light and dark). A night viewing bulb is a good option if you wish to watch the animal after dark, when it will be most active.

    Gravid females often become very stressed if they can not find a safe retreat, so be sure to make any necessary changes as soon as possible.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  53. avatar

    Heh, I have somewhat of the opposite “problem” of the last poster: my pair (Voodoo & Vortex) have settled in so completely that I never see them! Guess that means they are content. I keep the terrarium shady and slightly damp, and drop in a few crickets a couple times a week. Once cicada season starts, I will try them on a cicada or two and see if they like those as much as my flat-rock does. Every few days I do lift up the hiding places to make sure they’re still okay; they do move around because they’re not always under the same hide, but always together. So far so good!

  54. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again. Yes…a hidden scorpion is a happy scorpion!

    I’m glad to hear they are getting along; this bodes well for future breeding success.

    You might try hollowing out a small cave near the glass, and coving the glass side with a piece of black paper or cardboard that can be lifted for a quick daytime look; a modified “ant farm” setup may work as well…please see my article Creating an Ant Farm for Burrowing Pets.

    Night viewing bulbs may help you to observe the scorpions after dark.

    Good luck and please keep me posted…I look forward to hearing about babies on the female’s back!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  55. avatar

    Hi there again Frank..

    I was wondering if I could send you some more pictures.. Maybe get you too positively ID my emperor scorpion… I have seen alot of red claw scorpions and mine has a redish color to it.. And I wanna be sure that it is an emperor and not a red claw… Also MAYBE see if you can determine the sex… I have been told its a male… BUT… Im not totally positive.. And I understand that you can be 100% by lookin at the Photos I have but with your exp. you might be able to.. Again im not for sure… Thanks again for all your help and information…

  56. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again.

    You can send the photos to findiviglio@thatpetplace.com.

    But, as you mention, I will not likely be able to add to what you already know. Emperors vary greatly in appearance throughout their range, with some looking, at least externally, very much like red claws.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  57. avatar

    Ok those photos were sent to you.. Just let me know what your opinion is.. Thank ya

  58. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    The photos are very clear, thanks.

    As you know, the comb-like pectines located on the underside of the scorpion, and pictured in your photos, are mainly used to sense the substrate and potential mates. Those of the male are a bit longer than the female’s, but age is a factor. The pectines in your first photo appear slightly longer than those in the second, so I would agree that the first animal may be a male.

    Another somewhat useful point of reference is the tail…those of males are slightly thinner, and the segments are proportionally longer, than those of females. Males are, in general, smaller and of a lighter build than females. Some suggest that the males’ claws are longer, thinner and slightly “hairier” than those of females, but I have never been able to discern this…perhaps it only holds true for certain species, the person who passed that along to me was unclear on that.

    I would say that both are emperor scorpions, but as you know there is a great deal of variety among various populations of both emperors and red claws.

    I hope this has been of some use, sorry for the uncertainty.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  59. avatar

    Thank you for you answer.. I understand you cant be 100% certain.. But the information that you have given me was enough to put me at ease.. now knowing that i might not have 2 males in my tank together.. they seem to be doing great together.. the female moved the male out of his hide and made him go to another spot in the tank and burrow.. I think that it is really cool watching them… i try not to handle them too often.. but at time i catch myself wanting to and i doo.. also just an off the wall question.. is over feeding them an issue.. i just bought my female.. and she has been eating like crazy.. i have done feed her 5 crickets and a super mealworm.. i only feed her when she gets active.. like she is hungry.. and after i feed her.. she goes back to the hide.. and she also drinks from the water bowl ALOT more… IDK if her being at the pet store and not feed and water often might play a role in this or not… just curious.. ill try not to bug you with to many more questions reguarding the emperors.. seeing that you have informed me alot.. i should know most already.. but my mind seems to forget if i have asked a question from time to time.. thanks again for all of you help and information.. it all has been very helpful on keeping my scorpion alive and health and happy… spike is hardly never agressive.. thanks again…

  60. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    I have had many reports of scorpions feeding and drinking ravenously once they settle into new homes. I believe it is as you suggest, they may not have fed well while in transit or at the place of purchase. Gravid females sometimes, but not always, also go through a period of heavy feeding, followed by a fast.

    Please don’t hesitate to write in. I enjoy the exchange; also, this field is my passion, and am glad for the opportunity to do some good if possible.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  61. avatar

    Hey Frank

    Just wanted to inform you. When I asked how to tell if a scorpion was gravid…. WELL.. She was gravid… From what I could count in the short time I took from looking at her.. Maybe about 16-20 scorplings.. Very nice looking little critter… Any advice on how to keep them alive.. She had them on the 8th.. Anykind of advice would do great… Thanks..

  62. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Great news, thanks!…it’s nice when they cooperative with our “predictions”, isn’t it? (don’t get used to that, however!!).

    Disturb her as little as possible, but of course try to watch what’s going on as well. Some females are quite bold, and will carry on as usual…others may become high strung, in which case you may want to cover the terrarium with a black cloth, leaving just some space for observation (usually this is not necessary).

    Keep an eye on humidity, as the young will be more sensitive than the adult. Hopefully you will be able to see her feed the young, it is really something. Some females eat an occasional youngster, often when they are in the process of catching crickets…hard to explain, but it’s not a cause for concern unless it becomes regular. Once the young molt and darken in color, they will begin to hunt on their own….please keep me posted as time goes on, as there are a few methods of raising the young once they are independent.

    Enjoy and congrats,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  63. avatar

    Hey Frank 2 of them babies left their mommas back they havent moulted yet and I think they might be lost.. Should I try and help them back to her?? And also babies can climb plastic… Should I attempt to move her in something they cant climb out?? Thanks Again…

  64. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    It would be best to leave those which have left her back as they are. Trying to direct them to her will not likely be successful, and you’ll definitely stress the mother, causing more to fall off or even cannibalism. I’ve had the same happen – it is sometimes a case of certain youngsters being weak or in poor health; unfortunately, there is not much to be done. They may, however, wind up back where they belong, but let them do so on their own.

    I’d strongly advise against moving the female, as this will almost certainly lead to a loss of all or most of the young. Better to fashion a cover for their current enclosure. If all else fails, you can secure a towel over the top via rubber band or duct tape. Just be sure to check in the folds of the cloth for clinging youngsters when removing the cover.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  65. avatar

    Hey Frank its me again lol… Thanks for all the advice im glad that I found this here blog… I’m pretty sure if I didnt some if not all of my scorpions would have died… But I just wanna say thanks for all your help and I will try getting as many photos as I can and I will send them to your email.. So you can seem them… The scorpion that just had her babies is one of the C. Vittatus.. I dont handle any of the ones that I have cought.. I desided that they were best off with me rather than letting my sister kill them.. I really didnt like that idea at all.. I know I prolly should have let them go.. BUT they are soo much more active than the Emperor… Like I said I *DONT* handle them they are more just for observation…. And its kinda a good thing cause I can learn from these.. And when my Emperor gets gravid I will know how to take care of them a little better… My Emperor are also getting along very well… They tend to stick together under the same hide… Hopefully soon I will be able to catch them mating and have some babie from Snuggles in the near future… Well im sure it will be awhile unless one of the males that she was with already got to her… She has gotten bigger.. ALOT bigger… Anyways… Thanks Again….

  66. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your kind words, much appreciated.

    That makes more sense…bark scorpions being able to climb plastic – thanks for explaining. The y0oung coming off the females back are not much of a concern. Usually they stay on for a few days, but it’s mainly for protection from predators, not to be fed.

    Please keep in mind that babies can slip through unbelievably tiny cracks. Watching them mature is interesting, but please put your safety first.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  67. avatar

    Hi Frank
    Hope everything is well with you..
    I just got done seperating the momma and babies.. They have left her back and their in their 2nd instar well some are… But all of them were off her back @ the same time.. Well all but 3 or 4.. soo I desided to seperate them.. Is it normal for them to be off her back that soon being that its only been like 4 days now… Also The ones that look like they are in the 2nd instar are seperated from the ones that dont look like they are.. Oh yea before I forget she had 23 babies.. And one of them has lost one of its claws.. Is that going to affect it any??
    Well I have some pictures of them on her back.. Ill send them to your email.. Take care and thanks..

  68. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    That’s quite a large clutch. I believe they are behaving normally, as there is not an extended period of parental care as in emperor scorpions. The claw will likely regenerate with the next molt.

    I look forward to seeing your photos.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  69. avatar

    Well All have survived the 1st moult.. except the one that had one claw..

  70. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    That’s a very good success rate…far more than in the wild, I’ll bet. They will need a good deal of food if you plan to keep them; cannibalism more likely than with emperors and related species.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  71. avatar

    Hi Frank

    I was wondering something about emperors.. Say the female has already mated with another male.. And she picked his sperm up right.. what happens if another male trys to mate with her when she may already be pregnant or gravid.. cause IDK if maybe my female already mated with another male.. My male has been trying to mate with her and she is getting violent with him.. what do you think i should do..

  72. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    That’s a very good question; it seems like you are spending a good deal of time with your scorpions, and getting to see some very interesting behavior. Keep it up, there’s so much that we need to learn.

    Biologists are uncovering more and more animal species, ranging from invertebrates to fishes to marsupials and other mammals, in which the females utilize a form of “sperm competition”. They mate with several males and then somehow “choose” the fittest sperm to fertilize their eggs…or, in some cases, the clutch or litter will be fathered by multiple males.

    However, to my knowledge no studies have been carried out on scorpions (perhaps something for you to tackle in time?). Multiple male mating would not be out of the question, but considering their rather structured group dynamics, if I had to guess I would lean towards a single mating. However, many invertebrates switch mating strategies to fit different situations. If she is aggressive when he advances, your safest option would be to spit them for a month or so, watch her for weight gain, and then try again if she appears not to be gravid.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  73. avatar

    Well I wont be able to do no studies on multiple mating with the Emperors.. After I seperated the Male from the Female.. She start acting real funny.. Like She went crazy or something.. I thought it was just because I put her in a new habitat.. So I turned off all the lights and left her alone.. I just went in to check on her mayb 8 hours later.. And she died.. Unfortunate.. But I guess it will be ok.. I dont think it was anything I did wrong.. I had the same substrate same amout or hides water and the temp. and humidity were all the same.. Maybe it might have stressed her out to much.. I prolly should have moved him and not her… But it is a lesson learned.. Im also thinking it might have been her age she looked old.. She moved really really REALLY slow.. I know you cant judge their age by looking at them.. But she just seem that way to me compaired to my Male.. He is alot quicker than she was.. I guess I am going to have to try this again with another female when I can get another one.. Might try to order one off the internet froma breeder.. See if I can get one around my age or size.. Anyways thats the update for now on the Emperor Scorpions..

    Now as far as my Striped Bark Scorpions.. I have found out that they cant sence who is male and female… I keep all or my scorpions seperated.. I introduced the males and one female that just had her babies together.. Trying to breed.. And the males tried to advance her and she would not have it soo they tried for each other.. I let them sit together for a few hours and they finally calmed down. So I put them back in they own tanks.. Im guessing that the female only wants to mate a certain time I dont know for sure.. But I see if she dont want to mate she wont mate..

    And for my Striped Bark Scorplings.. I have them all seperated as well.. I found with their tiny little size they can fit in really small containers.. So I went to walmart looking aound for small deli cups.. With no luck My sister suggested that i try looking in the arts and craft sections.. I did and found a box with multiple sections in it. just big enough for them. It seems to be working ggreat they cant get out and they are seperated.. I cant seem to find food small enough for them around here.. Soo I figured to kill the smaller crickets that I have or can get from the pet store.. They eat that up.. Anyways thats all I have for now..

    Thanks again for you help..

  74. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    You’re paying attention to the right things, racking up some good observations; I hope you keep notes…I’ve used notes from childhood in books and papers I write today (in fact, I was a more skilled observer as a child!)…you never know what will turn out to be new or useful.

    Stress could have been involved…as you’ve gathered always best to move the more vigorous animal if possible; but I’d say your thoughts about age are more likely to be behind the death; observing how she moves and all is really the only way to make an educated guess. Small dealers are more likely to talk with you and pay attention to your specific needs…Hatari Invertebrates in Arizona is one of the oldest and best, doesn’t advertise on Kingsnake but is on net. Specialty is native inverts but may stock emperors as well.

    The female bark probably needs to build up her reserves before mating again…a few dozen little ones are probably quite a drain! Amazing how responsive they are, despite being 1 of the most ancient, unchanged creatures still around. Some male frogs (and mammals, but I’ll leave that alone) act as do the male scorps you describe, trying to mate with almost anything once they are stimulated. Male American toads have been seen in amplexus with fish, each other and tennis balls during the short breeding season.

    Interesting that they are taking dead crickets right away; good to know for future reference, thanks. Aphids, if available (need to collect), are also convenient to use and just the right size.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  75. avatar

    well i just looked up about them aphids i might be able to find them being that we have 2 pecan trees in our yard.. i might have to go and look around and see if i can find some and try feeding them to the scorplings also i looked at that site that you suggested.. for the moment im going to try this other guy out called ken the bug guy he is located in california.. i have heard alot of good stuff about him.. soo if it dont work out with him i might have to give this other guy that you mentioned a try and hope for the best.. i have never bought anything offline before soo kinda iffy about it but again we will see what happens…

  76. avatar

    wow what luck i found a large group of them thanks i would have never knew about them..

  77. avatar

    soo should i just drop a bunch in with each scorpling

  78. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Glad you found them…yes, easiest way, if space permits, is to just put a piece of the plant stem in with the scorpions, leaving the aphids attached; otherwise, tap the stem over each container. Be careful, the aphids crush with the slightest touch,

    Good luck; please let me know how they fare,

    Best regards, Frank Indivi

  79. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Good luck, let me know if you need further info on either,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  80. avatar

    Hello Tommy, Frank Indiviglio here.

    That is good luck, glad to hear it…aphids are great for tiny inverts, newly transformed frogs and salamanders, baby mantids, etc. They were a real mainstay before pinhead crickets were available; here in the east they are getting hard to find, but when you do find them there are usually thousands.

    They helped me to raise 2 species of tiny frogs for release in Kenya…metamorphs could barely choke down pinheads, and springtails seemed not to provide enough nutrients. Try garden plants and native thistle and other meadow plants also.

    Interesting in their own right…they regularly change sexes/breeding strategies throughout the summer, have winged and flightless forms…would be great to figure out how to breed them on a large scale – might be the “next supermealworm”!!

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  81. avatar

    Well I think I am going to ship most of the Striped Bark Scorpions to a breeder.. Im going to keep a couple of them for observation.. From your experiance.. how long does it normally take to moult into the 3rd instar.. or is that something based on food intake..

  82. avatar

    hi i have had my scorpion for a while maybe 3 months…i had one before but for some odd reason he/she died… so i am very interested in breeding my scorpion… but i have a couple of questons… how can you tell when they are ready to breed… and when do i remove the male…

  83. avatar

    Hello Carmen, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Emperor scorpions vary in their sociability and acceptance of mates. You need to introduce the pair slowly, and gauge their reactions. Putting a screen divider between them at first, and watching them at night with the assistance of a night viewing bulb, is the safest way.

    Provide as large a tank as is possible, with a deep (5-6 inches) substrate and artificial caves, so that they can dig burrows and avoid one another if need be. Once they are getting along, you can leave them together until the female gives birth. In many cases, the male can stay even after that, but it is safest to remove him.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  84. avatar


    I have two emperor scorpions, one of which i think is female. She’s very aggressive, and is also a lot bigger than the other. Lately (the past three days), the other scorpion has been laying on top of the substrate in the middle of the terrarium, directly under the heat lamp. It barely looks alive until I touch it, then it moves a little. It’s starting to concern me a little bit. Humidity is kept at 70-85% and heat is in the 80-90 range. Is it normal for a scorpion to be acting like this?

    Also, is there any way to tell if my other scorpion is preparing to give birth, or if it’s just obese? It has definitely outgrown the other scorpion, almost doubling in size. You can see the white under its exoskeleton, so that has led me to believe it’s either pregnant or overweight. I don’t feel like i overfeed them, but maybe i do? I usually add 4 crickets to the cage every week or so…

  85. avatar

    One more thing:

    The bigger scorpion has excreted a white, creamy substance…It doesn’t look like the normal feces. Any thoughts on what it could be?

    Thanks so much! Your blog has already been a lot of help.

  86. avatar

    Hello Josh, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Unfortunately, the animal that is staying under the light is likely ill, and we know net to noting about scorpion disease and treatment. Pregnant scorpions may seek out heat at times, but this does not seem to be the case with your smaller animal. Sick invertebrates may instinctively seek higher temperatures also. Another possibility would be a difficult molt, but in that case the animal usually seeks a moist shelter. You might try adding a shelter over the animal, and misting it each day, just in case.

    Could the aggressive animal be driving the smaller scorpion from a favored shelter? This is often the case when an animal that normally hides begins to stay out in the open. Observing them at night with a night viewing bulb might provide some insight. Other than this, however, there is unfortunately not much that can be done for the ailing scorpion.

    It’s virtually impossible to distinguish an overweight from a pregnant scorpion. However, the amount of food you are offering is sound, and the fact that the scorpion is aggressive might indicate that it will give birth soon. Some cease feeding shortly before delivery as well. Be sure to provide ample shelters and give the female plenty of privacy.

    Good luck and please keep me posted… I hope to hear about your new baby scorpions soon!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  87. avatar

    Hello Josh, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

    I’ve never run across any sort of secretion other than the uric acid that scorpions normally produce as a waste product. However, the consistency and appearance of this can vary greatly with diet and moisture levels, and perhaps with hormonal and other internal factors of which we are still unaware at this point.;

    It sounds as though you are a careful observer. Please keep notes and pass along your thoughts – we have a great deal to learn about scorpions of all kinds, even those commonly kept in captivity.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  88. avatar

    I added half of a coconut husk as a shelter for the ill scorp, and also misted the tank. Hopefully that helps. The two scorpions have always gotten along well…They normally hide in the same burrow together, that’s why the smaller one has concerned me lately by laying outside under the lamp. I’ve only had these scorpions for 6 months or so, and the one that is bigger now has definitely been dominant over the other the whole time.

    As for the bigger scorpion, the white secretion is really odd, and i’ve never seen anything like it with the scorpions! Weird, I’ll keep an eye out and come back to you for advice! Thanks again for your helpful advice.

  89. avatar

    Hello Josh, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. Please let me know what happens. I’ll get back to you if I find any further information on the secretion.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  90. avatar

    hi thanks so much …

    i have to try this .. everywere i have been only have female … so im looking for a male..ill keep you posted

  91. avatar

    Hello Carmen, Frank Indiviglio here.

    My pleasure…please let me know when you have a male and are ready to give it a try.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  92. avatar

    Just updating you–

    I got home from work today and found the sick scorpion had died :(

    At least he’s out of his misery. I kind of looked over its body and found no sores or any signs of mites. Old age or illness must have been the clincher.

  93. avatar

    Hello Josh, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update.

    Unfortunately we can do little more than guess at this point; even in professional collections/zoos, there is not much known. But watch your animals closely, every little clue helps; I believe small husbandry details will give us some clues. This has held true for other inverts – you notice that some small change improves vigor or breeding, and build on that. Eventually the reason for the benefit may reveal itself. Invert keeping is an area where anyone with an interest has a real chance to contribute to our knowledge base, so keep your eyes open.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  94. avatar

    Have you seen a scorp lay eggs or deposit small round yellow objects? I have 8 Arizona Bark scorpions and have had them for a little over a year. I isolated the one doing this (largest one which is just over 3 inches!) just to prove this is the one. I have seen it twice do something I’ve never seen a scorp do…I’ve seen it “scratching it’s belly”. I’ve seen this one rub its belly from side to side on sand and stones…any ideas?

  95. avatar

    Hello John, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    That’s a very interesting observation, and one not many get to see. Most likely the animal is a male, and is depositing a spermatophore. Despite being among the oldest surviving creatures (as in unchanged for 200 million years), scorpions utilize internal fertilization. Usually a pair will lock claws and move about on a cleared patch of ground for a bit; the male deposits the sperm-filled capsule known as the spermatophore on the ground. Guided (pushed!) by the male, the female takes this into her vent, and the eggs are fertilized internally. She retains the eggs and gives birth to live young.

    Occasionally all does not go as nature planned, which may be why yours has deposited the spermatophore as described. If you have not done so, you might try providing day/night length and temperature changes that coincide with those in their habitat (bark scorpions have a wide range, so knowing where they originated would be useful). Please be aware that the young can escape through tiny spaces, and that the sting of this species can be dangerous to sensitive individuals.

    The rubbing might be associated with releasing the spermatophore, or perhaps in depositing pheromones designed to lure females. Also, scorpions are usually parasitized by tiny mites that move about the exoskeleton…these are harmless under normal circumstances, but perhaps he is trying to dislodge them.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  96. avatar

    Thanks for the response. I’m pretty sure the scorp in question is female (looking at the tail). I would like to sex them a little better with tooth counts, but have found none published for mine (Centruroides exilicauda). What I’m finding doesn’t look like a spermatophore, though I admit I’ve never seen one from this species. They are yellow(as in Crayola holy crap thats yellow)and almost perfectly round. They are 3 to 4 times the size of the grains of sand I keep them in. I can send photos if needed.

    I cycle their light with a timer based off sunrise and sunset times from the city where I got them from (SE Arizona). I look up sunrise and sunset times on the internet twice a month and adjust their timer.

    I do understand the responsibility of owning these beauties. I do accountability counts every time I look in on them. They are very communal, and I have had them long enough to be fairly socialized, though I NEVER handle any of them.

    Being as they do not burrow, I feel these are some of the coolest, and easiest to keep scorps out there…as long as you are responsible for them.

    Dangerous scorps are like owning guns, don’t mishandle them, and don’t allow anyone else to either. When not in use, keep them secured!

    Thanks again,

  97. avatar

    hi Frank
    everything you have written i experienced on the fly years ago in ’98 when i bought my first from an exotic shop in nc. i acquired three, two females and a male i found out later. i didn’t see the dance, but both females got pregnant & then killed the male. sometime later one gave birth on Easter sunday the other just a few days later. i came home one day to find some had been cannibalized, i contacted the shop and they took on the rest of the kids to give them all a chance. to shorten this long story… i had to go out of the country for longer than a year so i surrendered my little family back to the shop, we had been together for almost three years. i now own my own home, don’t have any overseas plans and would once again like to give shelter to my beloved arachnid but went searching for that shop and found it is no longer. so i went online searching for a dealer when, by curiosity, i came here & was thrilled to read about the obvious care you give your brood. i contact you to see if you would be interested in putting up any, adult or juvenile, for adoption? the idea of this is much more pleasing than buying from someone who has more likely gotten them from a roundup then by domestic breeding. i have a 55gallon tank, the one i originally had, so i could accommodate three adults easily. the tank has an under tank heater, heated rocks, timed lamp and air-plants. i am also able to divide the tank with panels if they need to be separated for any reason. please contact me if this interests you :)
    thank you,

  98. avatar

    do you what kind of scorpion was used as a model for the original Clash of the Titans movie?
    just curious

  99. avatar

    Hello Roya, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and the kind words.

    It sounds like you’ve done quite well with them, glad you have the chance to start again. Unfortunately, I was writing based on experiences with scorpions years back, in both my own and the Bronx Zoo’s collection. I’m not keeping any at the moment.

    Hatari Invertebrates is a good source; they take great care and, if you inquire, may let you know the source of their animals. I sometimes get calls from folks looking to place youngsters – I’ll be sure to let you know should that occur.

    Good luck and welcome back to scorpion keeping; please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  100. avatar

    Hello Roya, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry to say I didn’t see the movie…I’ll keep it in mind and will get back to you if I can make an ID.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  101. avatar

    hi frank..i have two asian forest scorpion..a male and a female..although the female is much bigger that the male..will they still mate or do i need to get a male wid the samn size..i have no idea on how to breed them..tips would help me..does my terrarium need to be filled with peat moss..because i have about a 2-3 inces..i also have a piece of cork bark..in the terrarim..i have not seen them mating..im plannig to get another asian forest scorpion..should i get a male or female??how long do they usualy take to have scorplings..

  102. avatar

    hi frank..i have two asian forest scorpion..a male and a female..i have had them for bout 4 months..i was juz wonderring if u could give me a little tips on how to breed them the proper way..how is my terrarium suppose to be..the female is a little bigger than the male..and im planning to get another sholuld i get a male or a female…and i have no education of asian forest scorpion hope u understand and hope u will reply soon..im frm asia..malaysia

  103. avatar

    Hello Kavin, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Females are usually a bit heavier and larger than males, so their sizes will not be a problem. Its preferable to give them 6 inches or more of substrate in which to burrow – keep it semi-moist; you can mix in some soil if need be, so that the burrows will keep their shape. Also provide several cork bark hiding spots – always good to give them opportunities to avoid each other, should one become aggressive.

    Males sometimes fight, so add another female, but watch them carefully as the 2 already there may be territorial – groups sometimes get along, but they need to be monitored. They usually do a circular “dance”, locking claws, before mating, but this most often occurs at night; a night viewing bulb may help in observing them after dark.

    Gestation varies, so it is hard to predict births – stress, temperature and other factors affect the timing of the birth. Best to remove the others if a female does have young, to avoid predation.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  104. avatar

    Hello Kavin, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Please see my earlier post. As for how to breed them – often they will reproduce without an external stimulus once they settle in. You can encourage them by providing extra food and, especially, variety. Wild caught insects are especially useful. Some folks have experimented with drying them out a bit for 2-3 weeks, and then spraying heavily
    every day, in imitation of a rainy period. It’s not clear if this is effective, but it may be worth a try. If you can find out where they came from, research weather patterns there and try to imitate these (on a scaled down version!) in the terrarium.

    I hope you are soon caring for some scorplings….

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  105. avatar

    Hi Frank – just an update on my pair of black emperors, Voodoo and Vortex. They are doing well and seem happy. Voodoo, the female, is noticably larger in girth, so she may be in the early stages of pregnancy (she’s by no means huge yet), or maybe she just eats better than Vortex. :) In any case, both are content….

  106. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Glad to hear you have a pair that is getting along; females are generally heavier than males. Its often hard to tell when they are carrying young, although large clutches will make the female swell much more than might be expected from eating. I hope it works out and you wake to find youngsters soon,

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  107. avatar

    hello my femail scorpion apears to have loss the movment in her tail at the base it seams limp but the rest of her tail up to the stinger appears to be locked it is very strait and stiff what dose this mean should i be consernd and should i do anything about it the other question im thinking of breading should i only use one male and one female or should i use multiple females with one male or vise versa???

  108. avatar

    Hello Richard, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    I have seen limpness in the tail and limbs in a number of emperor scorpions, even had vets try to work on such at the Bronx Zoo. Unfortunately, we know very little about the illnesses that affect invertebrates, and I have never been able to come up with any explanations. Age seems often to be involved – they likely survive longer under ideal captive conditions…as many in the trade are wild caught, you may have an elderly animal on your hands.

    As for breeding, you can use 1 male and multiple females as long as they have plenty of room and a deep substrate; while they usually get along, there is always the chance of aggression; best to buy a group that has been living together. Also, if a female gives birth, it would be best to remove the non-breeding animals and leave her in the tank, so another large enclosure may be needed. Multiple males sometimes work out, but I wouldn’t recommend it – fighting can break out even after a time of peaceful co-existence.

    Sorry I could not be of more help with your ailing animal.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  109. avatar

    I have had my male emperor scorpion for about a year now. I’m estimating he is around 2/3 years old.
    I decided to get him a mate. A similar sized female.
    When they were introduced he was very keen on her- even did his little dance for her but she locked pincers with him & tried to sting him.
    I ideally wanted to house them together but am nervous about her aggressive behaviour towards my male.
    I am currently getting an enclosure made up with a glass divider so they can observe each other.
    So my questions are:
    Will she ever get to the point of accepting my male?
    Or could there be another reason for her behaviour??
    How do I introduce them to each other??
    and is her sting lethal to my male??

  110. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. I’m glad to see you are trying to breed scorpions and are going about it cautiously.

    The “mating dance” looks a lot like fighting, and so distinguishing the two is very difficult. Some species (not often recorded in emperors) even employ a “sexual sting”, in which the male’s stinger may remain in the female for 20 minutes, without harm.. However, we do not know if venom is released at this time. Scorpions do sometimes kill one another (same species) and they sting in the process, so it is likely that their venom does have an effect.

    Introducing them slowly, via a partition as you’ve suggested, is a great idea. However, I suggest you use screening or a perforated tank divider as opposed to glass, as scorpions are nearly blind and detect one another via scent or chemical messages. Once introduced, keep a long handled tongs handy to break them up if need be. A night viewing light will help you watch them after dark.

    Unfortunately, there is a bit of luck involved – I’ve not had any casualties with emperors…one or another usually breaks contact and escapes. They seem better suited to surviving such encounters than do other species.
    We have a great deal to learn about scorpions – any observations you might pass along would be most appreciated; I’ll be sure to include them in future articles.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  111. avatar

    i have a female emperor scorp i got her nov 2 a month later on dec 2 she gave birth well she killed most of them so i took the survivers out of 15 babies only one made it……before she gave birth she was docile very easy to handle i used to carry her in my pocket and even took her to my daughters school for her show and tell……well i took her babies when they were 3 and a half weeks old but she is still very agressive i cant near her….what i want to know is will she ever be docile again or do i just need to spend more time with her to get her to trust me again?

  112. avatar

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Having even 1 survive is an accomplishment – even in large zoo exhibits, I’ve had females kill their broods. It’s a stress response, and individuals vary in that regard.

    Although scorpions and other invertebrates are capable of learning behaviors that help them survive, it is very important to understand that they are not capable of concepts such as “trust” etc. Certainly some are more docile than others, but when dealing with animals that can bite or sting, it is dangerous to regard them as in any way “tame”. We know very little about scorpion venom, and while emperors are not considered to be dangerous, a serious or even fatal allergic reaction to a sting is always a possibility.

    I strongly urge you never to free-handle any scorpion – based on a lifetime of experience with many thousands of scorpions, I can tell you that animals that have been in captivity for 20+ years can sting as readily as a newly-caught specimen. The real problem is that we do not know how they perceive the world – an odor on one’s skin, a far off vibration that you do not feel but which they sense with their sensitive hairs (they are nearly blind), can cause a sting which appears to us to be “for no reason”.

    Some females remain aggressive permanently after having bred, others change in time. Handling the scorpion will only increase her aggressiveness at this point. I suggest providing her with as much room as possible and a deep substrate into which she can burrow, along with lots of caves and other places to hide. Please write back if you need some ideas for the terrarium’s design.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  113. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Is it possible to mate a female Asian Black Forest with a male Jumbo Emperor Scorpion? If possible what would be the percentage that the brood will get the size of the Emperor Scorpion?

    Best regards,


  114. avatar

    Hello D’ar, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting question.

    It’s unlikely that the species you mention would be able to mate as they are not closely related. Scorpions are nearly blind, and rely upon a synchronized mating display (“dance”) in order to recognize suitable partners; pheromones may also be involved. Even a slight difference in the performance of the display usually results in a fight (or meal!) rather than mating….I’ve seen this among closely related jumping spiders, tarantulas as well. Even if mating were to occur, fertilization of the eggs would be unlikely.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  115. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for your prompt and very informative reply. I thought that the mating of scorpions are the same with dogs. In which you can crossbreed them.

    Best regards,


  116. avatar

    My pleasure, Thanks for writing back.

    Interesting re dogs – most taxonomists now consider them to be the just a subspecies of the wolf, and not a distinct species. Animals are usually considered to be in the same species if they can mate and if the offspring are fertile – wolf/dog offspring are fertile. Some closely related animals can mate, but their offspring will not be fertile, so these animals are related but of different species. Infertile hybrids have been produced by crossing horses with donkeys and zebras, lions with tigers, grizzly and polar bears and so on.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  117. avatar

    hi frank i would just like to say thank you very much for this intresting forum its nice to see someone who has as much intrest in emperor scorpions and scorpions in general as you i. your advice has been fantastic , ive had many scorpions over the years all they eventually met there fate with the dragging of the tail and then died . i have managed to breed them only to the extent where they get to the second instar then unfortunatly die. dont know where i went wrong but i have just purchased 3 pregnant females and 2 large males , hopfully i can do it right this time! i might need your advice as they start having theire babies. any advice would be briliant. thanks again


  118. avatar

    Hello Lee, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to write in with your kind words, much appreciated.

    The safest way to manage the animals you have is to keep each female in a separate terrarium if possible. They sometimes reproduce ok in group situations, but usually only if in a colony that has been together for a long time. Otherwise, the stress of other adults causes the female to consume her young, fight with others.

    If that’s not possible, try providing at least a 55 gallon tank with 6-8 inches of substrate and plenty of caves, cork bark and ground cover (plastic plants spread about on surface, etc.) The idea is to split them up as much as possible if living together.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted as time goes on,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  119. avatar

    wow that was a quick reply , its good knowing your here to help me along the way of sucessfully breeding these great creatures. ill certainly keeep you posted my friend. one thing you could help me with if you dont mind… the heatmats… do i place them underneath the tank or underneath the substrate and soil inside the tank? the tank is quite large and all glass (cube) apart from the top which is fine mesh. thanks in advance.

  120. avatar

    Hello Lee, Frank Indiviglio here.

    My pleasure. Heat pads go below the glass (outside the tank) but they are not the best option form scorpions – they have no effect on air temperature, and usually only heat soil in the immediate area. Best to use incandescent night-viewing bulbs (which will help with watching the scorpions at night and provide heat) or a ceramic heater. Size needed will vary depending upon the room’s temperature – you can experiment with regular light bulbs before purchasing if need be. With both options, you’ll need to keep an eye on humidity, as they tend to dry out the substrate.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  121. avatar

    hello i have just introduced a male emperor to a female and they are deffanently not doing the matting dance how do i interduce them to one another should i split them up or let nature take its course

  122. avatar

    Hello Richard, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Both methods can work – sometimes they just need time to settle in and accept one another, but removing and re-introducing after a few weeks can also “spark interest” (when doing this just need to watch for territoriality, aggression; sometimes best to do at nite, when they are active – night viewing bulbs useful here.

    Since they are getting along, I’d say leave them together for 4-6 weeks and then try splitting them if no interest. Again, mating usually occurs at nite so try to observe them at that time. Breeding seems not seasonally controlled in captivity, so timing is not all that important.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted. Keep at it – well worth the time and trouble!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  123. avatar

    I just got my first scorpion yesterday. my sister in law had it for a while and could nolonger take care of it. Im not sure if its a boy or girl but am going to check tonight. its about 7 months old now and i was wondering if it would be better to introduce another one of the opposite sex now or wait till its bigger. and it seems to like to stay ontop of its sponge during the day. is this a normal behavior or should i be worried as i keep reading that they like to hide. thanks for any and all info u can give me as i am new to this species and am eager to learn all i can. thanks…shawnna.

  124. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Introductions can be made at any time – you’ll need to watch them closely, as not all get along. I suggest a 15-20 gallon aquarium if you plan on keeping 2. But first it’s important to make sure that your current scorpion has settles in and is feeding. It should not be on the sponge all day – most likely the air is to dry; please check out my article on Emperor Scorpion Care for detailed information on raising the humidity (providing a cave packed with damp sphagnum moss is a quick-fix).

    Good luck, Enjoy and please write back if you need further info,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  125. avatar

    Hello :),
    I purchased an emperor scorpion for my boyfriend this past christmas, a couple of months later he purchased another scorpion (which we believed was another female we looked underneath her & she was quite large) & we put one of those plastic dividers with the holes in it in their 10 gallon tank. They were highly interested in eachother. & even climbed the divider trying to get together. They would stand and stare at eachother claw to claw quite often. However, afraid they would harm eachother we never removed the divider. They stopped doing this a couple of months ago. Sting (our first scorpion) began giving birth yesterday! We were shocked as we believed we had two female scorpions! We have no idea what to do she is staying on her sponge while giving birth she had 5 yesterday & started having more this afternoon! We have read it is important to not stress out your scorpions by handling them & since we get plenty of enjoyment just watching them we just watch them. The babies appear quite large compared to the pictures we have seen! We have no idea what we are doing we have them on a substrate called Jungle bedding that they can burrow in and some hidey holes set up so they think they are hidden when they are right next to the glass where we can see them haha! We have a heating pad on the side of the aquarium we had a heat lamp but worried this would make them to hot so we just use the heating pad now. Brett would like to take Slash (what we now believe was a male not a female) scorpion out & put her in a separate aquarium even though their is a divider between them we think it might be less stressful for them both now that Sting has babies. Brett would like to put Slash on sand but I’m thinking that is not a good substrate? Please let us know if you have read anything that we are doing or planning on doing that may not be a good idea why and what improvements we could make to improve their environments. We really want all our baby scorpions to survive! So all that you can tell us would be greatly appreciated!
    Sarah & Brett (new scorpion parents)

  126. avatar

    Also the heating pad we have goes across the entire side of the 10 gallon aquarium & it is on the side not the bottom…is this where it should go? Brett says that it is supposed to heat all the glass from there thus their entIre environment should be hot enough… I notice they hang out on the side where the pad is though… He said if we put the lamp back we will cook them.. Is this true? HELP we are so new to this….

  127. avatar

    hi i’v had my scorpion for about three weeks and im using pet bark is that a good idea or shold i switch to something else and my scorpion is aproxumetly 7 months old can i start breeding soon and shold i get a female now or wate

  128. avatar

    Hello Sarah and Bret, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and congrats! Scorpions are tricky when it comes to reproduction – it seems they can retain sperm for quite some time – perhaps over 1 year after mating, so a birth does not necessarily mean that the 2 mated.

    It would be best to separate them and give the female with young more room, but wait until the young are feeding on their own – a disturbance now could cause the female to consume the young.

    Sand is not a good substrate for emperors – difficult for them to form burrows and does not retain moisture well. A mix of Eco earth and Jungle Earth, or similar products, is preferable.

    Best to take temperatures and then decide on appropriate heating method; please see my article on Emperor Scorpion Care for details.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted…you have much of interest in store!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  129. avatar

    Hello Sarah, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. Heating pads usually do little to warm the air in the terrarium; take some day/night temperatures before deciding on a heating method; 78-86 F is ideal. Please see Part II of my Emperor Scorpion Care article for some ideas on heating, and please write back if you need further info.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  130. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    It’s a good idea to add a soil-based product such as Eco Earth to the bark; this will make it easier for the scorpion to construct a permanent burrow. Please see my article on Scorpion Care for further info.

    Best to have a second terrarium set up if you plan on introducing another…they don’t always get along at first, sometimes several introductions are necessary.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  131. avatar

    and my tank size is 1 foot 4 and a half inches, by 8 and a half inches should i get a bigger tank

  132. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. It’s always best to provide your scorpion with as much room as possible; in the wild they dig deep, winding burrows. However, your tank will do – you can increase its usable space by providing a deep substrate – mix a few pieces of cork bark into the soil so as to create caves and additional surfaces on which to crawl.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  133. avatar

    hi frank me agin sorry for all the posts but im new to this but my scorpion cindy is getting fatter eventhough im feeding her 2 times a week do u know what is happening???

  134. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog; please don’t hesitate to write in – you are asking good questions and I’m sure other readers are benefitting as well.

    Sometimes scorpions do not feed well before being purchased – they have been shipped from breeder or collector to a wholesaler, then to the store, where they are often kept in crowded tanks. Once they settle into a new home and begin feeding, they may gain weight rapidly.

    Another possibility is that you have a female that had mated in the past, ad is now incubating young…best not to disturb her too much just in case.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  135. avatar

    are u going to be at the reptile super show

  136. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the note…where/when is the show you’re referring to?

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  137. avatar

    im in high school animal science and i enjoy invertebrates but scorpions are my favorite i have had a emperor scorpion before and i was going to try breeding them for a project i was hoping you could give me some more pointers to help make this a successful project

  138. avatar

    Hello Erik, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. I think you are lucky to be able to use such an interesting project for your class. The most important thing is obtaining a pair that gets along…sexing is difficult, but using the guidelines described in the article will improve your odds – buying from a experiences private seller, who can accurately sex the animals, is your best bet. Try Hatari Invertebrates (call and see if sexed pairs are available) if you do not have someone nearby. Buying 2 that are already living together is important.

    Check Parts I and II of this article for info on setting up their terrarium – you’ll have the best chance of success by providing the largest space possible with a deep substrate in which they can burrow.

    Good luck and please keep me posted. Please write back if you need more info, and enjoy,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  139. avatar

    thanks i will keep you posted

  140. avatar

    Hello Erik, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback; I hope they do well and look forward to hearing from you again,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  141. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    It’s me again, I got a question feeding? How often should I feed my scorpion? Do you recommend power feeding it? Or just twice a week?


  142. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Feeding frequency depends upon a few factors – please let me know the average temperature in your terrarium, animal’s approximate age and the types of food given, and I’ll be happy to provide some ideas.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  143. avatar

    hi i just got a second scorpion and its a male, so i tried to put it in with the girl the guy dosent seem to mind but the girl tris to sting and kill him wat should i do

  144. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again. Even though emperors are social, it can be difficult to introduce strangers. You may need to try a few times, with a week or so between attempts. A plastic tank divider or screen barrier between the 2, so that they can sense one another but not fight, is also worth trying.

    Sometimes territoriality is the problem – one option you can try is to remove the female, change the substrate and re-arrange the bark, caves, etc. This will take away her “home” advantage. Always use the largest tank possible for a pair, and add extra hiding spots, bark, rocks etc. to beak up the surface area.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  145. avatar

    thanks but the nite i sent u that question she got along with him and now they won’t go any were with out each other

  146. avatar

    Hello Vic, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Great news…thanks for writing. Seems they are more complicated than most folks would believe…just needed some time to adjust to each other. I hope all goes well and that they breed successfully. Please let me know if you need anything further, and keep me posted,

    Enjoy, Frank Indiviglio.

  147. avatar

    Hi there Frank,

    I have a large female Heterometrus Swamerdami which has been in my collection for 8 months without the introduction of a male.

    Surprisingly, today while cleaning her tub i noticed she is carrying a large brood of young. She must have given birth within the last few days. Heat and humidity is good and she is in her hide rather than burrowing.

    My questions are…how often do i feed her now she has young…and when would i seperate her from the babies. Also, would it be advisable to add any cork bark pieces for the young to hide under if/when they leave the mother.

    Many thanks and well done for an excellent website


  148. avatar

    Hello Mark, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and the kind words, much appreciated.

    I’m happy to hear the good news; we don’t know all that much about the breeding biology of Asian Forest Scorpions, so any of your observations will be valuable. Their gestation is believed to be 5-7 months, but they can delay birth and likely can store sperm as well.

    Females seem to be good mothers in general, but feeding is tricky – young dislodged when she grabs food might be eaten as well; some females will not feed for a time after birth, others feed right away ( this from scattered reports, and from observations of a close relative). The young do not feed until after the first molt. Try tong feeding if that doesn’t stress her, or introduce a crippled cricket that will be easy to catch – avoiding stress, disturbance is key, lest she eat the young.

    Yes, provide numerous hides spots, ground cover, maybe some dried grass or moss in addition to cork bark once they come off her back. Some have raised brood with female, as can be done with emperors, but feeding accidents can occur. I think you’ll have to watch closely and decide – but once they are feeding on their own they can be removed.

    Good luck and please keep me posted – keep notes if possible; I look forward to hearing how things progress.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  149. avatar

    My son picked up an asian forest scorpion in Oct. 2009 at an exotic expo. Within the last 48 hours she has produced a brood of young. So they must be able to store sperm. Will make notes and any help/advice much appreciated!

  150. avatar

    Thanks for your interest in our blog.

    Great observation….I believe 12 months is at or near the maximum recorded time for sperm storage in that species. You can treat the female as described here for Emperor Scorpions. Asian Forest Scorpions tend to be high-strung, however, so avoid stressing yours; excited females are likely to consume several or all of their young.

    Please write back once you have a handle on how she is reacting, and we can make some changes in the care plan if need be.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  151. avatar

    Hiya Frank,

    I mentioned in previous post that my female Heterometrus Swammerdammi had given birth. Here is an update…

    Nearly two weeks since birth and some of the young have left mothers back and moulted. Some are still on mothers back and appear to be preparing to go through the first moult. Mother has been very calm and has hardly moved.

    I have removed the ones that are independent of mum and are feeding on micro crickets. Some are sheltering under her, so to minimise stress i am leaving them alone until they wander away from her protection and can be safely removed.

    I am keeping the removed young individually to reduce the chance of cannabilsation. At a rough estimate i would say she has around 20 young which is quite impressive.

    The young have shown similiar threat behaviour to the adults and certainly are prepared to stand their ground against anything perceived as a predator (in this case its me!).

    I’ll continue to update as the babies develop.


  152. avatar

    hey my scorpions arnt digging burrows do u know y

  153. avatar

    Hi Mark,

    Great info, thanks for the update. Sounds like you are doing better than most…please keep notes, would be great to spotlight your success with a blog article in the future.

    Best regards, Frank

  154. avatar

    Hi Vic,

    It may have to do ith the type of substrate or it’s moisture content; temperature and the presence of other shelters may also play a role…please write back with some details and I’ll be happy to offer some ideas for you totry.

    Best, Frank

  155. avatar

    Hey, I have an emperor scorpion and it hasn’t been eating for a few weeks and yesterday he was barely moving and looked like he was dying. Later last night I found him not moving and after checking him out a bit I think he’s dead, but I’m not sure if I’m right or if he’s hibernating. I feel stupid for asking but I don’t suppose you could help me out?

  156. avatar

    Hello Dave, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Actually it’s a good question – hibernating animals often do appear to be quite dead (gray treefrogs, for instance, appear to be solidly frozen). However, if chilled the scorpion would have its usual body tone; if the legs are “loose” (not held in a normal position) and the body flaccid, then it is, unfortunately dead.

    Emperor scorpions may slow down if too cold, but do not hibernate as far as we know; therefore, they should always be kept warm. Please write back with some details as to temperature, humidity, diet and set-up and I’ll send along some thoughts.

    Be carful when handling the animal – dead scorpions may have active nerve cells and may still deliver a sting.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  157. avatar

    Hey, cheers for the reply, the tank is currently at 25C and is pretty humid. I fed him mostly on crickets and the occasional meal worm in a 10gallon tank with 2 inches of substrate and hiding places. His body doesn’t appear to be TOO flaccid, and neither do his legs, yet his tail is loose, as well as his claws. I’ve checked around and similar cases have been posted and have concluded that the scorpion has been over-heated, yet I am skeptical of this conclusion as I have kept the temperature at the rate I was told when I purchased him and the humidity high, as I was also told. Cheers.

  158. avatar

    Hello Dave, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback; 25C is fine, no chance of overheating at that temperature. Below-tank heaters can cause problems, as they superheat 1 area, but unless the animals was already debilitated it would have moved off were that the case.

    We know next to nothing about the diseases and parasites that afflict scorpions, and emperors still often enter the trade as wild caught adults, so no way to judge age in most cases. A larger tank with a deeper substrate is a good idea, especially if the animal is wild caught, but no real way to pin down the cause of the problem, unfortunately. Please check out this 2 part article on Emperor Scorpion Care and be in ouch if I can help in planning for your next one.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  159. avatar

    Thanks a lot for the advice, I’ll make sure to follow it when I get my next. And thanks a lot for the article too.

  160. avatar

    Hello Dave, Frank Indiviglio here.

    My pleasure; I look forward to hearing from you again,

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  161. avatar


  162. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. I hope they do well and that you enjoy keeping them… please write in if you have any questions about their care.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  163. avatar

    Hi Frank

    I’ve recently become very interested in delving into the hobby that is the scorpion world. Had been interested in the past but it’s only now I’m really in a situation to do so. Obviously, I’ve been keen to get maybe a trio of communal scorpions and after much deliberation I’ve chosen Emperor Scorpions over the similar, but more aggressive, Malaysian Forest Scorpions.

    Everyone knows how endangered these wonderful specimens are, so I would like to end up breeding them. So my question/s are as such –

    If I am to get a trio with the option of breeding in future, what would be the best sex ratio to obtain? I assume a 2:1 F:M but being a novice I can’t make the assumption.

    Also, as you say it’s best to remove the other scorpions from the tank, is it safe to reintroduce them later once the young have matured a little, and on a similar vein of questioning is there a time when it’s possible to perhaps remove some of the young to either sell on to other keepers or just avoid the tank from becoming crowded?

    Hope the above makes sense and look forward to your usual informative and helpful answers.


    P.S. Fantastic article on the breeding.

  164. avatar

    Hello Craig, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and the kind words, much appreciated.

    One male with 2 females usually works fine, but best to buy a trio that has been housed together ….introducing strange animals can be tricky.

    Young can sometimes be raised in a colony situation, but I don’t recommend it unless the tank is huge. Re-introducing adults after the young have put on some size is difficult – it can work, but different scorpions are very individualistic in this regard. You would have your best chance by using a 55 gallon terrarium with a deep substrate and plenty of wood, caves and rocks to break up the surface.

    You can remove some of the young once they begin feeding regularly on their own

    Good luck, enjoy and please let me know how it goes.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  165. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the swift reply and advice. Very helpful. I’ll let you know what happens with the little critters in time.

    Regards – Craig

  166. avatar

    Hello Craig, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the note; my pleasure. Yes, please take notes and keep me posted – we have a lot to learn about these guys, and much of it can be applied to rare relatives.

    Good luck and enjoy,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  167. avatar

    I have a 30 gallon terrarium set up for my emperors. I started with ten 2-3″ scorpions that had been cohabitating allready. The decided to build a huge burrow in the center of the tank. I have seen 6 out at one time. My humidity is around 65% (without misting), temp is 75-85 depending on the time of day. There is a heat pad placed on the back of the tank covering approx 1/3 of it. The back area gets warmer than were the thermometer is. I have about 6″ of soil, several live plants, cork and flat rock hiding areas as well as a few clay pots.

    I have been reading on here and am wondering if they breed will she make another burrow or stay in the communal burrow. I did see the recommendation about removing the others, but in my case I have no clue how I would do something like that,lol.

    Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.

  168. avatar

    Hello Michelle, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interesting post; I’m glad to see that you are starting out with a large group in a well-thought-out terrarium. Most folks keep 1-2 animals and miss out on many interesting observations.

    Gravid females usually build their own burrows; others may do so as well as they mature. Keep an eye on them as they get larger; a 30 gallon aquarium may be large enough, especially if it is a “long” style, but if you see signs of aggression or animals that seem to have no shelter and are just wandering about, you may need to go to a 55 gallon.

    Removing others once a female gives birth is the safety measure to insure that the young survive. However, in a large tank with deep substrate this can be difficult and may not be necessary. It sounds like you have an excellent habitat set up for them; since they get along well, I’d suggest trying to breed them as a colony.

    You have a unique opportunity to observe and learn; watching them at night, with the aid of a night-viewing bulb, should prove very interesting. Please let me know how all goes,

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  169. avatar

    Thank you very much for the information Frank. I was very surprised that they all ended up in one burrow. The tank is the 30 long style. At one point they had a burrow cleared from the top of the dirt to the glass bottom about 8 inches away at an angle. I really wish I knew how they were all doing. At one point I accidentally flooded the burrow while watering a plant, they all came running out but that was in November. I just went an installed a black light last week, this renewed my sons interest in them.

    I will be sure to keep you posted.

    Thanks again,

  170. avatar

    Hello Michelle, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback, glad the info was helpful. I’ve noticed that younger scorpions tend to group together; adults may, but often they will build their own burrows. Hard to predict, as in the wild they have more room to spread out yet still remain in a loose colony; you have a nice opportunity to learn there.

    Adding more substrate is another way of providing them with more living space without using a larger tank. As for seeing what’s going on, if you very re-do the set-up you might want to consider an “ant farm” style tank…inverting a smaller tank within a larger forces them to burrow near the glass; as this cuts down on burrowing space, best to use a large terrarium. Please see this article for more info.

    Good luck and enjoy, and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  171. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    How can you tell if your scorpion is dead? We had a gravid female scorpion give birth to about 10-11 scorplings we have been watching her in her burrow and she has been a great mother! All babies have gone through 1 molt that we can tell for sure and are all off her back and kinda staying togehter in a pack killing crickets now down in the burrow with their mother… however today she looks dead in there we don’t know how to tell for sure though! her tail is curled around her side but her legs are crumpled up together underneath her she has never looked like this! She was pregnant when we bought her last year and seemed to have no trouble caring for her young…could they have killed her? They are very aggressive always in attack mode with their little tails up high! They all look very healthy as well. We have a jungle bedding mix, a bottom heating pad, & tropical humidity in a 10 gallon tank. I really hope she isn’t dead she has been a great scorpion. We had another female emporer we got from the same pet store last year who died about a week after her scorplings all died (they never made it to their first molt). We have followed your blog and taken your advice pretty much just watching them not lifting up her rock or distubing her and her babies…her burrow is right next to the glass so we have had no trouble watching what is going on in there.
    Thank you for all your advice,

  172. avatar

    Hello Brett, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the most interesting report. You’ve done a fine job in caring for her and the youngsters; not always successful, as you know. Congrats.

    It’s not likely that they have killed her; I’ve never run across any credible reports of that. It does seem as though she is dead…you would see skin splitting if she were stuck in a molt. However, move her with a forceps when you check. Fortunately, the young should be fine from this point on.

    It’s not unknown for this to happen; the process drains the female greatly, and the immune system is likely quite stressed. This leaves her open to parasitic/fungal/bacterial attack; also, a mild illness that might be present, and which caused no problems otherwise, can become fatal at this time. There’s also no real way to determine the scorpion’s age; elderly females likely have trouble giving birth.

    Please take notes if possible, and update me when you can…you have a good opportunity to learn a great deal about their growth and social behavior.
    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  173. avatar

    Dear Frank in the H Paucidens tank I have a communal pair of mating scorpions who co-habit well but are they known not to eat much at all also what is the substrate ratio of dried peat to sand and gravel? Do I mix these together or sprinkle some is reptibark bad for arachnids?

  174. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback; they do appear to have slow metabolisms and to grow slowly.

    Ratio is not critical, mainly just to provide the right texture for them to move about and good drainage incase of over-spraying. You can use appx. ½ sand, the balance gravel or gravel/peat. Reptibark is fine to mix in as well.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  175. avatar

    how do you know if it is a male or female

  176. avatar

    Hello Emmanuel, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Females are larger and thicker in build than males, but this is not always easy to see. Please check the link provided under “Distinguishing the Sexes” for photos of the underside of a male and female.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  177. avatar

    Dear Frank it has come to my curious attention that my male Hadogenes Paucidens is quite looking like it would be gravid or ready to moult or it has became obese with eating just one large cricket quite interesting because before the altercation with his mating partner he ate two large size crickets his tergites are not able to detertime whether he is ill or about ready to die which i have already ruled out since he is very alert and active but his shell is not cloudy or without lack of luster to it so i am quite puzzled as to what he might be doing or going do you have any suggestions or ideas as what is going on? it would be quite rare if sexing this species is mistaken and the longer presoma is the female and shorter the male.

  178. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting post; tricky question. A few possibilities, perhaps – while as you say the differences between the sexes are apparent, with other species at least there are certain individuals that are difficult to sex visually – i.e. males that appear to be females and vice-versa. Given their slow metabolism, “unexpected” obesity is also a possibility; in common with many animals from harsh environments, these scorpions are very efficient in processing calories and making the most of their food. Then there is always the possibility that something has gone awry – a buildup of fluids/edema type disorder, etc….unfortunately, we know little about this at this point.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted…I’m interested to hear how this progresses.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  179. avatar

    Dear Frank recently about a week ago my hadogenes paucidens male specimn became quite fat but in an unproportionate manner that one side its 5 tergite is swollen up while the other side it is not the same he has 5 plates but one side all 5 are swollen up the other side all 3 are swollen up is my specimen ill or is this a commonality?

  180. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update. This is not normal but unfortunately we know almost nothing about scorpion ailments. Internal parasites or organ failure leading to fluid retention sometimes cause such swellings, but there has been no real progress in treatment. Recovery is possible if certain parasites are involved. I’ve sent a note out to some zoo contacts, but, unfortunately, I’m note hopeful.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  181. avatar

    Dear frank I may have some insight as to why scorpions swell and might make some sense commonality have you ever wondered why in summer when its very humid we feel weighed down what if the same applies to all living species perhaps this fluid retention of my scorpion is caused by high humidity overly ceasing too much moisture what is your opinion

  182. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your note…interesting thought. Many concepts do apply across the board to a wide range of species (i.e. oxygen use and transport). It’s difficult to draw parallels to scorpions as their physiology is very unique (and also effective – very little has changed in millions of years; they are among the oldest creatures surviving today), but you make a good point.

    We know that the scorpion’s hard chitenous exoskeleton is very effective in preventing water loss. They can also control moisture flow into and out of the body via their respiratory organs, known as book lungs (similar to those evolved by horse shoe crabs). It’s very difficult to “over-dry” a desert adapted scorpion or over-saturate a forest dweller. However, those adapted to dry environments certainly are stressed by too much moisture. I’ve not seen anything published concerning whether this can translate into water being retained in the body, but it is certainly worth considering. I’ll keep an eye out for studies/comments related to this, thanks.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  183. avatar

    Dear frank I have a question when the mother is rearing the babies are mites and cricket nymphs any threat to the babies as they grow or begin to molt for I just lost one what appeared to be it lost its tail like it was consumed or or elsewise your thoughts?

  184. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting post. Mites are usually harmless, and in fact act as scavangers (please see this article). Same with nymphs, which are also a good food source for the youngsters. Technically, an overwhelming population of either could harm a very young scorpion during molting, or if it were injured, but this is very rare. If your others molted normally, it is likely that the dead one expired due to some other problem (not unusual when molting) and was then partially consumed; bacterial decay also sets in rapidly and this may account for some tail loss also.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  185. avatar

    I have heard of “roly-polies” (those terrestrial crustaceans) killing newborn emperor scorpions, chewing on their soft exteriors. While these bugs are normally great as a clean-up crew in a terrarium, I’d be wary of adding them if you’re expecting babies.

  186. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve not run across any evidence that sowbugs/pill bugs are predatory, but as with mites it could be possible that they might attack injured or molting hatchlings. They do congregate very quickly when an animal dies, so it’s difficult to determine whether predation or scavenging is involved…any direct observations you may have, now or in future, would be most appreciated. Thanks.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  187. avatar

    Dear frank and raksha I have done research and looked up information on sow bugs aka pill bugs or potato bugs from my research they eat decaying plant matter and dead matter that is why I find them mostly on rotted dead trees or bark peeling off trees but none eating some other insect or arthropod of any natureplease let me know if you hve any other information

  188. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the info. Yes, decaying plant matter is their main diet. I have observed them to feed upon dead earthworms and crickets, but not upon living animals. I recently saw a sowbug relative, the giant marine isopod, at an aquarium…I wouldn’t put anything past these fellows! Check out this photo!

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  189. avatar

    Regarding the roly-polies/pillbugs, it’s secondhand information for me, as it wasn’t my direct experience – but another scorpion keeper described how he was horrified to discover that the bugs were eating his poor baby scorps alive. Maybe they are so soft and defenseless when they’re just born, that they’re an easy food source. That description just made me never want to take the chance, even though I’m otherwise happy to use roly-polies as a clean-up crew in the terrarium.

  190. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback; very interesting. They do have mouths designed for chwing….I’ll keep an eye out for more info and will report back if anything turns up.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  191. avatar

    Dear frank I think in my honest opinion that after the mother is done birthing the babies that she needs to eat this will reduce cannibalism of the young and also will allow the babies to absorb moisture from the mothers membranes second question should all the babies be moving on the mothers back or just sitting there?

  192. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback; good thoughts. You can try to feed the female, but introduce only 1 cricket, as too much activity leads to dislodged/eaten babies. If it does not stress her, try tong feeding. If you’re lucky, you may get to see her feed the youngsters.

    They usually remain fairly still, and do not feed, until after their first molt.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  193. avatar

    Dear Frank I have a question regarding dying scorpions other than being unresponsive and sluggish is the tergites supposed to be asymmetrical when extended out to the point they look like they are not lined up right from my recent update of my male hadogenes species the water retention seemed to has gone down a bit but when he’s resting his shells don’t seem to be lined up in a row other than that any suggestions or ideas?

  194. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update. You’re making great observations, but unfortunately we do not know any of the specifics you ask about; the size/shape of the body segments do change, but as far as I know there is no way to determine what causes this – fluid retention, digestion, disease, pregnancy, pre-molt etc. can all be implicated.

    This is an area where someone like yourself could make a real contribution, as even zoos do not spend much time with scorpions. I’d suggest that you take careful notes, and keep up your interest – in time, your observations may open some doors to new findings. Scorpions are very important medically, and in time will be the focus of more and more research (I’m planning an article on this soon).

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  195. avatar

    Dear frank its been awhile since the last update on my hadogenes paucidens male and guess what the drier and more arid conditions has made the water retention just about completely go away I am quite relieved and he is doing well however while cleaning up around my newly mothered pandinus imperators I found another way how the 1st to 2nd instars can die and that is being trampled to death by mom if doing too much maintenance

  196. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update.

    Very good to know that drying out the terrarium had that effect; I’ll be sure to pass it along to others.

    Yes, any sort of disturbance can lead to accidents where young scorpions are concerned. Best to err on the side of caution and do as little as is possible.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  197. avatar

    Dear frank your not going to believe this but I have a baby emperor scorpion with a total of 9 eyes it seems there was a genetic fluke this could mean that the offsprig were inbred or random dna flaw I will send you a picture shortly after seeing how they all are after seperating from mother they are all currently in a small deli container with a wet paper towel for moisture and humidity covered with a cloth top under the heat lamp so they don’t get cooked but are in dark with heat

  198. avatar

    When having multiple scorpions, should you buy them in multiples?

  199. avatar

    Hello Jay, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Good question…if you plan to keep several in the same terrarium, it is best to buy a group that has been living together. It is possible to introduce strange scorpions to each other, but problems are common. A group that has been together is more likely to continue to get along, and to breed. They are quite social and live in distinct colonies in the wild, and do not always tolerate intruders.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  200. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Let me add some more information regarding communal setup for scorpions. Based on my experience they need lots of hides and ample space so that they will tolerate the existence of intruders. Centruroides sp. are one of known communal species of scorpions. Tityus stigmurus and Rhopalurus junceus as well.

  201. avatar

    Hello Brad, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Yes, very true…even with species that are considered communal, more space is always better; especially true where breeding females are housed with others.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  202. avatar

    I’m told that Scorpio maurus (the Israeli gold scorp) can be kept communally as well, but I have not tried this myself yet. I had good luck years ago with a Heterometrus species – the parents lived together happily, and then several of the offspring stayed with them as well.

  203. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks as always for your observation; nice to hear a success story, as sometimes all does not work out so well in these situations. I think we will find that more species than we expect have complicated social behaviors. Concerning the Israeli Gold, I tend to steer folks away from Middle Eastern and less-well-known scorpions due to the chance that misidentifications (by collectors, importers and keepers) sometimes leads to deadly species finding their way into the trade. This happened to me years ago at the Bronx Zoo – the species involved were impossible to distinguish by eye.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  204. avatar

    Dear frank james here few questions when raising scorplings of emperor species what color do they normally start eating at do they start to eat as soon as they can crawl around and look like their more mature relatives or do they eat while still whitish also how would you house each one individually temp humidity and substrate and enclosure? Is it possible for the mother to have multiple births throughout the year after seperating the babies she looks like she is gravid again are there recorded incidents of genetic defects like 2 telsons or extra parts? Also sorry for many questions how would I prepare food for the babies I heard of pinheads or micro crickets are those the nymph like form or when they some what larger?

  205. avatar

    Well, S. maurus is pretty unmistakable with those big claws, but I do take your meaning – there are a lot of hot buthids from the Middle East and North African who can be hard to tell apart. I personally love them, but I agree they are not ideal for everyone.

  206. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback;yes., just too much opportunity for error, and so much we don’t know. Some scorpions vary amazingly from population to population, at the Am Museum of Nat History and elsewhere DNA testing is often used for Id’s new species descriptions and so on.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  207. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again; please don’t apologize…you are sending questions and comments that raise very good points, and are important for others who keep scorpions.

    The usually begin to feed after the first molt, at which time they are usually dark brown in color. You can usually raise them together, often with mother. Individually, conditions are similar as for adults but just keep slightly more humid, as they may have less resistance to desiccation.

    Females can have multiple births after a single mating; they also tend to gain weight rapidly after giving birth, often eat more to replace lost reserves.

    We really know next to nothing about genetic defects in these guys, but possible with any animal…inbreeding causes this in many species, but details unknown re scorpions.

    Pinheads are newly hatched crickets..may be a bit small for hatchlings. Also sold are 10-day-olds, ¼ inch, ½ inch (sometimes grouped together as “small” by sellers. You’ll need to experiment a bit with what’s available in your area. Tiny mealworms and earthworms are goods, may need to set up breeding colony to get right sizes, however. You can also order via internet wingless houseflies, small silkworms, small butterworms, all useful and of good size.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  208. avatar

    Dear frank I have some concerns about heating and substrate the current 20 gl tank I’m using is a composite of peat moss vermiculite jungle bed mix and possibly some eco earth with some extra leafs from outside as a moisture gradient but I read the article response that heat pads aren’t very efficient then what type of heating would you reccommend I currently use a 100 watt spotlight basking bulb and 50 watt red light night time bulb what would you reccommend for heating I thought about heating tape or heat cables but how would I set that up?

  209. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t usually recommend heat pads for scorpions as they do not heat the air and tend to dry out the soil. However, each terrarium is different, and if you have hit upon a good combination (bulbs, heat tape, misting, substrate mix) and your scorpions are healthy, there is no need to make any changes.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  210. avatar

    Frank an interesting observation I made after nala my first female emperor has been seperated from her babies she is now acting very communal with the expecting mother to be holed up in one spot together is it common of communal species or can other females protect soon to be mothers as when I read an article that when a communal member is molting the others wil defend it. This is quite curious

  211. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your (as usual!) interesting observation. There is some speculation that group members may defend one another, but nothing proven at this point unfortunately. This is an ideal area for someone such as yourself to investigate. Properly-kept scorpions are likely to exhibit natural behavior in captivity, so there is real potential for some ground-breaking findings; follow-up research in the field would be a future step. Perhaps you can devise some experiments? Please keep good notes, I have a feeling you’ll be doing some good work with these fantastic creatures.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  212. avatar

    Dear frank my 1st instars are doing well they are browning up nicely or are they 2nd instar when they start darkening as far as heating I have a pretty good idea that might help in heating without drying the enclosure too much I thought about using a heat lamp with a dark or black heat conductive material such as perhaps black construction paper or something dark since darker colors absorb more light and generate more heat hence why its not wise to wear black during summertime as opposed to wearing white. Comment or opinions on this matter frank?

  213. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…great ideas; these are just the sort of thoughts that lead to new innovations, keep it up. Heat without a drying effect, using bulbs, is difficult. What you suggest is on the right track n theory, but I think you’ll still wind up making many modifications, having to monitor moisture and adjust spraying. It may be easier just to adjust your misting schedule/amounts. You can also keep containers with damp sphagnum moss in the tank – as the moss dries it releases water in to the air. It can also be mixed into substrate, but this would stress the scorpions right now. Black/red bulbs are available, great for night viewing but same effect on humidity as clear bulbs.

    Small room heaters can be used if needed – less direct drying effect; also ceramic heaters if placed a bit away from tank. One of the best options is an oil-filled radiator; please check this article for info. Perhaps you can run very low , find a setting that doesn’t over-heat whole room…

    Young are likely in second instar at this point.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  214. avatar

    Dear frank I have a suggestion a lot of people use false bottoms with either gravel or the aquaballs what if you layered on top of the false bottom spaghnum moss then peat moss or topsoil then spaghnum moss again with some reptibark or cypress mulch?

  215. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. As you describe will work well; I tend to use sphagnum just mixed in rather than as a distinct layer, as it can get in the way of burrowing, hard to dig-through. Your comment reminded me of an old technique (thanks..memory needs a boost sometimes!): you can insert a plastic tube (cover with cloth/rubberband) leading from surface to gravel or whatever you use as lowest level, and then add water periodically via the tube to keep substrate damp…this may be just what you need. Also, try mixing some activated carbon (fish filter medium) in with the lowest substrate level- no proof, but in old days was believed to absorb wastes, and can do no harm.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  216. avatar

    Dear frank for my 20 gl long aquarium tank what would you reccomend for water amount to pour into it I have a medium size pvc pipe extended to the layer of gravel of about 2 inches but with peat moss it seems to leave a pretty foul mess at the bottom much like you would find at a bog or marsh should I change it to eco earth I also added a bag of jungle bedding to it for humity on top but I’m not sure how much water I should pour in there and what size lamp I should use right now I heat one end with a double deep dome lamp with daylight cycle of 8 hrs using.a 75 watt tight beam lamp and 50 watt infrared should I get equivalent night heat or a 100 tight beam watt heat bulb or maybe 9 inch dome lamp?

  217. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    A thicker gravel layer might help, but it really is a matter of trial and error…adding more water, letting it dry a bit; no set formula, unfortunately. Same as to lights …need to try a few options until you get right air temperature; then adjust watering to keep humidity up. One thing you can try is a deeper substrate…I like 6 inches or more. Lets them burrow and tends not to dry out so easily under lights.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  218. avatar

    Dear frank I would like to touch note on a few things I have questions on first off as mentioned bn scorplings start eating do they start hunting and eating food on their own when they are completely dark brown or black as the same color as their mother or berfore also is it possible to induce the gestattion period of any scorpion varying on factors? Example back in march my female hadogenes paucidens mated its been about 3 months almost and she is heavily gravid beyond belief therefore I question whether its possible to shorten the time frame of pregnancy of any species varying on certain control it is said that a female emperor can have upto about 100 offspring perhaps in the year but all depends on climate humidty temp and other factors hence why it is possible of power feeding pets to the point where they mature quicker with that in mind it might seem relevant it appeals to gestation period also comments and your feedback?

  219. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your always insightful comments. As usual with scorpions, there are many unknowns. Color is not a good indication of when they begin feeding, but often they will be lighter in color than the mother.

    It’s impossible to determine gestation accurately; they are able to store sperm and apparently allow fertilization when stimulated by a variety of factors, none of which we understand. We do know that stress, lack of food, etc can cause a female to delay birth, even if she is ready (same for a number of inverts and fishes as well).

    Power feeding has not been studied in inverts. Theoretically, those that eat well early on do mature faster and have larger litters/clutches. But again, too many variables – different populations of same species are genetically programmed to have larger/smaller litters, age when feeding occurs and so on. Also, fast growth does not always translate into larger litters, and in some cases is counterproductive. For example, animals on turtle, fish and alligator farms grow much faster than in the wild;5 yr old farmed green turtles are as large as 20 yr old wild individuals. But in these cases sexual maturity is not reached, and reproduction is delayed or does not occur. Obese animals are a real problem in zoos (mammals, herps, etc)…health problems and poor reproduction always follow. Each species is different; the best policy is to feed well, but within normal range.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  220. avatar

    Dear frank I have some interesting questions when a gravid mother scorpion is about getting closer to giving birth does the mother usually get very restless? For the last past two days my very gravid female hadogenes paucidens has became very active at night crawling around trying to climb out and more not interested in food or anything for the most part I thought she was over heated so I switched to a 15 watt daylight and 40 watt nightglo yesterday night but she still is acting the same should I place her in a more humid softer substrate like peat or coco fiber or remove the mail she has been co-habitating with again and place some substrate in the tank since its mostly made of flat stones

  221. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting post. Females will become restless just before giving birth…seems to be related to finding just the right spot. Removing the male would probably be a good idea as a starting point, but it may be difficult to re-introduce them later.

    Major changes/moves will stress her further, so work carefully. We don’t know exactly what she is missing, so add some variety – a cave (artificial, broken flower pot, etc.)with soft substrate might be used – she may need more room than is offered by the space beneath a flat rock; another hide-away with moister substrate should be offered as well.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  222. avatar

    Dear frank james here again I have an intriguing question has there been any records of scorpion sp having short term gestation periods? As pertaining to my previous post about my quite gravid female hadogenes paucidens is was only about almost 3 months since she mated and now she is very gravid and isn’t really eating but being very active at the moment is it possible to have such a short gestation period for this species I have researched that its one of the most longer gestation period among the species and also one of the most long lived species to heard about 20 years perhaps are these true and has there been other records of such cases?

  223. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Interesting thought, thanks. The problem in answering is that we don’t actually know if the mating you observed led to this batch of young. Scorpion breeding is more complex than what occurs in mammals. Since they can store sperm for so long, we can not attribute a specific mating to a specific litter. The litter she’s about to have may have been fathered by a male some time ago; the sperm she received in the mating you observed may be “on hold”. I’m just speculating…there are ways to answer these questions via DNA analysis, but that has not been done as far as I know. Good to see you are thinking deeply on this…just what we need concerning many inverts.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  224. avatar

    With regard to James’ question about the longevity of Hadogenes – I have an H. troglodytes female who is at least 12 years old now. I have had her that long, and she was an adult when she came to me, so I don’t know how old she was already. So I can confirm they do live a long time!

    She is doing great for me and eating, but in the last 3 years or so her behavior has changed. She used to spend most of her time in the hiding places I provided for her, but these days she never hides. She is always sitting out on a slab of rock, in full view. At first I was worried that she might be sick, but as mentioned she’s been doing it for several years now, and is otherwise acting normal. Maybe she just feels totally safe now after all this time? The much younger, smaller male, by contrast, is always hiding – to the point that I have to sometimes lift up his hide spots to assure myself he’s still with us!

  225. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for you’re the interesting note; nice to hear from you again. I suspect you are correct, and that she is very secure now. Inverts are much more “complicated” and aware of their environments than most people realize. I’ve seen the same types of behavioral changes in all sorts of invertebrates, as well as fishes and herps – definite adjustments to captivity. Please check out this article on Invertebrate Personalities when you have a moment.
    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  226. avatar

    Dm in desperate need of your help tonight while I was checking my scorplings I found one was dead or what would like it was aten alive as I lifted the leaf it was under it had lucked liked something had aten its way out of its stomach and there appeared to be some sort of larvae resembling a maggot or some sort also tonight I had just killed an ophion luteus flying around thinking it was small enough to get into the screen holes and perhaps paralyze and sting the baby and lay an egg in it? Much to my dismay I lost an otherly perfect healthy baby scorpion I’m very upset I went from 20 slings to 5 now 4 please tell me you might know what happened to the babies? I don’t want to lose anymore

  227. avatar

    Hello James Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry to hear the bad news. Unfortunately it’s common to lose many or all of a litter that was born in apparent good health; same applies to other inverts, amphibians, fishes and other creatures. Keeping adults alive and breeding is the first step, but often something is “missing”- diet, environment and this translates into poor survival of the young. First clutches/litters of many species also do poorly. It’s a constant problem in zoos, I can assure you. You did everything right as far as I can tell.

    Dead young will nearly always be found with fly larvae inside; in just about every case this occurs after death, and the insect involved is a Phorid or Scuttle Fly. They resemble fruit flies and are even a bit smaller and so often go un-noticed (and can enter most enclosures). In rare cases they will lay upon dying scorpions, but usually only if there is an open wound. Please see this article for more info.

    The insect you mention, known as the Ichneumon Fly, is an interesting beast but not a cause for concern. Each species is vey specific as to its host, with most parasitizing caterpillars (some species are used as biological control agents); none are known to attack scorpions.

    I did not check but believe you have separated the young from the mother? If not, you should do so as she may be the problem (another thing we do not understand)…keep at it, I have a feeling you will open the door to some new info in time, and will be advising myself and others!

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  228. avatar

    Sometimes I wonder about the captive conditions that we keep our animals in (not just scorps), and as we try to mimic their natural conditions as closely as possible, still something is missing. I wonder if it might not be natural sunlight? Sunlight is a huge activator of the immune system, and of course sets the tone for hormone production over circadian and seasonal rhythms.

    For diurnal UV-needing species, of course we use full-spectrum lights, but even those can’t live up to the real thing. And sunlight falling through window glass is filtered of its full spectrum – but even then, there’s something about the light quality that animals seem to prefer. (I think of a trio of horned vipers whom I kept some years ago, who would all pile on top of each other to sit in the single corner of the tank that received sunlight through the window for part of the day – even though they had heat and artificial light otherwise. They absolutely radiated relaxation and pleasure when they could get into the “real sun” – as much as possible, anyway.) For a fossorial, nocturnal species like the emperor scorpion, one would think light quality should make no difference – but still I suspect the quality of light that reaches a forest floor is different than that which they receive in captivity. And they have a UV-reflective exoskeleton, which hints to me that there’s some evolutionary advantage to that, which involves interaction with full-spectrum light in some capacity.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I’ve long been interested in setting up outdoor enclosures for my animals as much as possible, if it can be done in such a way as to prevent escapes, keep out predators, and still give them the temperature and moisture gradients they need. Even if we can give them ideal conditions indoors, I’m of the mind that they would psychologically feel much better when exposed to natural light/conditions – which might reduce some of the behavior problems we see with mothers eating their young, etc.

  229. avatar

    A new comment on the post “Breeding Emperor Scorpions” is waiting for your

    Author : Raksha (IP: , 99-91-237-157.lightspeed.cntmoh.sbcglobal.net)
    E-mail : RakshaMedusaSaur@yahoo.com
    URL :
    Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/
    Sometimes I wonder about the captive conditions that we keep our animals in (not
    just scorps), and as we try to mimic their natural conditions as closely as
    possible, still something is missing. I wonder if it might not be natural
    sunlight? Sunlight is a huge activator of the immune system, and of course sets
    the tone for hormone production over circadian and seasonal rhythms.

    For diurnal UV-needing species, of course we use full-spectrum lights, but even
    those can’t live up to the real thing. And sunlight falling through window
    glass is filtered of its full spectrum – but even then, there’s something about
    the light quality that animals seem to prefer. (I think of a trio of horned
    vipers whom I kept some years ago, who would all pile on top of each other to
    sit in the single corner of the tank that received sunlight through the window
    for part of the day – even though they had heat and artificial light otherwise.
    They absolutely radiated relaxation and pleasure when they could get into the
    “real sun” – as much as possible, anyway.) For a fossorial, nocturnal species
    like the emperor scorpion, one would think light quality should make no
    difference – but still I suspect the quality of light that reaches a forest
    floor is different than that which they receive in captivity. And they have a
    UV-reflective exoskeleton, which hints to me that there’s some evolutionary
    advantage to that, which involves interaction with full-spectrum light in some

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I’ve long been interested in setting up outdoor
    enclosures for my animals as much as possible, if it can be done in such a way
    as to prevent escapes, keep out predators, and still give them the temperature
    and moisture gradients they need. Even if we can give them ideal conditions
    indoors, I’m of the mind that they would psychologically feel much better when
    exposed to natural light/conditions – which might reduce some of the behavior
    problems we see with mothers eating their young, etc.

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…an absolutely wonderful post, and very important points that I wish all would consider. You’ve echoed the pleas I have made to everyone from hobbyists to zoo directors for a long time now; mostly in vain, but some bright spots.

    All that you say re UVB and diurnal and nocturnal animals is true; and the importance of circadian rhythms and such is very much underestimated. If you look at animals – be they inverts, birds, mammals, whatever, in outdoor exhibits, you’ll almost always notice a very distinct difference in color, vitality, activity levels, etc. Many of those who influenced me early on – importers, older hobbyists in the ‘60’s, told me to provide sunlight whenever possible; this was way before we knew about the roles of various types of light. We still have much to do, UVB-permeable glass and plastic is appearing, and low-UVB output bulbs are now available for use with inverts and amphibs…all of this helps, but you cannot beat natural sunlight (holds for people as well – mood improvement, suicide rates in far northern countries in winter, etc.). We are finding that reptiles and fishes respond to changes I barometric pressure (Cuban crocs, False Gharials and others I kept would bellow a day or 2 before a storm)…so many factors make it, as you say, impossible to mimic nature in a cage.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  230. avatar

    Dear frank james again here been awhile but after consideration I have a curious question if I killed a housefly and fed it to a 1st instar scorpling is there any chance it could have ingested eggs whole but then it would be impossible since scorpions chew and suck the fluids as well strains them hence no real leftovers of the prey, if cannibalism was the cause would the siblings have started eating their brother or sister from the fleshy area where most of the vitals are? I am still puzzled how when I found it the right cavity wall seemed to have been opened from the inside and all scorps as well instars molt through the facial opening correct?

  231. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. As you suggest, housefly eggs could not be transferred in that manner (also, they are not parasitic, but feed upon dead/decaying organic matter).

    Scorpions seem not to actively manipulate their prey before feeding, but rather to just grab and begin feeding at any location; so any opening can indicate cannibalism.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  232. avatar

    just looking into getting a emperor scorpion because one day I hope to be an entomologist. I plan to buy one some time through the summer. I occassionally go away for a week or so and was wondering what’s the best thing to do with the scorpion. Is it possible to put in some crickets without jumping legs and let the scorpion hunt them or what else? Also humidity may be a problem, how long can a scorpion go when the humidity of the air drops? A couple of days? Less? I heard they are quite tough.


  233. avatar

    Hello Steve, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. A week without food is fine; no need to leave any if the animal is in good health.

    Humidity changes are dependant on household conditions, temperature, type of substrate and other factors. Providing a deep substrate (6-8 Inches) so that a burrow can be constructed helps. You can also supply a cave filled with damp sphagnum moss, and cover part of the screen top with plastic in order to reduce water loss. Moss can also be set in a bowl of water that has been buried flush with the earth; a week or so should not be a problem.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  234. avatar

    Thanks for the info and quick reply.

    I have found a local supplyer and plan to buy one in a couple of weeks. The one I saw was 2 or 3 inches long, from that size how long would it take to reach it’s full size? Also, does handling cause alot of stress? Is it possible to get the scorpion used to been handled?


  235. avatar

    Hello Steve, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. Growth rates vary a great deal depending upon origin off specimen (they have a wide natural range), temperature, diet and other factors. Wild individuals generally reach full size in 3-4 years; captives often mature earlier, at 1 year of age in some cases.

    Handling is always stressful and is of absolutely no benefit to the scorpion. Under no circumstances should scorpions of any species be picked up by hand…always use a long handled tongs to prod into a container if a transfer is necessary. Even species considered “harmless” can cause sever injuries to people who are allergic to their venom, or have certain medical conditions; not to mention the pain and possibility of severe infection. We know very little about their venom. It is not possible to habituate them to handling, or to “calm” them in any way…please ignore the videos or info you may come across to the contrary on the internet.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio

  236. avatar

    Okay thanks. Do you know of any commonly found species of scorpion found in turkey? It would be of much interest to me.

    Thanks again

  237. avatar

    Hello Steve, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Please check here for a description of the 27 or so species known to inhabit Europe; you’ll need to go through each to determine which occur in Turkey. The Asian portion of Turkey is not included in this review; European species can be expected there, and perhaps several others that occur further east.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  238. avatar

    Frank, I cant believe the interest this scorpion blog stirred up. At the same time I am very glad so many people have interest in these extraordinary creatures!
    I’ll mail you a few pics of my/our scorpions I have kept and some still keeping!I must admit, I am proud of our huge range of South African species which we find and sometimes keep. On EVERY field trip we do find one or other kind…
    Keep up your excellent work and thanxzzz!


  239. avatar

    Hello Gert, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…I think this article has generated more comments than any of the several hundred others! Scorpion enthusiasts will be jealous of you for sure, South Africa must be an amazing place to be for one such as yourself. Look forward to your photos.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  240. avatar

    I think part of the reason there are so many comments on this article is that we are talking about all manner of scorpion species, rather than just emperors. Seems like an appropriate place for it. :)

    My old flat-rock girl is looking decidedly rounder these days. I’ve removed the barrier between herself and the male, and they seem to be getting alone fine. Perhaps she is just well-fed on Summer’s abundance … or perhaps (fingers crossed!) she is gravid….

  241. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback and glad to hear the news. I hope to hear about a healthy brood soon!

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  242. avatar

    Dear frank its been awhile as always a pleasure to write to a distinguished member of science society, recent updates my 2nd adult female emperor scorpion has been displaying restlessness and lack of hunger just this morning she finally situated herself into the cooler side of the tank where I had made a hide for her does this mean she will be getting ready to have her brood? Also recent updates my second rose hair tarantula has just recently shed a few weeks ago to my surprise very much excited when I found that out :)

  243. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the kind words…but I’m certainly less distinguished than scorpions themselves, since they pre-dated the dinosaurs! : )

    The behavior you describe is often a sign that a female may be ready to give \birth, but aggression, improper temperatures or other stressors can also be involved. Best to leave her be, as they are very high strung when gravid. Extra hiding spots are always useful, but do not do too much work in the tank right now.

    Good news about your spider…be sure to keep the humidity up, or provide a damp cave, at shedding time.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  244. avatar

    Dear frank as in regards to what wild caught insects to feed your emperor scorpion what should I try feeding them and avoid trying to feed them as far as bees wasps and insects with their own venom? How do you feed earthworms to scorpions too mine are still of the 1instar meaning they only moulted once since they were born and are quite plump hungry little girls I thought maybe mayflies would be good but they didn’t seem to like the taste however they love houseflies lol

  245. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting questions. A good field guide to the insects of your area is a great asset in identifying dangerous ones. In general, avoid spiders, large ants, hairy caterpillars and brightly colored insects; but as you’ve seen, some may be rejected on taste. Smooth caterpillars, beetle grubs, grasshoppers, earwigs and moths are usually taken. Please see this series of articles for some thoughts on collecting insects.

    Earthworms will burrow out of sight quickly, but try confining to a hard surface or low bowl, or tong-feed. You can break large ones apart…they are also easy to breed if they turn out to be a favorite.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  246. avatar

    Dear frank I have a question how will I know when my scorplings are getting ready to moult as of right now they are very well fed and actively hunting for food and don’t prefer tong fed as much as I tried with a live cricket and they caught them and ate them also on that note how long does it take to for the shells/exoskeleton to fully harden up their claws and front plate are dark but the rest of the body still seems soft they are brown in color right now dark brown in an empty cool whip container with mix of vermiculite peatmoss with cypress on top with 3 small rocks and beer bottle top water dish

  247. avatar

    Nice to hear from you again. They give very little sign that they are about to shed. In adults, you may notice inactivity and a reluctance to feed, but in youngsters it’s a quick process. Usually they molt at night and have hardened by morning, but hardening can be affected by temperature, humidity and other factors. They rarely have trouble, however – certainly less often than tarantulas. Color is not always an indication of hardening.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  248. avatar

    Dear frank thank you for the response, question should I be concerned if one of the scorplings escaped into the bigger tank? I was checking today and one is missing no where in the soil

  249. avatar

    I’ve noticed that when they’re gearing up for a molt, they really do look like they’ve outgrown their old skin – that is, the armor plates on their back really stand apart and you can see the soft smooth skin between them. I’ve never known one to have problems molting, fortunately.

  250. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Great observation, thanks. I’ve never been able distinguish from being well-fed, but could very well be a useful indication of pre-shedding

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  251. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    They sometimes do ok, even with strange adults, but no way to predict. We are not really sure why some get along, whereas others fight; Stress, some form of chemical recognition, hunger and other factors all come into play. Hope it works out well.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  252. avatar

    Hi Frank

    Sorry for changing the topic. You mentioned higher stress levels in Tarantula.
    It is the first time that I keep a horned baboon spider over a longer period (We usually return them to the wild much faster).
    Anyhow, the spider (being Tarantula related) is not eating for over almost 3 weeks! Only water seems to be taken. The spider is in excellent shape, no lice or any thing suspicious.
    Only different behavior besides not eating, is her restlessness. So I can only predict shedding. But I am open eared to any other stress factors I should be aware of.

    Kind regards
    Gert from Namibia

  253. avatar

    Hello Gert, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting note. Three weeks is not a concern – spiders seem able to moderate their metabolisms as needed and can, as you mentioned , remain in good shape during fasts. Shedding or being gravid can be involved. Also, they are very sensitive to movement, vibrations, air currents, chemicals, usually on a level that we cannot detect; losses always occur when spiders are moved from place to place, even under ideal conditions. Spiders are also very aware of their environments…in the wild they usually occupy tiny home ranges that they know intimately, and so may take very long to settle into new quarters..I suggest that you provide ger with as much space and habitat options as possible.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  254. avatar

    WOW Frank!
    Thanxzzz for your valuable answer.
    From all the different scorpions and spiders I kept over the years, I actually only had one incident where I did not know the cause of death. It was a trapdoor spider I accidentally dug out while digging my koi pond. It just appeared not wanting to live any more. Although her home was in the middle of a lawn where I regularly mowed.
    I found that all specimens I collected up to now, immediately made home in their new environment, even if it was still in the collecting jar. Maybe it is due to the fact the we do not keep them too long and that we have a very low humidity in our country…no unnecessary mold evolving etc.
    So, for now I will keep an eye on her and oblige to your suggestion to implement a wider habitat range. After all, these guys are hunters in the night, the same as the emperor!

    Thanxzzz again Frank
    Best regards

  255. avatar

    Hello Gert, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…very interesting to hear that. It must vary by species, individual also I would guess. I do recall, now that you mention it, some sheet-web builders constructing webs in carrying cases. Speaking of, have I mentioned the book To the Zoo in a Plastic Box to you?…you’d enjoy, I think.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  256. avatar

    Hey Frank … I found something amazing in my yard today. Around the top of one of my compost bins, there was a group of unbelievably tiny scorpions – at least, they looked like scorpions in everything but the tail. No tail! Otherwise they had the pinchers and the right number of legs (though I had to pull out a magnifying glass to make sure). Could these be first instars? They were, however, colored, with the body being brownish and the long slender forelimbs/pinchers being reddish. They definitely move like scorpions, and I even saw two of them tangling with each other.

    I collected as many as I could get – about 10 – very carefully with two scraps of paper so as not to crush them, though I could see more down in the compost bin. They are adept climbers, so could they be bark scorpions? They are about 2 mm long. Cannot imagine what I will feed them – even a Drosophila is too big. Any suggestions?

    And now the really odd part: I am in Ohio. Not exactly classic scorpion country. A perfunctory Google search didn’t turn up anything of use. Any idea what these could be?

  257. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice find…thanks for letting me know about this. I believe what you have are Pseudoscorpions..tiny arachnids that are placed in their own order. Very interesting…i.e. males produce silk that assists in sperm transfer. Very few people notice them, but some species are found in temperate zones, into S. Canada I believe. Please check here for photos and let me know if these are what you have found. This article provides some info on their life history.

    Most, but not all, species require moist environments. Springtails (primitive insects found in leaf litter) are likely an important food item. You should be able to collect some beneath damp leaves, and can rear them on fish food flakes. Cultures may be purchased as well, as they are in demand for poison frog metamorphs.

    Please let me know if I’ve guessed correctly. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  258. avatar

    Hi Frank – yes indeed, that’s what they are! How exceptionally cool. :) So these are the adult sizes, I take it. No wonder they were hanging around my compost bin, they are catching the tiny insects and detritivores that are drawn to the compost. I may just set them free again rather than worrying about tiny insect prey – especially given that they are so small themselves and they’d never be visible in any kind of terrarium set-up. Anyway, thanks for the info – I’m happy to know they’ve established themselves in my yard!

  259. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for letting me know; nice that you take the time to notice such things, not many do! You’ve inspired me to highlight them in a future article, thanks.

    Yes, difficult captives to observe – and keep contained,

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  260. avatar

    Hallo Frank and Raksha

    Here in Namibia Pseudoscorpions are among our fauna as well. Quite common, you just have to turn a few rocks. Coming to the point, when I look into the site “Project Noah” I find quite a few species of animals that are present in our country as well…
    But back to Pseudoscorpions, it very interesting that they are making a silk like web…
    “Zoo in a Plastic Box” I have to get it…!

    Thanxzzz Frank

  261. avatar

    Hello Gert, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks … I’m always surprised to learn how many places they inhabit; such odd little beasts…

    The book is the story of twin brothers who collected invertebrates for the London Zoo; not in print but maybe on Amazon.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  262. avatar

    Dear Frank its nice to talk with you again but I might have some useful insight on scorpling care and how it makes sense about how they grow when first born this is what I had noticed from my particular observations but if when live born the slings are 1st instar and when they start looking like their adult counterparts after 2nd molt or as we call 2nd instar but the question is where do the old skin molts go after they shedded and depleted their yolk sacks inside? I believe the answer is not only do they absorb moisture from their mother but also they feed off the old sheddings or else you would find them all littered about the mother correct? What is your opinion?

  263. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again; glad they are still doing well. You are correct – scorpions usually consume the old sheds.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  264. avatar

    Dear Frank I bring grave news and insightful information about rearing pandinus imperator scorplings as of today I lost my 2nd to last 2nd instar apparently the room temperature of this dreaded 90 degree weather and high humidity substrate was too much for the beauty even though they were near a UV bright light but ultimately I believe that too much head and humidity can stress the babies too much to kill them your insights my knowledgable friend?

  265. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry to hear the news. I have kept Emperors at 90-92 F (in a warm holding room, BZ reptile house) and can’t say that I’ve run into any deaths related to heat. However, there may be a relationship between temperature and other problems – some bacteria and fungi grow more rapidly at these temps; high temps may stress the immune system and cause slight health problems to worsen; young may be more sensitive than adults, and so on. All animals are more vulnerable at the extremes of their temperature tolerances, and are more likely to have problems. Here in NY, it was 102 F by noon in Midtown Manhattan – I’ve moved certain animals to the basement, using an AC for others, and have shut off all basking/ UV lights until the heat wave passes.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  266. avatar

    Dear Frank curious question but is it possible for other species such as invertebrates to have sympathy eating while their mate is pregnant or anything my two hadogenes paucidens are happily coexisting male and female in 10 gallon tank sometimes you can find them in same area together and also great news looks like the female was digging down to either escape heat or make herself a den but is it even possible primitive species can exert such feelings or even characteristics like that?

  267. avatar

    Dear frank I have a question about bredding cleaner insects the ones that eat leftovers of prey remains and how to breed certain feeders now for scorplings you said we can breed maggots but how do we feed them to the slings second how do you breed wild millipedes sow bugs aka woodlice and any other useful helpful insect for a terrarium also I seen these tiny littles insects in my tank but move faster than mites are they silverfish or springtails I see them on top of my cypress bedding I layered on the coco fiber

  268. avatar

    Thanks for raising this interesting point. While some scorpions have very complex social behaviors, as far as we know their cooperation is survival based. We do not have any evidence of emotions. However, keep looking, as invertebrates are capable of learning a great deal. It’s recently been discovered, for example., that female crickets can learn to avoid wolf spiders (after being exposed to spiders with wax-covered fangs) and can somehow pass this knowledge onto their unborn young! Please also see this article on invertebrate personalities.

    Hope your pair breeds,

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  269. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Maggots will burrow, so best to confine them to a shallow bowl or tong feed.

    Sowbugs are easy to raise…please see this article. Millipedes not often bred, but can collect these and other leaf litter invertebrates from pesticide free areas. Please see this article and others linked there for invert collecting techniques and traps.

    Pinhead sized inverts are mites that enter via bedding; harmless but usually too small to be a food item. Springtails a bit larger, too small for most scorps. Silverfish are primitive insects, very fast moving; can be reared as described in sowbug article, but need damper substrate.

    Re Cleaner Insects – I’m not sure what insects you have in mind;please let me know if you have a more specific name and I’ll see what I can do.
    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  270. avatar

    Dear frank what insects I have in mind are insects that are good for cleaning up remains of leftover insects or dead insects I have also thought about wild centipedes since they are predatory and eat dead insects and more would that be a good idea to have together in a cricket colony with vegetation millipedes and sowbugs all together I want to be able to provide other insect varieties to my pets as well as less cleaning be done that’s why I heard springtails and sowbugs are great for cleaning up remnants

  271. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback. For the terrarium itself, sowbugs are very good; will eat dead insects, feces etc. Springtails also, but you’d need huge numbers. Centipedes prefer live insects, and in any event they bite nd are not easy to work with (even common house centipedes can break the skin); would also attack newly-molted scorpions.

    Very difficult to keep sowbugs with crickets, as they require humidity levels that would lead to health problems in the crickets.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  272. avatar

    Dear frank I would not have the centipedes in the scorp tank but more like the feeder tank perhaps population control for the crickets is it possible to create a foodchain of inverts like that?

  273. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Interesting idea but unfortunately it’s next to impossible to create any sort of naturalistic food chain (long term) in captivity; even in planted, 2 acre zoo exhibits with many species, there are too many factors that come into play. In any event, centipedes need very moist conditions (little ability to control water loss), but high humidity is not tolerated by domestic crickets.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  274. avatar

    Dear Frank what would be your take on cleaning up expired adult crickets I mean the adults don’t neccessarily eat the dead ones nor do the nymphs right away but is there anything that can coexist with the cricket colony as to feed on the carcasses and feces? I have tried something that worked well I used a herphaven with moss not peat but peat vermiculite bottom with domesticated crickets and sow bugs much to my surprise the sow bugs bred and there were wonderful little white sow bug nymphs roaming around along with milipedes since I usually put some leafy greens or veggies in or anything my gf iguana doesn’t finish

  275. avatar

    Very interesting that you were able to keep both together, thanks for the note.

    I’ve always found it convenient to keep crickets in bare-bottomed containers (plastic garbage cans at zoo, aquariums at home) that could be dumped and rinsed. For breeding, I’ve seem systems where screen-covered containers of moist earth (to prevent egg predation) were left in place for 2-3 days then rotated out for hatching elsewhere (adults prey upon young); I’ve never been able to raise enough to meet my needs however.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  276. avatar

    Dear Frank I do recall you talking about in a previous post that the males would eat the eggs if they could find them that is why I selectively feed the males to my pets so it would ensure a chance for longer survival of the eggs since females would continue laying eggs

  277. avatar

    I have honestly given up on trying to breed crickets. I will buy them in small quantities from a breeder and manage to keep most of them alive long enough to feed them off, but otherwise I haven’t had much luck with them. Dubia roaches are a much better feeder insect, IMO!

  278. avatar

    Hello Raksha, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again. I agree – Dubia or Orange Spotted Roaches are a great food item, and much easier to breed than crickets.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  279. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks; good idea…males will breed with many females, so fewer needed. Does it seem that your females do not consume eggs?

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  280. avatar

    Dear Frank how would one go about breeding roaches as a source of food for inverts or herps what would I start with and use for a successful colony?

  281. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Please check out this 3 Part Article and let me know if you need any more info.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  282. avatar

    Dear Frank I have a question that requires your expertise field knowledge as a herpetologist about an off topic species you would know a lot about my gf has a green or mistaken red iguana is there a particular way to determine which is which he’s a male definitely but he’s not a vibrant green and my gf says he’s a red because his colors resemble a red more closely also how do you provide water for them to drink from other than having them defecate in the water bowl would you suggest a drip system for them to use? I know most iguanas are swimmers correct and probably drink rain water or some ocean water which is salty what is your feedback?

  283. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. The red phase is just a captive bred color morph of the Green Iguana, and so appearance varies greatly, depending upon the genetics of the ancestors and age; unfortunately, no real way to predict his final color.

    Please be aware that males, even after years of good behavior, can turn dangerously aggressive without warning during the breeding season. Please see this article for some experiences with this.

    No real way around the “defecating in the water bowl problem”; some wild populations go for months without water, but captives should be able to soak daily. They will lap water droplets from foliage and glass, but should have access to a drinking/soaking bowl. As far as we know, green iguanas are not able to drink seawater. Marine iguanas excrete excess salt from special glands, as water is ingested while feeding.

    They are great swimmers, and take to water if available when threatened. I saw an adult male plunge 30 feet or so from a tree into a river in Costa Rica, and have chased many into water in Venezuela during a study (several bore scars and missing toes; likely from very common red-bellied and other piranha species. Please see this article for more on that.

    You and yours may also enjoy this article on Green Iguana-Raccoon interactions in Florida.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  284. avatar

    Dear Frank I was curious if you ever made a homemade heatrock without all the wires the ones I made are simply using a flatrock as a resting spot then either set it next to a heatpad or under a basking bulb your ideas? Mine seem to work perfectly well for heating my pets plus it doesn’t get too hot and warms their body evenly distributing warmth all over your thoughts?

  285. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for raising this important point. I’ve always favored rocks in both zoo exhibits and at home. As you say, heat is distributed evenly and retained well. As you know, roads warmed by the sun are great places for finding snakes after dark….heat is retained for hours. I usually use a bulb; but for nocturnal species in zoos have used heat-pad type units.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  286. avatar

    dear frank, i bought a scorpion last 2 months and it was pregnant! It gave birth today to about 5, but its still giving birth. Do you say that i should feed the scorpion even with the babies?? I feed it with live crickets, but its very jumpy so i think that the scorpion will be stressed. please reply asap thank you!

  287. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. It’s typical for the scorpion to be jumpy at this time…do not feed her, and limit viewing, disturbance etc. Scorpions can go for very long periods without food, so don’t worry at all about that. Please write back and let me know how all progresses, and we can talk about the next step.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  288. avatar

    Dear Frank I have an interesting question about the feeding season and mating season of arachnids as of up till august my rosehairs are not eating anymore can heat and humidity attribute them not eating and also the emperor scorpions or is it the internal clock or do they know when to stop eating for the season?

  289. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…great question. It could be either local conditions or an internal clock, but in my experience scorpions and spiders are more affected by local conditions. Many other animals, however, maintain a strict internal clock despite local conditions – i.e. gharials under my care ceased feeding as per season in Pakistan despite living in NYC for 16 years, Sambar Deer in Bx Zoo continue to breed in NY’s winter, despite being many generations removed from the wild; wild caught temperate zone turtles often cease feeding in winter even if warmed, but captive borns usually feed, etc. We do not know as much about inverts, but as far as I can recall they seem quickly to adapt. However, anything you might learn would be most useful…please keep me posted.

    Please let me know if you need any further information.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  290. avatar

    dear frank,
    hi its me again! my scorpion gave birth to a total of 18, but two was eatan,,, :( haha but theres another problem, the aquarium was full of flies because of the dead food so i changed the soil and changed the aquarium to a bigger size. Is it okay even if i stressed the scorpion a little or will it be a problem? thanks.
    (p.s. i posted that i was selling those but i dont know the price for scorplings. it gave birth from 8/3 to 8/5. what do you suggest the price? [$]) thanks much.

  291. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to hear from you again; congrats!

    Scorpions vary greatly in their responses to stress; what bothers some may not affect others at all. So just keep an eye on them…but problems would have likely shown up right away.

    I’m not really in touch with current prices, sorry; best to check the invertebrate listings on Kingsnake.com to see what is being offered.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  292. avatar

    Dear Frank I have some exciting news! My second adult female emperor is giving birth right now to scorplings I seen about 2 so far I also have some information that would help to understand how arachnids feed and when they eat also I believe humidity and water availability is key factor in when arachnids eat it was not long after the heat wave broke and humidty rose back up did my adult rose hair start eating again and since I arranged my emperors tank and made a suitable size den the humidity is great inside and they are eating on their own also an animals instincts they seem very resistant to tong feeding so I threw some into the den and caught and ate them on their own :)

  293. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Great news, congrats! Thanks so much for passing along this info; we know so little about arachnid care, despite all the zoos and people keeping them, so each new observation is very important. Keep it up…I wrote my first book (Newts and salamanders) based almost entirely on first hand observations – I hope to see you do the same!

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  294. avatar

    Hi! thanks for your reply! I have another question. I put a synthetic wood bark on the scorpion to hide on. Now hes under there but how could I take the babies out? thanks.

  295. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks, my pleasure. You shouldn’t remove the young until they have left the female’s back and are feeding on their own. Even once they begin feeding, best to give them a few weeks to adjust and gain strength before moving them.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  296. avatar

    thanks frank! what do you suggest i feed the babies? Their skin is already turning black….

  297. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Crickets sold as “10-day old” “2 week old” or “1/8 inch” are easiest and seem to be enough if the crickets are fed well for a day or 2 before using. If possible, try also chopped earthworms, tiny waxworms and newly hatched silkworms (internet dealers sometimes stock). Leaf litter invertebrates are a great option is you have a pesticide-free collecting area available.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  298. avatar

    hey frank,
    thanks for the reply. Is there something wrong with my emperor?? hes eaten 5 babies so far and i dont know why. hes hiding under the log but i saw 2 dead babies in there. is something wrong??

  299. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    It’s common for adults, even mothers, to consume an occasional youngster; usually a feeding-related accident. However, stress and factors we do not understand sometimes come into play, and the entire clutch can be consumed. Best to remove them to a separate enclosure at this point.

    Please let me know if you need any further information, and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  300. avatar

    hi frank.
    so i should separate them already at this point?? the mother can still be very aggresive. how do you sugest i take them out?? thanks.

  301. avatar

    Thanks for the feedback; I might not be clear on the situation…if they are on her back, do not separate. You can remove any young that are walking about on their own. This is most easily done by herding them into a plastic container, using the container’s cover or a net to push them along. Do not free-handle. You can re-locate the mother in the same manner. Best to leave her in her own terrarium, as this would be less stressful to her; but if it’s too difficult to locate the young then perhaps move the female and leave the young in place.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  302. avatar

    dear frank,
    thanks for your reply. will try do what you said. i wil givw you updates on what happened.

  303. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…anything you might observe or learn will be useful; I look forward to hearing from you.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  304. avatar

    hi frank.
    overnight, three of my babies died again. i think that the humidity is too low. o tried to buy a hygrometer but there wasnt any stick left. please help me.

  305. avatar

    hi frank.
    theres only 6 babies left. i think also that the babies are going down from their mum 1 by 1. what should i do?

  306. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry for the bad news. You can raise humidity by adding soaked sphagnum moss or a similar moss to the tank; covering most of the screen cover with plastic and spraying helps also; not a good to do long term, as ventilation is important, but perhaps worth a try to see if it helps the current situation.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  307. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    If the female is attacking them, she would likely consume them as well (I believe in your last post you mentioned finding dead youngsters); Unfortunately, sometimes a female’s first clutch does not survive, as happens with many types of animals. If they are on her back, it’s probably better to leave them, despite the risk; separate those that come off on their own.

    Please let me know if you need any further information,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  308. avatar

    hi frank.
    only 4 of the scorpions are left, but they have successfully come down from their mothers backs. thank you very much for helping me. do you think i could buy another male and breed them again??

  309. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Good to hear, thanks; I hope they do well. Breeding is quite draining on the female, so don’t rush to pair her again; scorpions can store sperm and so there is a chance she’ll bear young again in time. Captivity seems to throw off the normal sequence of reproduction, so that the time between successful matings varies greatly. I would wait 4-6 months, although others have had success with shorter intervals. Hard to be sure what’s going on when the pair is kept together, so rules are difficult to formulate.

    Bear in mind that not all will get along, so always have a separate enclosure ready for a potential new mate, and introduce them at night when you can watch for aggression. A night viewing bulb will be helpful in this regard.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  310. avatar

    hello frank.
    thanks for everything. will keep you posted. :)

  311. avatar

    hi frank, can i feed the baby scorpions chopped adult mealworms?? the pet store ran out if stock with the small ones and also with the crickets.

  312. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words, glad to be of help. They may take them…moving the pieces about with a long-handled tongs may help. Small earthworms are useful also if available.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  313. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…I’m interested to hear if they accept the chopped mealworms,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  314. avatar

    Dear frank I have a most intruiging question to ask you requiring your expertise, do males or females mature faster than the other because already some of my newly less than week old scorplings have started to darken up a bit but mostly in the cranial area of the exoskeleton which appears like a black blot

  315. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks…good question. In the wild they take 3-7 years to reach sexually maturity, but growth can be much faster in captivity; captives have reproduced at 12 months of age. The sexes seem to mature at the same rate, but there are few detailed studies. It;\’s not possible to distinguish the sexes until they reach adulthood. Please keep notes…we have much to learn.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  316. avatar

    I have an update of the most tragic news my new mother passed away I believe today as I was inspecting leaving six orphans I don’t know if it was stress or because she was trapped under a rock where was space but her tail was lying flat and shortly after I removed her by hand she was lifeless the inftants are not a week old what should I do Mr Inviglio I need emergency help! My first brood died off shortly not long ago :(

  317. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry to hear the bad news…unfortunately, birthing takes a great deal out of the female; young ones, or those with underlying problems that might not be obvious, often do not survive.

    Try 10-day old crickets if available, and crushed crickets as well. Tiny leaf-litter invertebrates collected from pesticide free areas are also worthwhile. A great variety can be found almost anywhere (I’ve collected from apartment building rooftop leaf-piles in NYC!). Please check out this article for some details.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  318. avatar

    Frank I am not sure I can feed them they aren’t old enough to walk on their own their still like infants as a child not capable of feeding themselves what should I do? I don’t have a mature male to mate them with and this is most terrible will they survive if not that old enough? I have them in a container with coco fiber dampened with a ventilated top on it under the red light in the tank so as not to directly heat them but they are still very much embryo stage with their yolk sacs still on them I think maybe she still had embryos in which she could not deliver this is quite a sad day :(

  319. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Sorry…I didn’t realize they were that young. Unfortunately, there is no way to feed them at this point. Keep them as you described; there’s always a chance that they may absorb the yolks and gain some strength in that way, but, sadly, they will not likely survive.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  320. avatar

    Hello Frank & James BradPitbull here.

    It is very devastating for us hobbyist to lose a pet. Just a suggestion it already happened to me before that my female died before the scorplings reached their 2nd instar molt. What I did is in a clear delicup I put a moist paper towel and rehoused each scorplings individually. With this I was able to save 8 out of 10 scorplings.

  321. avatar

    Hello Brad, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for very much for this most useful information; I’ll email James directly as well so that he is sure to see it.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  322. avatar

    Hi Frank, BradPitbull here.

    I almost forgot to include that he should monitor the humidity of each delicups and also maintain the moistness of the paper towels. It is essential that the paper towel not to be left dry.

  323. avatar

    Hello Brad, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Good point, thanks very much,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  324. avatar

    Dear frank and Brad thank you for the infortmation but since I have a housing for them what do I use to keep them warm? Do I put them under a heat light far below it or next to it or in subtle room temperature because they need 90 degrees to survive to help aid with digestion and break down fatty stored deposits in their yolk sacs

  325. avatar

    hello frank.
    My babies accepted the chopped mealworms (cut with scissors OYEA)….
    maybe they have nothung to eat and just take them during desperate times…. hahaha will keep you updated.

  326. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Good to hear…food does taste better when one is hungry! Actually, we’re finding that even some spiders will act as scavengers and take dead prey on occasion, so always worth experimenting.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  327. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    You’ll need to experiment, as placement will depend on lamp wattage, room temp, etc…main point is to avoid over-drying. Incandescent bulbs dry substrates quickly, so you may need to mist them often.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  328. avatar

    Dear Frank latest update on the orphans, today of the 5 children 1 has already made it to first molt *cheers*! I do have an interesting question that has my mind intrigued when they are born alive I always notice that some have detracted mouth parts or distended chelicerae is this common in birth and as they molt and darken up will it start to retract? Also have you ever had any babies or seen any that were born with a dark spot where the lateral or medial eyes are?

  329. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks, good news and very impressive as many do not make it when the female expires. I hope it continues to go well.

    I have noticed that newborns seem a bit “off”, in shape sometimes; the exoskeleton is not very hard at this point, which may have something to do with it. I’ve seen variations in color, spots, etc. but not exactly what you describe; good to keep notes, you never k now what will turn up by way of new info.
    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  330. avatar

    Latest development and news today one of the 3 spotted scorplings didn’t make it through molt and I feared I killed one lastnight by lowering the heat lamp to low so 2 of the original 5 did not make it although the one was a fighter still and was still moving a bit even though its legs were not moving after successful attempt at removing the old skin from the 2nd one still no movement they are now being recycled by the crickets, Dear Frank when molting do they appear to be dead before they shed the old skin?

  331. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    It probably has nothing to do with the temperature change. The time before and during a molt is extremely hard on all inverts, even those in the best of condition…they must produce a new exoskeleton, build up fluid to burst the old, harden the new, etc….deaths are very common, especially when all is not otherwise well. Do watch that the bulb does not dry out the container, as high humidity is very important at molting time.

    Please let me know if you need any further information.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  332. avatar

    hello frank!
    the fouur babies grow up so fast! they are already black and are very helthy (i think.)
    but the bad news is that the mother just passed away…
    i have noticed that for about a week the mother’s tail has been always down sideways and doesnt bring it up.
    do you think there is some kind of disease or she just died of old age?? thanks.


  333. avatar

    Hello Hans, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update; good to hear about the young. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to access the female’s problem, and the symptoms she had are typical of so many problems. Giving birth is tremendously draining and tends to bring out underlying problems that may have been minor until the stress of pregnancy. Young and older females also tend to have trouble, but unless the animal is captive born there’s no way to determine age accurately. Good luck with the new ones, please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  334. avatar

    Dear Frank I have an intriguing question is it possible for a subadult female scorpion to have mated with a male and be pregnant? My subadult female looks as if she has children inside her I can see white spaces down the top of her tergites and her plates are quite largely spaced apart on top of that before she looked somewhat cloudy like a mottled brown in her facial area but her exoskeleton is not dull or cloudy its shiny.

  335. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the interesting question. In the wild, emperor scorpions may take 3-4 years to reach sexual maturity; growth rate depends upon climate, diet and other factors. Captives generally eat more food often and grow quicker than wild individuals and may reproduce when only 12 months of age, or perhaps even younger.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  336. avatar

    Dear Frank I may have interesting insight to how to tell if scorpion is ill or has health issues or getting ready to die, right before my pregnant female died I had noticed her having tremors with her pedipalps like they would lightly shake or couldn’t keep them study well one of the babies who molted with the black spot is now doing that and isn’t really eating either and its head is different than the other two who are healthily eating

  337. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for passing that along; I’ll keep your observation in mind for future reference.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  338. avatar

    Dear Frank I have a curious question the one scorpling that had the dark patch seems to have a problem with its one chelicerae where it can’t chew well is there anything that can be done about it or will it be fine next molt? Also its not as dark as its 2 brothers or sisters I have had no choice but to hand feed it because it can’t chew well or eat good

  339. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Structural problems do often clear up with successive molts; be sure to keep humidity high, as this will facilitate a quick, normal molt. If it looks as though the problem will be long term, you can eventually wean the animal onto dead or injured prey. I hope it works out; my compliments on your efforts and dedication.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  340. avatar

    Hello my good friend Frank I hope all is well since we last conversated I am well myself however my city and county and surrounding areas didn’t do well with the constant rainfall last week, I have some interesting notes on hand that might be of some use from my observations, first some bad news my most recent pandinus imperator clutch is down to one fiesty scorpling and its not the one I was trying to hand feed but a healthier one, good news is on the note of hadogenes paucidens it seems the pair I have prefer temperatures of about 90-100+ F which is about 10-20 degrees higher than my book says my male prefers super tenebrio larvaes while the female is reluctant on crickets and sometimes mealworms however that is fascinating to know they prefer it really hot like dry and they eat better that way and stay in their home but my book says they need an arid/grassland/savannah setup how would I do that and use ceramic tiles with tamped sand or would small aquarium gravel work?

  341. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Nice to from you again. Thanks for the interesting info. Most of the information we have re temperature preferences is general, so it’s good to have your specific observations. Over a species range, certain populations will be adapted to warmer or cooler conditions than average; also, temperatures are rarely stable in most habitats – looking at climate info (climate research sources would be better than scorpion books) for Hadogene’s range may help you to vary temps a bit; this may help stimulate breeding

    A sand – gravel mix with rock or ceramic retreats should work well.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  342. avatar

    Dear Frank nice to talk to you again I have some insightful information on how to tell if a scorpion is molting or not and being gravid or obese. I found it out by checking on my juvenile emperor subadult scorpion the way to distinguish its going to molt shortly is the coloration of the tergites and its lateral or medial eyes as I was using the flashlight on my cell phone to check on them without illuminating the whole room I noticed the shell getting cloudy as you would say and the eyes were white as if like there was no real eyes in them but a shell of what they were like after you find a molt so I help this if helpful in studies

  343. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the most interesting observation. You could be onto something there…a change in the appearance of the eyes might make sense, as is observed in snakes. I’ll keep the info handy and let you know if I hear anything similar from others.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  344. avatar

    My dearest friend Frank and also mentor I have exciting news to tell you and everyone else not soon after I have spoke to you about the status of my pandinus imperator looking as it was going to molt but just lastnight or 2 days ago she finally molted! I can now confirm that went an exotherm or cold blooded animal or anything that molts a new skin or body has cloudy eyes means it is due to molt soon and it did and is a beautiful yet bigger invert who has already started to darken up when I found her she was not fresh white but had hardened up enough to be able to walk around with no problems and is starting to harden her shell.

  345. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the kind words and update. Very glad to hear that you are keeping notes on such things. Perhaps in time you can look into molting in other scorpion species; plenty of work needed on these interesting creatures.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio

  346. avatar

    Well my Asian Forest Scorpions appear to be very communal creatures. The female had a brood 11 months ago, over the winter I thought we had lost the babies as it had gotten fairly cold. The tank is fairly overgrown with live plants and the floor medium is sphagnum and ecoearth so great for burrows. We have (so far) discovered 5 babies that are alive and well as is our female. Just thought I would update!

  347. avatar

    Hello Cyndi, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the update; glad to hear it. Planted terrariums with lots of cover are usually best – lets the animals spread out, reduces aggression. Watch that they do not need more room as they grow, but sounds like you’ll have a good group there. Should provide for some interesting observations in time, I’ll bet.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  348. avatar

    Hello Frank after seeing cyndis post what type of natural plants or natural decor would be good to use without needing daylight and can be under a heat lamp? Curious.

  349. avatar

    Hello James, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Earth Stars (Cryptanthus) are great for invert tanks; they are various shades of green to red when given light, fade to tan/brown without but do not die even after months of little light. Can take heat/dry and fairly moist conditions.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  350. avatar

    We use some plants from the Cryptanthus species along with a few other bromeliads, but pothos basic generic pothos are my favorite for high humidity terrariums. They will last months with low light but I do light my tanks for several hours most days- we custom make lids of hinged glass with ventilation screens so humidity is not and issue.

    We are debating leaving them as a communal family or seperating into pairs…we have caught 3 of the babies and seperated them and fed them. I do see one very small one that I can not yet get to- that one we will definitely take out of the mix.

  351. avatar

    Hello Cyndi, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the idea…yes, pothos is a great one. I also use it for a variety of amphibians, even as an “emergent plant”.

    Groups do not always work out in captivity, even for species that are communal in the wild; but great to observe an established group; we still have much to learn.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  352. avatar

    Hello my good friend Frank I’d like to talk about a whole different species of animal more specifically fire bellied toads what is the best setup to use for them where they can even reproduce in the tank I have heard and seen many different setups but being your the herpetologist perhaps you can tell me

  353. avatar

    Hello James,

    Nice to hear from you again; great frogs to keep…one of the most active and interesting in my opinion. They are quite aquatic, spending much time floating about but need floating plants and/or turtle rafts, cork bark, etc. on which to rest. I find turtle piers useful as feeding stations…prevent earthworms, waxworms from drowning; crickets usually do fine clinging to plants.

    Please check out this article on breeding and rearing the tadpoles,

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  354. avatar

    Hello again Frank I also have another question about a reptile what is the most appropiate setup for crested geckos?

  355. avatar

    Hello James,

    I’m planning to post an article shortly; here is another with some very good info. Please check it out and write back so we can go over the details when you are ready to get started.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  356. avatar

    Dear frank it has been awhile and hope all is well everything is fine here my fellow colleague I had just lost my male hadogenes paucidens apparently he lived his long life but left offspring to follow for his death but the real reason I’m contacting you is the recent acquirement I purchased today which I believe to be the famous Thai Giant Scorpion I believe to be a male hence the broken aculeus exciting as it is its mostly distunguished by its smooth ungranulated chelae do you have any insight on this species?

  357. avatar

    Hello James,

    Nice to hear from you again.

    The scorpion sold under that common name is usually Heteromitrus laoticus. They tend to be high strung and we do not know much about their venom,. so be careful. You can keep it as described for other Asian Forest Scorpions in that genus. They may live in groups, but it can be difficult to introduce them to one another unless they have already been living together.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  358. avatar

    Dear Frank I have found a website about the species that seems beneficial please let me know if this helps: http://scorpionidae.blogspot.com/p/species-info.html?m=1
    Seems they are defensive. They are also from Vietnam.

  359. avatar

    Hello James,

    Thanks for the update; information is sound; I’m not in favor of rating scorpion venoms in terms of toxicity, as we know little about individual’s reactions to their venom, and treatment is not nearly advanced as for venomous snakes. Young will adjust better to captivity if born there, but cannot be trusted or considered docile.

    Here’s an abstract of possible medicinal uses for their venom, and an article concerning sexual dimorphism; hope you find them of interest.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  360. avatar

    Hey Frank, Been awhile since my last report. Mom and offspring are thriving. Have a couple runts but for the most part the juveniles are looking great. My Fiancee posed a great question. With the # of Scorpions we have, Mom and her 10 offspring, what is a sufficient enclosure size also, with sexing being a somewhat difficult task. Is inbreeding a problem. Should we seperate them at all? Your advice is greatly appreciated

  361. avatar


    Thanks for the update…great news.

    Inbreeding seems to be far less of a concern with invertebrates than with mammals and birds; Emperors tend to stay in family groups in the wild; there is some mixing, no doubt. As they mature, you might try adding new individuals, but some inbreeding often occurs in zoos and seems not to cause problems.

    As they grow, aggression can occur if they are crowded. A 55 gallon could accommodate the group once they are all fully grown, esp. if deep substrate and numerous caves, cork bark pieces etc. are provided. They tolerate more crowding when small…please remind me of the size of your current tank and the set-up when you have a moment.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  362. avatar

    Neato article ! I just grabbed 2.3 group of this ” beef cake ” scorpions. I would like to grab up more and start a captive reproduction and conservation of them. I hear through the grapevines that these particular scorpions are about to be protected and no longer imported.

  363. avatar

    Hello Reggie

    Thanks for your interest and the kind words. It’s a good species to work with; keep extra tanks on hand, as not all will get along. It may be difficult to introduce new individuals to an established group.

    They are currently listed on Cites II, which calls for monitoring but does not restrict trade; I’ve not heard of impending restrictions, but will keep an eye out for info; please let me know if you hear anything, much appreciated.

    This article and those linked within might interest you.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  364. avatar

    Does anybody know about the yellow palestein scorpion? I have been offered one by a freind and don’t know very much about them.

  365. avatar


    Thanks for your interest. There are a few scorpion species that appear in the pet trade under that name….All are dangerously venomous and should not be kept in captivity. Their venoms are complex and not well-studied; human fatalities are common. Antivenin is not readily available, and has not been approved for use in the USA. The most commonly seen species is Leiurus quinquestriatus, but there are many similar species….any small scorpion form the Middle East should be considered capable of killing a person, and should not be kept in captivity. Unfortunately, several are regularly sold, leading buyers to believe that they are not dangerous.

    Your friend would be well-advised to contact a local zoo or the appropriate governmental wildlife agency for guidance.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  366. avatar

    I really enjoyed the article I have 3 emperor scorpions that i just got for christmas and we keep them at my music store the customers love to look at them and yesterday I came in to find that 1 had babies I didn’t even know she was pregnant we had to have gotten her while she was already pregnant since i’ve only have her 2 1/2 months and i’m kinda freaking out she has eaten 2 of the 5 shes had so far one got cought up with a cricket but shes just eating one now i seen that that’s nowt uncomon and she is a bit stressed we had to seperate the tank so the others can’t get to her and I had just put this weeks crickets in with them so we had to catch all of them too…poor thing she’s really stressed I wanted to ask if I should be concerened that she’s just gonna keep eating them or will she calm down now that she’s seperated and what do i do about feeding her please help any advise would be great

  367. avatar

    Hello Catt

    Thanks for your interest and the kind words. Stress is involved as you’ve gathered. Giving her as much room as possible, with lots of hiding spots, is best; if you’ve split the tank with a divider (not sure from your note) consider setting the others up in another tank, so that the female can have all of the original tank to herself. Best also to remove the tank to a dark, undisturbed area; they sense vibrations with minute hairs…being in the store itself would be stressful. Music vibrations in air as well, if that occurs.

    5 is a small clutch…she may produce more (they can put “a hold” on the process if all is not right); small females and first time mothers may produce small clutches also. Warmth and extra humidity impt, as young dessicate easily.

    Try feeding her with a long-handled tong; this may help to lessen accidental cannibalism; be sure to move slowly around her when feeding; watch vibrations (tank top, etc.) as well.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  368. avatar

    I bought 2 emporers in Dec they were shipped to the petstore together where I picked them up still in shipping container. I put them in a 25 gal tank with an anole. In the tank 6″ of coconut husk a live plant and a large rock. It is lit with a 60w halogen. Temp is 70-85 humidity is 80. Crickets and mealworms are breeding in tank and occasionally put in wild caught bugs. Mist twice a day aprox 5 oz each time. Create weather by turning off light occasionally followed by a drench then a few days of no mist to dry out. Lizard has branches that do not get near ground so scorpes cannot reach him though he occasionally jumps down to grab food. It has been effective for 6 months and counting everybody is fat and happy. The 2 scorpes appear to be male and female based on size. Have not cleaned tank since the critters and plants seem to do it for me :-) . I see the scorpes most days (they come out when it is quiet). Only odd thing is that the scorpes are a medium green when you look at them with a blue white led flashlight. Once in awhile some fungal “roots” appear on glass but the “mites” congregate and the next day its gone. Also some earthworms from time to time are added. The female seems gravid (has looked like she’s about to burst at the seams since Feb) also seems to be the more active of the two.

  369. avatar

    Hi Kris,

    Thanks for the most interesting note; sounds like you have a nice little system going there. Some of my favorite tanks and exhibits have been similar – lots of scavengers and plants, etc. Very good to alter “weather” as you mention. Good sign that they are staying together. One caution – scorpions are soft after molting; adult crickets and (possibly) mealworms may attack them at this point. Usually only a problem if insect population is high; some fruit or fish flakes will distract crickets. Sowbugs are great scavengers and sometimes eaten, and are safe, as are earthworms.

    Re the flashlight – Scorpions have fluorescent chemicals in the exoskeleton, which causes them to glow under certain wavelengths of light – strongest effect under blacklight. Still not known exactly what role this plays in their natural history. I’ve done a few zoo exhibits using blacklight…amazing effects (should be related videos on YouTube).

    Hope they breed; enjoy and please keep me posted, Best, Frank

  370. avatar

    I’ve blacklit these guys and its a way different color. Blacklit these guys are a bright glow-in-the-dark green/blue. What the led does is make it a dark medium green, more like an olive green, but darker, and not fluorescent. A subspecies maybe?

  371. avatar

    Hi Kris,

    Thanks for the feedback; different wavelengths of light have different effects. Seems to vary among the species, but no real research, as far as I know, has been done on relating this to species ID, except in a very general way. Great work for someone…

    Best, Frank

  372. avatar

    Are they nypmhs (is that the right term?) fully formed when they’re born? My female had 4 of them on her back this morning when I got up, she’s produced another since I left for work. But when I look at them, it looks like they don’t have tails. Then again, I was trying not to stress her out, and left her alone.

  373. avatar

    Hi Todd,

    They are fully formed, but the tails are small and usually curled tightly over the back for the first few days. Best not to disturb, as you mentioned. You’ll see “nymph’ used, but technically they are just young scorpions, no distinct name such as larvae, etc.

    Enjoy and pl keep me posted, Best, Frank

  374. avatar

    i had a question about how to feed the baby’s after there first mult. i separated them from there mother after they themselves separated from there mother. and now im interested on how i should feed them. should i kill crickets and place them in front of them because there so small and week looking i worry even a pin head cricket could hurt them. they are curentry only on there 1st mult. so they are still clear and very small.

  375. avatar

    Hi Russel,

    Pinheads and 10 day old crickets are the standard diet for youngsters, and will not harm them. Some young will be weaker than others, and there will always be some losses, but not due to crickets. When scorpions are soft, just after molting, larger crickets sometimes attack them, but this does not happen with pinheads. keeping a bit of fruit and tropical fish flakes in the tank will keep crickets full and away from molting scorpions. Good luck and please keep me posted, Frank

  376. avatar

    im doing the crickets and they only seam to be running from them. i have not seen any of them eat at all. do you know why they may not be hunting. they have only molted one time. will thy be more prone to hunt there own food after there 2nd? they wonder around and huddle. but i never see them eat and there food is never gon. can they get to there 2nd molt before starving?

  377. avatar

    Hi Russell,

    They normally begin to feed sometime after the first molt; they rely on stored nutrients for a time, and will begin feeding once these are depleted. Be sure their enclosure is very humid, as they cannot control water loss well, warm (85-90F) and that there are plenty of places to side. A shallow, easily exited water dish (i.e. petri dish with gravel) should be available.

    Assuming they are in good health and are housed properly, they should begin to feed when necessary.

    Best,. Frank

  378. avatar

    Hey Frank! When do emperor scorpions usually reach adulthood?

  379. avatar

    Hi John,

    In captivity, they can reach adult size by age 10-12 months, and are often ready to breed at 12-14 months. however this varies greatly, and is affected by diet, temperature, stress levels and even the origin of the scorpions or their ancestors…they have a wide natural range, and different wild populations grow at different rates. Some wild populations are believed to take 4-7 years to reach sexual maturity.

    Please let me know if you need more info, enjoy, Frank

  380. avatar

    Thanks for replying quickly Mr. Frank! I am a big fan of you, and you’ve given me a lot of help. I also admire you because you’ve been helping people a lot. Right now I am truly in need of help. I don’t have a problem if you don’t think you can help, but if you could, please do your best to give me advices. I am here in Liberia, West Africa, and I am trying to collect emperor scorpions in both sexes so that I can breed them in captivity. I do not wish on collecting more wild emperor scorpions as it may reduce their population. Most of the people in this country consider them dangerous because of the rumors and stories they have heard, and perhaps because they have never studied about it. The country is not very well developed and some of them are not educated enough, which leads them to kill the scorpions around here. The problem right now is that I may have to find two adults with both male and female because I currently have one male non-adult that has not yet reached sexual maturity. I have a big interest with scorpions and invertebrates. I’m also confused of what the venom of wild emperor scorpions can do. Can it really kill a human being? They told me that the venom could travel through the heart and then you just die. Of course I can’t just believe in such stories, so I thought about asking an expert like you. Please help if you can Mr. Frank, thanks in advance!

  381. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated; glad I could be of some use.

    Emperor Scorpion venom is not considered to be dangerous to people; however, there is always the chance of an allergic reaction. If a person is allergic to a compound in the venom (scorpion venom is very complex) then a serious reaction or even death could occur, just as sometimes happens with bee or wasp stings.

    In regions with many different types of scorpions (or venomous snakes), children are often taught to avoid and/or fear all species. This is generally a safer route than learning to identify dangerous/harmless species. This holds true, I have seen, in much of South America, and I believe in parts of Africa as well. Here in the USA, people in the Northeast, where there are only 3 venomous species (all rare and easy to identify), there is not very much fear of snakes. In the rural parts of the south, where there are a number of venomous snake (and scorpions), many people fear and/or kill all on sight. I always advise people never to touch scorpions with bare hands, no matter what species is involved. Enjoy, good luck and please keep me posted..very interesting for readers in US to have your thoughts and reports from Liberia. best regards, Frank

  382. avatar

    I see, but is there any way to prove that you’re allergic except being stung by the actual scorpion? I just want to make sure, not because I want to handle it. I strongly agree with you about not touching scorpions with bare hands no matter what species is involved haha :). Thanks a lot Mr. Frank. I’ve read almost all of the comments along with the answers of this article; emperor scorpions’ are very interesting indeed. I hope that their population will not go very low in this country someday.

  383. avatar

    I do not know of any tests that can determine if someone is allergic to scorpion venom; there are such tests for other allergies – food, pollen, etc., but we know very little about the actual composition of scorpion venom in generasl. Several are being investigated for use as medicines, as many of the chemicals found within them are unique and unstudied. Good luck in all, please keep me posted (and be careful!), best, Frank

  384. avatar

    Hi Frank. I was wondering what kind of light I should use for heating and lighting my scorpions enclosure. I have a female Hadrurus arizonensis. Is IR light bad for her in any way? Thank you!

  385. avatar

    Hi Stephen

    Incandescent bulbs http://www.thatpetplace.com/spot-day-white-bulbs may be used by day; ceramic heaters http://bitly.com/NSUMSq or red/black reptile “night bulbs” http://bitly.com/MS35s9 are useful after dark. InfraRed can be used as a heat source, but be aware that heat will built up rapidly in small enclosures, watch for fire hazards and over-drying of the enclosure. Best, Frank

  386. avatar

    Hello Frank, I have 2 adult emperor scorpions of the 5 that I had originally bought. over the years they had bred and I have about 12 one year old scorpions they are about 1-2 inches in length. The tank I have the adults in is very large and I wanted to put the young ones with the 2 adults.
    Can this be done or will the adults eat the younger ones. I always keep my scorpions well fed. I do not want to loose any of the brood.
    Thank you!!!

  387. avatar

    Hi Paul,

    Their social behavior is not well understood, unfortunately. They get along usually, if all raised together (female with young)..in the wild, males would also be present. But things change in captivity; also, after a period of separation it can be risky to reintroduce. Even among groups that get along, adults stimulated by the presence of food sometimes grab youngsters and consume them. Best to raise the young ones separately…they may be fine for weeks, then one will be eaten, etc. Best, Frank

  388. avatar

    i i didnt no my scorpion was pregnant she had 7 but got two the last one soon as it left her back i took my chance and taken it out and set up a tank for him/her not sure what to feed it i put a tiny cricket in but scorp keeps running maybe took scorp away to early? but ive crippled the crcket so it cant run if it dies will they eat it are they scavengers think ive heard they are?

  389. avatar

    Hi Peter,

    Congats! They do best if left with the female, but some females become stressed and consume the young. It will not feed until after the first molt. Until then, be sure to keep moist and provide hiding spots as they desiccate easily. 10-day old crickets are the best food to start with…not all pet stores carry, so you may need to order on line. You can also collect leaf litter invertebrates or sweep through tall grass with a net to find tiny grasshoppers, ahpids, etc.

    Please let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  390. avatar

    any idea how long it is till there first molt?

  391. avatar

    Usually 7-10 days, but this can vary in either direction; they are well stocked with nutrients when born, so no need to be overly concerned about feeding exactly on time. best, Frank

  392. avatar

    do they remain white even after first molt or will they change black?

  393. avatar

    They darken after the first molt, and for several molts after that…best, Frank

  394. avatar

    thx for the help I will let u no its fate in time

  395. avatar

    My pleasure, good luck with all, Frank

  396. avatar

    Hello, Hoping you can help as there’s VERY little info out there on these guys for what I’m after. We bought a scorpion, and bam, several months later, she had babies. At around 2 weeks, the babies started to venture out, one day we came home and noted about 7 of them were completely gone, and she was devouring the 8th, and a few were disfigured. We removed the babies from mom and put them in a smaller container placed her the larger cage. That way we didnt mess with the humidity or temps. Mom had food in her enclosure, so not sure why she ate her kids. The babies are actively pursuing flightless fruit flies and we have witnessed them eating. Cant wait to get small crickets for them. We have gel water for them to “drink” seen this at Petco, but have yet to witness any of them actually drink anything. I was told i can sell them off when they turn black… any idea roughly how long that should take? We had no intentions of breeding (thought we got a male… surprise!) and we dont need 11 scorpions either. I dont want to sell something that is overly fragile, but i dont want to have to keep these guys for ever either, so im hoping for a rough estimate on when they should change black? Are we talking about 2mnths or 8mnths? ty in advance

  397. avatar

    Hello Chris,

    They are past the main danger point once they begin feeding, although they become less prone to dessication with subsequent molts…some stay dark brown for quite awhile, others blacken quickly, so color is not an ideal standard. Another problem with selling tiny ones is feeding….many people have trouble getting small food items. Unfortunately, the are no good guidelines as to growth, etc..highly dependent on temperature, diet, humidity and genetics of the parent stock (they have a huge natural range, and populations vary in size, etc.). Providing pinhead or 10-day-old crickets will speed growth, but these are not available from many stores; internet suppliers often ship large orders only.

    Females consume young for many reasons, and some do so even when conditions are perfect (to our eye, obviously!); you can read more about this here.. Good luck and pl let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  398. avatar

    I am one of those people who bought a “male” scorpion at the local aquarium store, and now “he” has given birth. Things are going just ok. Babies climbing down off her back TODAY! She has not fed since birth, there is a very inactive cricket in there now. I tried feeding her a meal worm, it burrowed to the bottom of the cage when she dropped it. I thought I saw the cricket in her hand yesterday, so I slowly backed out of the room. But either she never had it or she let it go…. I moved 2 babies successfully who had come down, they are in a new cage, one looks strong, the other not so much. I keep dumping pinheads in, but they are not feeding. Will try bigger 1/4 inch crickets next. My question is, when there are 3 babies on the ground with her, like right now, how do I get them safely out of there??? She is very aggressive and I am just a newbie. I am afraid she will eat one of them when I go to scoop them up. I am thinking about putting a flat something in there to block her off, like a wall, but she is not in a good position for that that now. My husband held her off with a spoon, while he scooped the other 2 out. How much time do you think I have to get these 3 out safely??

  399. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Congrats; they vary greatly in their reactions; I’ve raised many young right in with females, but others grab and eat the youngsters, even when they seem otherwise calm. Often best to remove, but perhaps wait until all are off her back. If you try moving her now, i.e. by backing her into a plastic container or blocking off from those on the ground, she may dislodge others and they could be killed. Sorry there are no definite guidelines as to timing, etc. Please let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  400. avatar

    Wow what an amazing web site you have here. Thank you so much for your time, effort and expertise.

    I had 2 emperor scorpions until the bigger of the two ate the other one yesterday! Needless to say I was devastated.

    They have lived together for over a year now and one, Kublai, was always bigger than the other, Genghis. Usually they shed about the same time as one another but this time I noticed that Genghis was displaying shedding behavior while Kublai wasn’t. Genghis was very sluggish, not eating and hanging out by the water bowl and his/her skin was all wrinkly and looking like it was going to shed soon. Unfortunately I had no idea they were cannibalistic so thought nothing of separating them.

    Over the last couple of weeks Kublai has been extra hungry while Genghis wasn’t eating but no big deal since he/she was getting ready to shed. But Kublai ate 4 meal worms during one feeding, 2 in the mouth and 2 in the claws at once! Then not even a week later Kublai ate all 4 of the crickets I put in the tank!

    Then two days went by when I woke up one morning SHOCKED that Kublai was eating Genghis. Also, over the last few weeks Kublai has displayed different behavior which I would describe as he/she is trying to burrow. I’ve never had too deep of substrate, just a log, leaves and moss for them to hide. But since reading this I put in extra substrate just in case he/she is trying to burrow for some reason. Also, they have never demonstrated this behavior and their climate and habitat has not changed at all.

    So just wondering if there is something going on that you might have any idea about. I know it may be a long shot but just quite curious. Thanks so much!

  401. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Females with developing young often go through periods when they eat a greaat deal, then slow down; they also may become aggressive to others, even though they live communally in the wild. Molting animals are sometimes attacked if the exoskeleton does not harden quickly (dry conditions can cause delayed molts)…the animal remains soft and defenseless, and others can sense this. Please keep me posted, and let me know if you need more info., best, Frank

  402. avatar

    I was wondering, will a male protect the female after pregnancy has happened? I have a male and female that I bought together, they have been housing mates since before I bought them. I would guess they are at the age to be mature and ready for breeding. Our female has been burrowing and hiding, with our male guarding her. He is quite aggressive and tries to strike with anyone trying to clean or feed them.

  403. avatar

    Hello Jamie,

    Thanks for the interesting observation. They live communaly in the wild, so it is likely that defensive behavior would be useful. Certainly pheromones released by gravid females could spark this behavior; I’ve not read that this has been documented, but field studies are limited. It would be very useful to record what you observe. Please keep me posted, enjoy, Frank

  404. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    I’ve just begun uncovering the world of scorpion keeping, I’ve kept reptile for 12 years, I’ve bred geckos and I’ve spent most of this year entering the world of Tarantulas. Everything I’ve kept has different rules of course, but things like caresheets do nothing in comparison to the words of someone who actually knows what they are doing. I have mainly questions about breeding and keeping emperors together. I currently have three that are usually covered in their mass of foliage, and they seem to get along without any problems whatsoever. They came from the same place/breeder, and “knew” eachother previously. I have two females and a male. I go back to that breeder to purchase more this weekend, but I was wondering how placing multiple males in the same large tank would work? I was hoping for two colonies of five, but have the feeling I will have to change my mind. Can two males and three females live together? I have several tanks prepared, but was hoping to add another two scorps to the tank I currently have. Thoughts?

  405. avatar

    Hello Kirstie,

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

    Multiple males live together in the wild, and I’ve had success in large zoo exhibits…but always with animals that were purchased from a group already living together. It would be risky to add another male (or female) to your established group. The rules change in captivity…females that would normally get along with others after breeding sometimes become aggressive, etc.

    Enjoy, and let me know if you need anything, Frank

  406. avatar

    Hi Frank, I have another question. Is it possible for emperor scorpions to become gravid before 4 years of age? I am still seeing odd behaviors in our male and female. She looks as though she wants to molt, but yet nothing has happened. When we purchased them, they had been house together in the same enclosure for who knows how long. She is constantly burrowed with him still hovering around or above her. Her telson is still white, and I have heard she isn’t mature enough to be able to breed. I have had them for a month now, I would think if she was getting ready to molt, she would have by now. Can you help me out on this one????

    Jamie Shamblin

  407. avatar

    Hi Jamie,

    Captives sometimes breed when only 1 year of age, and commonly do so by age 3-4; sexual maturity isn’t likely achieved until age 4-7 in the wild, depending on locale. Be sure to keep humidity up, in case she is preparing to molt, as this will ease the process,

    Pl keep me posted, enjoy, Frank

  408. avatar

    Hello, i have 2 Asian rain forest scorpions and was talking to a friend about them when he asked if it was possible for example, one like mine to breed with another species of scorpion such as an emperor scorpion? Not saying I’m going to but it did raise my curiosity.

  409. avatar

    Hello Josh,

    We have much to learn about scorpion taxonomy, but those 2 species do not appear closely related, and would not likely be able to interbreed. Also, scorpions have been on earth longer than almost any 0other creature…species isolated from one another have had a very long time to evolve different breeding strategies, etc. Best, Frank

  410. avatar

    Ok thank you for the quick response. Also, i attempted to introduce one about a week and a half ago but they don’t seem to want to get along, is there any strategies i can take to keep them in the same cage without wanting to kill each other? They have lived in there since but usually one cowers away after they have conflict but i worry it ill get worse as time passes. And one more question, one of them is looking a little wrinkled on the white part. should i be worried about that? if so, what can i do to better care for it?

  411. avatar

    forgot to add, there is three different burrows and holes they can hide in so shelter is no issue along with crickets and space they seem to only have conflict when they come out at night then they seem to go back to their own business

  412. avatar

    Hi Josh,

    I wouldn’t try to keep them together; even if they do not fight, the stress caused by living with a dominant animal will weaken the immune system of the other, which will lead to sickness and or death. Also, when one sheds the other will likely kill it.

    As a general rule, it’s best not to house related animals from different habitats/parts of the world together; micro-organisms, parasites, bacteria that might be relatively harmless to one could cause serious health problems or death to another; similar to when tourists become ill from drinking the tap water in foreign countries, because they have no immunities to local bacteria.

    No real way to diagnose any problem from what you describe, re wrinkling, unfortunately,

    Enjoy, let me know if you need anything , frank

  413. avatar

    Thank you again for the wonderful advice! i don’t think i was to specific on that though. They are both the same species of scorpion which i purchased from my local petsmart, the first one about a month and a half ago. and the other a week and a half ago. The emperor scorpion question was out of curiosity. Sorry for so many questions but i guess everybody has to start somewhere. most sites i have looked at aren’t very specific about the information i want. I do have to say your blog here has a lot of useful information and keep up the good work Frank!

  414. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words, please write in anytime.

    Emperors are social in the wild, but not all will get along in captivity; it can take awhile to find a compatible pair or group. The stress scenario still applies, but you can try adding extra cork bark, plants, rocks etc to the terrarium, to break the space up and allow them to avoid one another when they are on the surface. Keep a close watch on them, they may adjust to each other over time, but no accurate way to predict, best, Frank

  415. avatar

    hey its me again.. so far and so good with the scorpions. i got a new one yesterday. also one drowned a week ago even with a sponge and the extra precautions. they all seem to be getting along real well to now. i found that after rearranging the cage a few times that they started to get along better. and i also had a couple questions for you. ill have to explain a few things first. so i want to go to college for some sort of degree. but i would like to study scorpions and tarantulas for a living. would you by chance have any thoughts or ideas what type of work position i could go for, that i can study just these creatures? anything helps. please and thank you!

  416. avatar

    Hello Josh,

    I apologize for the long delay…a glitch in the notification system caused me to miss your comment.

    Arachnologists may go into field research, museum work, bio-medical studies (medicine from venom, etc) and related fields….I’m not familiar with all the options. …a small field but growing;

    A friend who is an arachnologist suggests that you join or keep tabs on the Am Arachnological Society.; their website has info on graduate studies, ongoing research, grants for students, meetings, etc. My friend mainly supports himself by teaching at a college (a common route, as research work is sporadic, usually), and uses his summers for field work, writing books and articles, etc. As for college…basic biology, zoology will provide a good basis…you can specialize once you reach graduate school. For serious work..research, etc; you’ll need a pHD. Zoo work and similar is possible earlier on, but best to go as far as you can with your education, as all related fields are extremely competitive.

    I’m not sure where we left off in our earlier emails, but if if you;ve not seen it, this article may be of use. It focuses on general zoology careers..the principles are applicable to the study of scorpions and spiders.

    My notification system is back on track now, so please keep me posted, best, Frank

  417. avatar

    well i believe i was the last josh to post as those are my comments.. ha ha. no need for apologies with the delays i assumed you would get back to me. thanks for the advice! i just find it a hobby to arrange the cage and observe what they do. so i thought i could make use of it and try to turn it into a career!

  418. avatar

    Hello Josh…nothing like turning a hobby into a career; it was a long haul for me, but well worth it as I’ve rarely felt as if I’ve been “working” in the true sense of the word for many years now. I enjoy setting up terrariums…was able to turn that into zoo and museum work as a keeper and later as a freelance consultant; great fun; But stay practical…animal care jobs are interesting, rewarding, but salaries are generally poor; education is the way to go if you plabn on earning a decent living at it; let me know if you need info as time goes on, best, Frank

  419. avatar

    Hi Frank, I have a emperor scorpion , she bore about 20-30 baby scorpions none of the baby died luckily . I have moved the babies to a smaller aquarium they seems to be fine but they pile up together and are very inactive are they alright?

  420. avatar


    Congrats! They move very little at first, and will not feed until after their first molt, at which time the color will darken a bit. Be sure to keep humidity up, as they desiccate easily, and give them plenty of places to hide…pl keep me posted, let me know if you need more info, enjoy, Frank

  421. avatar

    Hi Frank, me again . I took your advise and place a lump of wood in the aquarium and surprisingly the scorpions started to separate and go for the wood for cover they still don’t move much but when I moise them they move around actively happy to see them healthy :) as for the food for them … I brought some maggets ( they looks like but I am or sure ) the size of the food is larger then them for now I am not sure if they will eat the food I provide or is there another solution?

  422. avatar


    They will not likely take food that large…newly-hatched crickets (pinheads) or 10 day old crickets are best; fruitflies are also useful.

    Please let me know if you need more info, Frank

  423. avatar

    Hey Frank , now my mummy scorpion still looks like she is pregnant after giving birth to 30 of the babies is there any chances for a scorpion to give birth twice ? Before even mating the second time?

  424. avatar



    Yes..they can store sperm, and a single mating can produce several litters; we don’t have complete studies, but I’ve observed storage ou at least 1 year…amazing little creatures! No real info on period between births…seems to vary a great deal. please keep me posted, best, Frank

  425. avatar

    That’s impressive … Awesome little creatures

  426. avatar

    Yes…they are more complex than most people realize! best, Frank

  427. avatar

    Frank, very good job in writing this blog. In the last couple of years we have started breeding Emperor Scorpions and have good luck with them. This blog was very interesting and also was somewhat helpful. Great work, thank you.


  428. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words, Andy, much appreciated.

  429. avatar

    Hello Frank! me josh again imy scorpions have successfully bred. they no longer fight and 2 of the 3 adults are on one end of the cage. the smaller babies are about an inch long.. should i take them out at this time and feed them the smaller crickets in a separate terrarium? and i am currently enrolled into Mesa State University now to go for a biology degree at the moment and i hope to succeed with that as well! they are asian forest scorpions. just a reminder! ha

  430. avatar

    also i do not have a exact count on the babies. i believe there is about 6 or so.. i have been gone away from my home for 3 weeks and my father took care of them in the mean time. so i do not know how long they have been living for either. any advice would help thank you

  431. avatar

    Hello Josh,

    Congrats; I’d say remove them; since there are appx., some have likely been picked off by adults; they do not do as well in groups as Emperors.

    Very glad to ehar about school…great step for anything, but esp. if you plan a career with animals or in bio. let me know if you need any career type info in future and pl keep me posted. Good luck, do well, Frank

  432. avatar

    i took them out.. there is 16-17 of them! did not expect it at all they were burrowed a little bit deeper.. momma keeps looking for them though i think. what would you suggest i feed them? i’ve been getting small crickets and pulling their legs off but was not sure if there was an easier food source?

  433. avatar

    i will keep you posted about it as i go along with college. i hope to get a job with a zoo. but also perhaps a job traveling to try and find new species and study the behavior of different species of scorpions.
    thank you

  434. avatar

    Hello Josh…nice to hear.Crickets seem easiest, feed them well if they are the sole food. Very small waxworms or mealworms can be used also, leaf litter inverts if you have time to collect. enjoy, best, frank

  435. avatar

    Sounds good; larger zoos have research positions etc, but rarely focus on inverts. Museum work might be an option…well financed institutions such as the AMNH would be best…lots of competition though. Should be options if you look into the medicinal side of it as well…venoms very complex, interest growing. You often need to focus on something that arouses wider interest (and hence gets you a salary!), and then focus on your main interests as part of that work. A good friend is an arachnologist, spider guy but he may have ideas…he teaches, which is not at all his preference, but has time and funding in summer to do more interesting work, good luck, let me know if you need anything, Frank

  436. avatar

    Hi frank , about the baby scorpion thy are about 3 months ? Or so ? Can I place them back with their mother , will they be eaten? ( they have skin now ) :) they look okay to be place with their mother . Thank you :) Ka soon

  437. avatar

    Hi Ka soon,

    Glad to hear they have done well. It’s difficult to predict what will happen if you re-introduce; captivity changes their behavior, so it’s not possible to compare to what goes on in the wild. Be sure she’s well fed, and try 1-2 first; watch after dark also. Hope all goes well, please let me know, Frank

  438. avatar

    Hi ,Frank, I have an emporer scorpion I’ve had for two years.its obviously yielded babies,only two and they weren’t on her back just kicked in the coconut fiber flooring how do I take care of this baby I now have it separated due to fear of the mother tring to kill it any advice is appreciated

  439. avatar

    Also , the mother is the only one I’ve had for 2 years so can they be hermanpherdite

  440. avatar

    Hi Andy,

    Keep as you would an adult, but be sure enclosure is very humid, as they do not control water loss well. They can take 10 day old crickets, but will not feed until after the first molt.

  441. avatar

    Hi Andy,

    Emperor scorpions can store sperm for quite some time…at least 1 year; I’ve not seen reports of 2 years, but could be possible..fact that only 2 youngsters were born would support this. Some scorpions reproduce asexually….emperor scorpions do not seem able to do so, however. I have not checked recently, however, but will do so in the near future. Best, frank

  442. avatar

    Thnx for the response,frank

  443. avatar

    My pleasure, please keep me posted, best, Frank

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About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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