Home | Arachnids | Scorpions as Pets – an Overview of their Care

Scorpions as Pets – an Overview of their Care

Buthus ScorpionI can’t remember a time when scorpions did not fascinate me, and their lure grows stronger with each new species I encounter.  In the past, I’ve written on the care and natural history of Emperor, Flat Rock, Asian Forest and other popular scorpions.  Today I’d like to present a general overview.  I hope it will help you to decide if a scorpion is the right choice for you and if so, how to get started.

What’s in Store for Scorpion Fans

Among the world’s 2,000+ scorpion species we find an astonishing diversity of fascinating creatures, many of which make hardy pets that adjust well to small enclosures.  Several reproduce readily in captivity – lucky scorpion keepers may even be treated to the sight of a female feeding her offspring with crickets!  At least 15 species are established in the pet trade, and specialists are working with several others.

Natural History

At 8.5 inches in length,the South African Flat Rock Scorpion, Hadogenes troglodytes, is the largest scorpion regularly seen in captivity.  It is exceeded in size only by India’s 10-12 inch-long Giant Forest Scorpion, Heterometrus swammerdami.  The largest North American species is the 4 inch Florida Bark Scorpion, Centruroides gracilis.  Today’s giants are dwarfed by the ancient Sea Scorpionssome were larger than a person (please see article below)!  On the other end of the scale, several in the genus Microtityus are a mere 0.3 inches long.

Most scorpions feed upon a variety of invertebrates, but some specialize in catching land snails and other scorpions. Frogs and other vertebrates are sometimes taken by large individuals.  All scorpions produce live young, and some are parthenogenic (reproduce without mating).

Females often carry the young on their backs, and several species feed them with shredded insects.  Emperor Scorpions and others exhibit complex social behaviors.

Range and Habitat

Scorpions are found on all continents except Antarctica, and live in deserts, grasslands, caves, rainforests, human dwellings and many other habitats.  A surprising number thrive in temperate climates, ranging as far north as Canada; 90+ species inhabit the USA.  They are frequent stowaways…I was once called to Kennedy Airport to collect a scorpion that had stung a customs inspector as she checked luggage.


C. gracilis with babiesScorpion venoms are complex, and are being studied for possible use in the treatment of Lupus, cancer, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis, and as pain-killers and insecticides.

Most of the 25-30 species capable of delivering dangerous stings are classified within the Genera Centruroides, Androctonus and Tityus. 

Scorpions in Captivity

Scorpions are nocturnal, but captives often emerge to feed by day.

Due to peculiarities in molecular structure of the exoskeleton, scorpions fluoresce (“glow”) under UVB light; scientists have not determined what purpose this serves.


Setting up the Terrarium

Scorpions are best kept in screen-covered aquariums or plastic terrariums.   A 10-15 gallon tank is usually adequate for a single adult or pair.

Scorpions need a dark hiding spot.  Burrowers such as the Emperor Scorpion will dig their own retreats if provided with deep substrate.  Arboreal scorpions will hide behind an upright piece of bark, while South African Rock Scorpions prefer narrow rock crevices.  Most also accept inverted flower pots and plastic caves.


A mix of coconut husk and peat moss works well for rainforest natives.  Burrows will stay intact if you add just enough water so that the substrate sticks together when squeezed.

Arizona Hairy Scorpions and other desert-dwellers can be kept on a sand/gravel mix.


Reptile night bulbs will allow you to watch your pets’ nocturnal activities.


Most scorpions do well at temperatures of 78-86 F (please write in for individual species details).

Reptile night bulbs or ceramic reptile heaters can be used to warm the terrarium.  Heat pads are another option, but these warm the substrate more than the air.  Any heating element may dry out the terrarium, so it is important to monitor humidity.


Rainforest species require humidity levels in the range of 75-85%, while those from arid habitats do best at 40-50% humidity.  Desert-dwelling scorpions spend most of their time in moist burrows, and should be provided a cave stocked with damp sphagnum moss.


Emperor Scorpions and several others live in social groups that occupy a single burrow system.  However, females with young may become aggressive…please write in for further information.

If given enough space, a scorpion colony will establish a complicated maze of burrows.


Most scorpions will thrive on a diet comprised of crickets, mealworms and earthworms, but they should also be offered roaches, waxworms, and other invertebrates.  Pink mice are not required, even for the largest species.

Once adjusted to their homes, scorpions will often accept canned grasshoppers and snails from feeding tongs.  Powdering food once weekly with a reptile vitamin/mineral supplement may be beneficial.

Scorpions obtain water from their prey, but should also be provided with a shallow, easily-exited water bowl.

Health Considerations

Flat Rock ScorpionAll scorpions produce venom and can deliver a painful sting.  While those commonly sold in the US pet trade are not known to have caused fatalities, dangerous species have appeared, either accidentally or purposefully.  Also, a serious allergic reaction to any venom is possible.  Purchase scorpions only from reliable sources, and be sure you can identify those you are considering.

Scorpions adjust well to captivity, but cannot be “tamed” or “trusted”, and should not be touched with bare hands.  Move scorpions by urging them into a clear container with long-handled tongs, or by inverting a container over the animal and sliding the cover below.  Lifting by the “tail”, or telson, places you in danger and can injure the scorpion.



Further Reading

When 8-Foot-Long Scorpions Roamed

Scorpion fossilized in amber

Keeping Emperor Scorpions

Checklist, USA’s Scorpions

Scorpion Venom as a Morphine Substitute


Buthus Scorpion image originally referenced from wikipedia and uploaded by Evilhakfar

C. gracilis with babies image originally referenced from wikipedia and uploaded by Ja

Flat Rock Scorpion image originally referenced from wikipedia and uploaded by TimVickers


  1. avatar

    Hey, ive got 4 small emperor scorpions and in the last 24 hours one has gone into a molt and seems to be stuck, not sure theres alot I can do for it so im going to have to freeze it, im wondering if its anything to do with my setup?

    Ive got a 3×1 foot glass tank, average temperature of 23 degrees celcius and 85% RH

    Is that ok conditions?
    Spiderlife substrate mixed with some vermiculite to help hold moisture.
    Theres 4 cork bark shelters and they are mainly fed crickets.

    Any help will be appreciated

    • avatar

      Hello Greg,

      Thanks for your interest.

      Unfortunately, scorpions that become stuck in a molt are difficult to assist. Try covering the screen top with plastic and spraying heavily, but at this point it is not likely to help. Manually pulling of the exoskeleton is not an option; the new exoskeleton will not have hardened properly, and stings are still possible as well.

      Difficult sheds can be caused by overly-dry conditions or lack of a moist shelter or burrow, or disturbance by people or other scorpions just prior to the shed. Sometimes it is related to underlying health issues of which we know little, unfortunately.

      Your set-up and humidity levels sound fine. 23 C (78 F) is right at the lower limit of their preferred temperature range; they often do fine at that temperature but raising it a bit would be preferable; immune system may operate more efficiently, etc. 27 C (86 F) is the upper limit; 25-26 C would be ideal.

      You might also try stocking the shelters with damp sphagnum moss, so there’s always an extra-moist area available. Providing substrate deep enough for burrows, and partially burying caves within the substrate, is also useful.

      Since you’ve provided the scorpion with a good habitat, I would guess that the trouble is either due to a disturbance just prior to the molt or an undetermined health problem.

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

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  2. avatar

    Yeah ill have to get another heater I think, its fine in the summer but right now its -9 outside and the tank is at 21, but the heaters have just come on with a timer, im going to euthanise the scorpion because theres definatley nothing I can do now.

    Also I do have sphagnum moss but I find it just dries out really fast, any tips?

    Thanks for the help.

    • avatar

      Hello Greg

      Thanks for the feedback. Temperature could be involved; perhaps it dipped at night while the scorpion was starting to molt; it’s a very complicated process, as you can imagine…I’ve found various inverts “stuck” in the wild as well; conditions must be just right. Not sure what you are using, but ceramic heat emitters, as sold for herps, are useful, and do not emit light. Let me now if you need details or links to products.

      Heaters of any type will dry substrates. Sphagnum can hold a great deal of water; if you soak it in a bucket of water for awhile before using it may stay damp longer. Locating moss-filled caves below the substrate will also help slow evaporative loss.

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

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  3. avatar

    Hi Frank. Do you know of anywhere I could buy an Indian Giant Forest Scorpion?

    Thank you, Stephen.

    • avatar

      Hi Stephen,

      I don’t have any sources right now…I’ll keep an eye out. You may be able to put in a request with some of the invertebrate suppliers on Kingsnake.com as well.

      Best, Frank

  4. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    hello frank i have a young emperor scorpion and his tail seems to be stuck in his old molt its barely been a day sence his molt, the old skin is soft and it seems as if he is trying to remove it but attempts have been unsuccesfull is there something i can do to help should i wait till his new exoskeleton hardens before i attempt aiding him?

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      Best to leave the animal until the exoskeleton hardens; try covering most of the screen top with plastic and spray heavily; the humidity may aid in removal. Aiding the animal is difficult, as it’s easy to tear the exo skeleton, and the work needs to be done with forceps as the scorpion will sting when handled. Good luck, pl keep me posted, best, frank

  5. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    thanks frank ive done that reasently i also heard baby oil could help and he has done some attempt to remove it, unfortunatly its still stuck there. i covered the lid with plastic now and about how long should i wait till attempting to remove it? its been three days sence he moulted.

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      No hard and fast rules, unfortunately…generally best to leave the animal, perhaps try another day or 2. Olive or baby Oil, reptile shedding aids, have been used with some success. tears in the exoskeleton, which may occur when you try to assist, may be treated as described in this article. Your safety should be the top priority if you decide to intervene…use long handled tongs as even debilitated animal can sting with amazing speed and accuracy, and we do not know much about the treatment of envenomations were an allergic or serious reaction to occur.B est, Frank

  6. avatar

    Hi Frank. I am trying to be prepared for when my Hadrurus arizonensis starts to molt. You mentioned the Sphagnum moss for some, but would this be advisable for desert scorpions like mine? I’m afraid this may be TOO damp.

    Thank you, Stephen

    • avatar

      Hello Stephen,

      Good question, thanks for raising it. They live in arid habitats, but spend most of their time in burrows and other shelters where the humidity is much higher than on the surface…they likely seek out such places when molting as well. Best to give it the option of using a shelter stocked with moist moss and provide a drier cave as well. you can mist the cage heavily as well (when molting and regularly) as long as it dries thoroughly thereafter. Fungal and other problems only occur when they are confined to damp habitats. Good luck, enjoy, Frank

  7. avatar

    I also have a desert hairy, he moulted just before I got him and I’m just waiting for the next, I’ve been wondering should I keep a full water bowl in there or just fill it once a week?

    • avatar

      You can keep a bowl of water available; they technically do not need it but I find a bowl to be a useful safety measure; just be sure it is very shallow, easily exited (i.e. if scorpion is weakened prior to molting,it may have trouble moving about normally). Enjoy, best, Frank

  8. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    thank you!

  9. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    hello frank all seems to be going well he sheded most of the molt now and there is only a small fragment stuck on his tail but its in a place that it should not bother him because his stinger is free he has been eating very well and i have found allot of white spots on the tank i removed the cocoa fiber and placed new fiber (thinking it might be a fungus) and the spots are still there i heard scorpion poop is white so im not all that worried i saw some on his face today i whipped it off with a q tip……. my question is if it is a fungus and not poo what can i do to stop it?

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      Good to hear..the old skin should come off in the next molt. Fungus spores are almost impossible to eliminate..arrive in the substrate, float in from the air, etc.; nothing to worry about. You may also find tiny mites moving about in the tank and sometimes on the scorpion…these too are generally harmless, pl see this article for more info, ‘

      Enjoy, pl keep me posted, Frank

  10. avatar

    thanks frank as always very helpfull and well one last thing for now i heard that the bigger the terrarium and the tipe of food and amount of it consumed has allot to do with how big my pet will grow is this true?

    • avatar


      Glad the info was useful., Diet will affect growth rate, but ultimate size seems determined by species specific limitations; also, various populations differ within the range…some never get as large as others. terrarium size is important for health, breeding success, but seems not to affect size (no specific research re this, however, as far as I know).

      Enjoy, Frank

  11. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    thanks frank

  12. avatar
    gustavo camarena

    hello frank all has been going well my scorpion is fat and has been very slow lately, i know this is normal but to my surprise this morning i found what seems to be baby pin head crickets in his tank im not sure what to do with them or if in any way they can harm my scorpion while he molts should i remove them or are they no threat?

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      Larger crickets may attack a molting scorpion, but pinheads that hatch from eggs deposited by adults shouldn’t be a problem. If want to remove them, place a bit of fish food flakes, orange or similar food in a jar and them empty periodically. Small white mites appear from time to time also, these are generally harmless, see here. Enjoy, Best, Frank

  13. avatar

    hello frank this morning my scorpion finifhed his molt however his sting is no longer there a white fluid has been leaking from where his sting usto be it looks allot like …well poo but im not sure what it is he moves his tail and everything but im not sure if he can survive much less grow back his sting what should i do if there is anything too do?

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      Unfortunately there is not much that can be done. Minor tears can sometimes be sealed with various glues, but not a missing telson or stinger. Dr conditions can cause shedding problems, but they also occur for reasons we do not yet understand. Sorry I could not be of more help. best, Frank

  14. avatar

    well i put petroleum jelly to stop the bleeding i made sure the tank was moist and humid so the event from last time would not happen and he is up and around again hopefully thats a good sign i guess ill just let him be and see how things go thanks frank

    • avatar

      I’m interested to hear how all goes; Petroleum is a good idea…I’ve not used for such a large injury but I think worth a try, good luck and pl keep me posted, Frank

  15. avatar

    Hi Frank … I’ve written to you before about my flatrock scorpion (H. troglodytes), Fury. Probably under a different article heading, also dealing with scorpions. Sadly she passed away earlier this Summer, but I thought you might find it of interest that she was *at least* 15 years old at the time of her passing. I acquired her in 1999 – or perhaps even the year before, I don’t recall that for certain – but I know for sure that I had her in 1999, because I had a friend visiting from England that Summer, and I remember him commenting on her. So I had her for 14 years, and she was a full-grown adult import when I got her. So I’m adding *at least* 1 more year to her lifespan to allow for growing to adult size (I imagine for such a large species, and in the wild, it takes longer than that). She outlived two males and never did reproduce for me, unfortunately. I was sad to lose her, but I know she lived a good long life. I’m still not seeing this species imported anymore; I do see H. paudicens with some regularity, but no one has troglodytes. It’s a shame, because they are impressive. At least I got to share my life with one for quite a number of years!

    • avatar

      Hello Raksha,

      I do recall..thanks for the update. I wish there were published longevities for this species, as yours might be a record; very impressive! Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  16. avatar

    Frank, I have a 140 gallon tank (we are using as a coffee table) that needs a top. Its shaped alittle different as well so I’m trying to figure out a creative but not costly way to create a top. I have a few choices, metal or hard plastic grades with holes already cut that I will have cut to fit aquarium. I will also cover the ends all around tank with a sturdy Plexiglas. The middle will be the air holes to breathe But then I come across a heavy duty rubber floor mat with holes. Can scorpions chew threw rubber? The company who makes them, makes them for large plants or warehouses who manufacture for many businesses. I plan to house 2 Asian scorpions, male & female and eventually breed. If I place 1 heat spot bulb in the middle of cage will that be enough heat for the both of them. I’m figuring that the heat will be in center as the cool sides will both be on opposite side from each other. Also to create their own separate space. If that sounds okay by you, another question would be, according to the size of tank which is 140 gallon, 4′ length by 35″width what would the appropriate setting for the thermometer and humidity be set on? I have the proper dirt, moss, vermiculite on the way. I do have a fog machine with a hand mist sprayer that will also help with the humidity. Is there a certain kind of water I need to use to mist with? One more thing before I go. I have already bought cricket foods for the crickets I’m planning on raising as well. Now these gel crystals can they also be used as as a water supplement for the scorpions? That’s all the questions i have before i set up my aquarium so i can get 2 wonderful reptiles. Thank you if you can help in anyway.

  17. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Hello frank
    everything has been fine with my scorpion lately ive learned allot and am very happy to report he is alive and well however i am a little concerned about his size he is about a year old now and is no bigger than 2-2.5 inches is that normal for a scorpion his age???? He has done very well without his sting and has managed to take down some roaches about his size. Also any helpful hints on vinegaroon care? Im going to own one soon and have been told its care is similar to an emperor scorpion. Any info is apreciated

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,
      Nice to hear from you and glad the scorpion is doing well. growth varies with diet, temperature and individual characteristics…there’s variation across the natural range also, so it’s very difficult to generalize; no need to worry about growth rate, all is well as long as it is feeding regularly; most pets get too much food, grow too quickly, etc.

      Vinegaroon care is similar to that of tailless Whipscorpions; please see this article; let me know when you have a species in mind and I’ll check fro further info, best, Frank

  18. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    He hast eaten this past month but he is really fat so he might just be ready to molt again or he is just well fed because last month he was fed 2 roaches and 2 crickets, but I do believe he may molt soon he hardly comes out of his hide and is only active for short periods of time, the article was very helpful btw and the species in getting is a giant vinegaroon I herd there native to Texas but like sub tropical weather and well that doesn’t really add up in my head hahaha I’ve been in Texas and northern Mexico and its very dry, so wich would be its proper care dry desert or moist tropical weather? And thank you for your help

    • avatar

      Hi Gustavo,

      If it is Mastigoproctus giganteus: that species is found from Texas into Mexico…seems limited to moist habitats within tha range, but not well-studied; may be in Fla also.

      Bst kept in hgh humidity, with pleny of moist retreats, damp sphagnum moss in caves, etc. 80-88 F; can break skin with pinchers, and spray very irritating, so do not handle. Groups have done well in lg enclosures, but should be more females than males..let me know how all goes, Frank

  19. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Hey frank quick question, are hissing roaches healthy for a scorpion? I heard they have a mild nuero toxin but can this affect or kill my scorpion if he eats them? Im trying to give him something healthier then crickets and i heard roaches are pretty good thanks a million

  20. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Hey frank, sorry to bother you but out of the nothing my scorpion past away today, :'( could this have been caused by him not being able to get out of his molt? I had his humidity up to 80% and the temp was in the 90 region (do to mexicos warm weather) is there any other factor or something that i did wrong??? He was wriggleing around earlier today and lately he had been really lazy and inactive but every now and then was really jumpy climing amd exploring his enclosure,…..what could have gone wrong?

  21. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Again its me, apperantly he is still alive, it doesnt seem like it however he hardly moves i stimulated him put him on his back and tickled him and nothing but my mom touched his back just now and he began to move! What is going on?!

    • avatar

      Hello Gustavo,

      It’s usually easy to tell if the scorpion is caught in a molt…exoskeleton may be partially split, some legs out of old skin, etc; but it can be that it was in a weakened state and not able to split the old skin. Unfortunately, diagnosing illness and disease is rarely possible, as not much work has been done in this area. Age can also be a factor…animals purchased as adults may be at the end of their lives. I wouldn’t touch the scorpion with your hand…always possible for nerves to be stimulated and a sting to occur, even if the animal appears immobile. Sorry i could not offer more help, best, Frank

  22. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    So if he wasnt able to split the old skin will he be able to try again? Or is it like a one shot one chance kind of thing? He seems to be doing well just real lazy i checked up on him all night, im guessing its just a waiting game now, im just curious if he will continue to try to split it or will he just wait it out?

    • avatar

      Hello Gustavo,

      If he’s moving around now, it most likely was not a shedding problem…they generally die if unable to molt properly. It may be age or an ailment or parasite problem, but unfortunately not much known about diagnosing diseases and treatment. Hopefully he will recover..try tong-feeding if he is reluctant to eat, best, Frank

  23. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Well hes about a year and a couple of days old ill try feeding him now thing is i only have roaches and there preatty big he usualy takes them down but sence he looks so weak i dont think even tong feeding would help ill buy him some crickets something small see if he takes them down

    • avatar

      Soft-bodied crickets a good idea..if not interested, try crushing cricket, rubbing along mouth area of scorp…sometimes stimulates them. I hope all goes well, best, Frank

  24. avatar

    Hi Frank. I have a feeder question for you. I know I am supposed to keep my scorpions died varied, but my scorpions seem to prefer crickets. About a month ago even though I had been offering red runner roaches and super worms they hadn’t eaten in about two weeks or so. Then I went and got some crickets and 4 out of five of them ate immediately when I offered them. Every once and a while they will eat a superworm but they seem to prefer crickets 80% of the time. Is there anything I can do to get them to eat something else, ESP roaches?

    Thank you,

    • avatar

      Hi Stephen,

      Preferences vary…it may have to do with the origin of the scorps, or their ancestors; they have a wide range, and may instinctively avoid certain smells, tastes etc. Well-fed animals will not be harmed by fasts longer than 2 weeks, so you can try that; earthworms sometimes work, butterworms also. Crushing a roach to release scent/taste and rubbing near scorp’s head (with tongs, of course!) may stimulate – or quickly repel them. Let me know how it goes, best, Frank

  25. avatar
    Gustavo camarena

    Yeah hes limp again as if he was dead im not sure what to make if it last time he lasted a couple of hours then began to move i let him rest all night i stimulated him this morning and nothing, im going to let him be wait a day or so and if be tomorro i still get nithing im preatty sure he might be dead,… His body is very soft is that a bad thing? He hasnt molted yet

    • avatar

      Hello Gustavo,

      They soften like that as they die…best not to stimulate or try to move the animal; unfortunately, nothing you can do at this point. Best regards, Frank

  26. avatar

    Hi Frank

    Do scorpions ever stop molting when reached adult size?
    I have a big Parabuthus that did not shed over a year now. It only seems to get fatter.
    It’s quite healthy but a bit restless for a month now. There is enough water and moist for I thought it was molting time.
    I feed only little (one cockroach every week and a half…I don’t like to over feed) because it just likes to eat what ever I offer it…

    Regards from Namibia

    • avatar

      Hi Gert,

      Good question, and good policy re feeding…they are primed to eat as much and often as possible. Shedding may vary among species, but most shed very infrequently as adults; some may not do so at all. Mainly done in order to”renew” exoskeleton…repair injuries, etc; control parasites, fungus.

      Best, Frank

  27. avatar

    Thank you for the useful answer, Frank!

    Talking about parasites; almost every scorpion species I catch in our country in the wild, seem to have tiny reddish mites. I use to scratch them off when captured, but usually these mites, or what ever it is, disappears in captivity! On the next occasion I will checkout these “mites” under an magnifying glass…
    What ever the case my be, the scorpions never seem to be affected by these and maybe even these tiny critters serve a good cause…?

    Thanxzzz for your wonderful blog.

    Regards from Namibia

    • avatar

      My pleasure, Gert.

      I think you are correct…the white mites most commonly seen here in the US are harmless, and may be useful in that they consume organic debris from both substrate and the animal itself. They die off in dry situations, but do well in moist environments. Please see this article. best regards, Frank

  28. avatar

    Dear. Sir have a 30 black scorpions but wait is 7 to 10 grams do you advice me what should i do they wait is grow speedy?
    And scorpions must need a water?

    • avatar

      Hello James,

      If they are warm enough, they can be fed on most days; growth will vary among different individuals. They should have a shallow water dish, and the humidity in the tank should be kept high..mist with water, etc. best, Frank

  29. avatar

    is scorpian is allowed as a pet in india also?

    • avatar


      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the relevant laws…legality may depend on where you live in India, so it would be best to check with the local wildlife agency. You should not collect or purchase scorpions unless you are certain of the species, as some are dangerously venomous…please seek the advice of a local expert before obtaining a scorpion. best regards. Frank

  30. avatar

    Hello Frank!
    I have a question (or a few) about a Striped Bark Scorpion or Texas Bark Scorpion I found in my house. I live in Oklahoma btw.
    I am thinking about keeping it, but the information I’ve found online so far hasn’t really helped much.
    I know very little about scorpions since I never knew that people actually kept them lol.
    Now on to the questions!
    What would be best to keep him in? What kind of substrate should I use? Should I even keep it? What kind of heater/temp would be okay for him?
    And finally what should I feed him? So far I’ve been feeding him termites cause we have a lot where I live.
    Thanks for your time!

    • avatar

      Hello Beth,

      Scorpions are very interesting but do have some drawbacks the species you mention is not considered dangerous to most people, but an allergic reaction is always possible…as with bees or any other venomous animal, such can be very dangerous or deadly. Children and elderly or immune -compromised people are also at risk from any sting. They are escape articts, able to squeeze through tiny openings.

      If you decide to keep in best to use a small aquarium with a screen lid. The lid should be secured with 4-6 screen clips,

      Or you can use a plastic terrarium designed for use with insects and equipped with a locking top ..be sure air holes are tiny…they have live young, which are very small.

      Never handle scorpions,…they cannot be tamed or habituated to people.

      Care for this species is simple..termites are a good food, or any other small insect, including crickets sold by pet stores, waxworms etc. Normal room temps usually fine for winter, although it will slow down if temps dop into mid 60’s. You can use a small incandescent bulb for heat if need be...red/black types or ceramic heaters are good for nighttime use.

      Sand or a sand soil mix is fine as a substrate; add bark or a small cave as a shelter; mist lightly once each day.

      The following articles provide natural history info on this species and general scorpion care details.

      Pl let me know if you need anything, best., Frank


  31. avatar

    Hello frank
    My 3instar heterometrus longimanus were just recently infested by harmful mites. But thanks to your suggestion of luring mites by using fish flakes, mites started to decrease on my scorpions. It took me like a month to eliminate the mites but it made my scorpions mite free. Thank you very much sir.

  32. avatar

    Hello Frank.I got my three h.longimanus 4i in a week and they dont want a food when i offer it. the 2 scorpions seems alittle fat unlike the other one.Its thin.How can i feed it?

  33. avatar

    The temperature is ok as i see on the internet.The enclosure is 6x12x6.It has a rock and a branch like wood lying on the substrate.I want to feed them a b.lateralis but is seem to ignore it.I you want some picture.I send it to your Yahoo.

    • avatar


      This species is considered to be social, but not all individuals get along…perhaps they are stressed, fighting at night/ Adding deep moist substrate into which they can burrow can be useful, as well as providing more hiding spots and a larger tank so they can spread out, avoid one another. be sure to keep humidity up around 75% or so.

      Turkistan roaches are generally accepted as food, but the animals will not feed if stressed, unable to burrow, etc. you can also try crickets, earthworms and other invertebrates, best, Frank

  34. avatar

    i didnt see them fighting.They keep digging the substrate where the the rock is place and my 3 scorpion always there in a burrow.So you telling me that they need to seperate? sorry for my english Frank.

    • avatar


      Not necessarily…hard to say, but assuming they are hot enough and are not ill (very difficult to diagnose/treat disease, parasites) they should feed…good that they are together and not fighting, maybe need deeper burrows, more space, larger terrarium. In any event, disturb as little as possible, let them settle in….they do not need to eat frequently, are very good at adjusting metabolism etc., so do not be too concerned about that; if wild caught, it can take some time for them to adjust to captivity..shipment, etc of captive born animals may also throw them off feed for a time, best, Frank

  35. avatar

    Hey Frank.I know why my Scorpion doesnt eat.They on pre molt 🙂 Im asking a question, Shoukd i seperate them or leave it? those three are on pre molt.Thanks for Answering Frank

    • avatar


      Best to leave them,,they are easily injured in this condition. Scorpions are occasionally eaten by others just after molting, when they are soft and defenseless, but this is not common in a group that gets along. Best, Frank

  36. avatar

    I just got my first scorpion two weeks ago (Asian forest) and it of course was under some stress from moving homes. It has underwent his first two molts. Terrarium is currently at 82 degrees and 75% humidity. He has became unstressed and began a little burrowing as well as getting into a good sleep cycle but will not eat his crickets that he ate before I got him. Whether I let one run in the cage overnight or I hold it wiggling in tweezers, he doesn’t seem interested. Starting to worry me. Any suggestions?

    • avatar

      Hello Jeff,

      They sometimes take awhile after molting to begin feeding again, or it may be trying to create a larger burrow, etc. and not focusing on feeding until it settles in; newly acquired animals often feed at first, as they may not have eaten well during shipping, at the store etc. They need very little food, so starvation is not a concern. Withhold food for a week and then try again. Waxworms, small earthworms and others may also be tried. Best, frank

  37. avatar

    Frank, we recently found a small scorpion in our Vegas house. I have two love birds. Will scorpions climb up a large cage and enter it? Thanks so much for your reply.

    • avatar


      Most can climb rough surfaces but but I’ve never ran across a bird being stung….your and any other residents’ safety much more of a concern…do not grab boxes etc w/o checking below, shake out clothes, shoes. Your state fish/wildlife agency should have more specific guidelines posted, would be useful to check, I hope all goes well, Frank

  38. avatar

    Hi there, my husband captured a Striped Bark Scorpion in our house a few days ago, and we’ve decided to keep it as a pet. We live in the deep Eastern part of Texas where temperatures average about 40• to 70• F in the winter and in the higher 90’s into the 100’s in the summer, and I don’t know much about heating for this breed of scorpion. He’s in a 10 GAL aquarium with a screen top. Can I just use a regular household 25 watt bulb with a heat lamp, or should I buy the reptile bulbs and does he even need the light? If so, how long every day should I leave the lamp on

    • avatar

      Hello Ashley,

      They adapt well to typical household temperatures. However, i would not recommend keeping this species if you do not have experience. While the sting is not generally dangerous, there have been some very severe reactions, perhaps due to individual sensitivities or allergies. Young, elderly and immune compromised individuals are also at risk. And they are escape artists, often squeezing out of aquariums despite cage clamps being used on the screen cover. Best, Frank

  39. avatar

    Thanks for the information. So they don’t really need the lighting? I bought a 25 watt red bulb and put it in the heat lamp. We put some sticks and foliage in there, but not high enough for him to reach the screen lid. What do they typically like for hiding in/under?

    • avatar

      Hi Ashley,

      You can leave the 25 wt bulb day and night (they do not sense red light)…warming up a bit will increase activity; otherwise it will slow down at this time of year when temps dip below 70F or so. They will shelter under bark slabs, or you can use a broken flower pot, small cave marketed for snakes etc. Buy cage clamps for the lid; secure with duct tape until then…they can sometimes wedge into tank corners and find a way to shimmy up…surprising what they can do. best, frank

  40. avatar

    Thanks for all your time and help. I’ve gotten some really valuable information. The screen we bought has cage clamps, so I don’t think we should have any trouble. What is the best things to feed them? I went outside and caught a few of the black crickets that’s all over here, but I dunno what’s best nutrition wise.
    Thanks again.

    • avatar

      My pleasure..they do fine on crickets, wild or from pet store, as a base diet, will also take other soft bodied insects you may collect or buy (waxworms, etc). best, frank

  41. avatar

    Hi Frank, it’s me again. I was wondering, do Striped Bark Scorpions make nests? I was going to clean the cage out some and I lifted up a medium sized piece of bark that we put into the tank and he was underneath it in a little round white circle. Is it mold, or is it a nest he made?

    • avatar

      Hi Ashley,

      They do not make nests, hide by squeezing under bark, within cracks in logs, etc; you may be seeing uric acid, a white residue from their waste products. Best to disturb as little as possible, as they perceive movemnet etc as a threat, may go off feed, and will try to sting. very little cleaning needed. Best,. frank

  42. avatar

    Ok I was just wanting to make sure it’s not mold. He seems to be adjusting well to the environment. He has already eaten a large cricket about 3 days ago. After I got the light he seemed to get more active. What’s the best type of mixture for the tank? Right now I have a sand/peat moss mixture and some pebbles with fallen branches and other pieces of foliage we got out of the back yard. Should I remove the branches as they start to die or just leave them and add more as those start to die?

    • avatar


      Sand/peat fine, spray once each day or two,. No need to add live foliage, and best not to make too complex or it will be harder to locate animal. Dead bark etc fine. Live low-light plants can be planted if you wish…earth stars ideal, best, frank

  43. avatar

    If you live in a warm climate, like in Florida, is a heat source necessary? Maybe during the winter but currently it’s 88 degrees and it’s only march, probably will have to turn the A/C on for him! Everyone keeps insisting that i will need one but I’m not so sure so figure I would ask before I purchase an emperor scorpion.

    • avatar

      Hello Madisyn,

      Still in the 30’s mostly, here in/near NYC, so I have no pity for you! But 78 – 86 F is fine…they can take warmer temps as well. Just be sure to keep an eye on humidity if you are in an arid region,; please see this article (and Part I) for more specific info and let me know if you have any questions, best, Frank

  44. avatar

    Hi here I’m new to keeping a scorpion as a pet but I really enjoy to have them as my pet . I have 2 Asian Forest Scorpions which is quite young , they length about 6cm . I’m not really sure what’s its species but I know they are in the genus , Heterometrus . Well I’m curious about this : Both of my scorpion is black in colour but their tail ( The stinger ) is milky white color . Can I know why does they have the milky white color stinger ? Because as I search on the internet most of the Asian Forest Scorpions doesn’t have a white stinger , can anyone help ? And can I know what’s the species of my scorpion ? Thank you !

    • avatar

      Hi there,

      I have seen many Asian forest scorpions with lighter colored telsons, especially in juviniles. As you can see in This Picture They sometimes will darken with age.

      Unfortunately, often times when Asian Forest Scorpions are imported, they are not labeled with their appropriate taxonomic classification. Luckily the internet is full of invertebrate enthusiasts that might be able to help you identify exactly what species you have. I would recommend checking around Arachnoboards.com for further identification info.

      Hopefully this can get you pointed in the right direction.


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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