Home | Field studies and notes | “My Emperor Scorpion Has Babies…What Should I Do”?

“My Emperor Scorpion Has Babies…What Should I Do”?

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Emperor Scorpions give birth to live young, and most hobbyists are thrilled when this happens.However, scorpion reproduction breaks many of the “rules” that apply to other pets.For example, a female that has been alone for 14 months may one day be found with 30 tiny white youngsters, or “scorplings”, on her back!I’ve written about scorpion breeding and care in detail elsewhere (please see links below), but thought that an article describing what steps one should take when first discovering youngsters would be useful…especially if your female turns out to be a less-than-perfect mom and begins eating her new creations!Please also be sure to post your questions and concerns below, as scorpion births often take owners by surprise, and I’ll be sure to get right back to you.

Predicting Scorpion Births

In the wild, some Emperor Scorpion populations breed seasonally, while others may reproduce year-round.Captives can mate and give birth during any month of the year. Further complicating our ability to predict births is the fact that females seem able to both store sperm and delay giving birth if conditions are not ideal.Environmental factors such as temperature and stress may also affect the youngsters’ development.Even under ideal conditions, the gestation period may exceed 1 year, although a range of 7 to 10 months is more common.

Most female Emperor Scorpions will cease feeding approximately one week before giving birth, and they usually become quite heavy as the young grow.When such females are viewed from above, the carapace segments will be separated by spaces – not abutting one another, as is usual (however, overfed scorpions of either sex may also appear gravid).

Scorpion with young

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Fusion121

Housing the Female and Her Young

Although wild Emperor Scorpions continue to live with colony members after giving birth, captive mothers often become aggressive towards tank-mates. Therefore, it is best to remove all other scorpions from the terrarium once the youngsters appear.This can be troublesome if you are keeping a large group, but relocating the female is not advisable as this may stress her to the point of consuming her brood.I’ve had females raise their young in group situations in large zoo exhibits, but there were some losses.

The Importance of Shelters

Ideally, the female will have a burrow in which to retreat.This will provide the security she needs while carrying her young. In bare terrariums, the likelihood of cannibalism increases.

In order to be prepared for unexpected births, you should provide your scorpions with a substrate that allows for the creation of deep burrows.Tunnel and burrow walls will remain intact in a slightly moist mix of peat moss, sand, top soil and Eco Earth.If your female gives birth in a tank that is not set-up as described, try adding a commercial cave stocked with moist sphagnum moss.If the substrate is deep enough, bury the cave so that the opening is flush with the surface.

High humidity and moist retreats are especially important for young scorpions, as, unlike the adults, they are prone to desiccation.In especially dry locales, a small reptile fogger may be useful.

Cannibalism

Newborn scorpions are white in color, and remain on their mother’s back until their first molt (photo of female with young is of an unrelated species).If the female is disturbed during this time, she will make very fast defensive movements.Scorplings that are dislodged during such times may quickly be grabbed and eaten.

Therefore, do as little work in the terrarium as possible, limit activity in the area, and resist the impulse to check on your charges.To avoid stings, a long handled forceps should always be used when working in scorpion terrariums; this is especially important when females with young are present. Black or red nocturnal viewing bulbs offer the best way to observe your pet’s night-time activities, as the light emitted is not sensed by scorpions.

Feed your female scorpion heavily after she gives birth, as most will be very hungry and therefore more likely to “snack” on their young.Be sure to remove uneaten crickets and roaches promptly, as they will consume newborn scorpions if given the opportunity.

Defensive display

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Mike Baird

“Bad Moms”

Some females feed upon their young even if conditions are ideal.Most will “sample” one or two of their brood, but if your scorpion seems bent on eliminating her entire clutch, then your best to remove her and rear them yourself.Please post below for further information on separating and caring for young Emperor Scorpions.

Please check out my posts on Twitterand Facebook.Each day, I highlight breaking research, conservation news and interesting stories concerning just about every type of animal imaginable.I look forward to hearing about your interests and experiences as well, and will use them in articles when possible.

Please also post your questions and comments below…I’ll be sure to respond quickly.

Thanks, until next time,

Frank Indiviglio

Further Reading

Emperor Scorpions in the Wild and Captivity

Breeding Emperor Scorpions

82 comments

  1. avatar

    thought id let you no my last remaining baby scorp i removed is still alive n but now the mother hasnt eaten since giving birth not sure whats wrong ? is it normal ?

  2. avatar

    Thx for the update, peter. She nay take some time to settle down and begin feeding; the stress of reproduction, etc., can cause this. As long as she was feeding well earlier, should be no problem…they need far less food than one would imagine. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell if aome other ailment, disease etc is at work, as we know very little concerning this aspect of their care. Best, frank

  3. avatar

    Hi there!

    My scorplings are just over a week old and seem to be keen on starting to leave Momma’s back-time to separate?

  4. avatar

    Hi Katy,

    Under ideal conditions, the young can be raised with the adult, but there are risks. If you wish to separate, wait until they leave her back voluntarily; move carefully, as a disturbance can cause her to attack those that remain on her back, etc. if you can, wait until all are moving about on their own. Enjoy and pl keep me posted, Frank

  5. avatar

    Thanks for your advice. It is very hard to find good information. I think we still have 11 baby emperor scorpions. 2 have been moved to another terrarium. I am having a hard time keeping humidity stable in both terrariums. One was too moist and started to look moldy. So I moved the 2 babies from there to a temp plastic kritter carrier for tonight. What might be good is it is smaller so they might be able to get their food easier? I did put the heating pad on the side of the plastic container. It says it’s 90 degrees, it does not feel hot enough to cause any damage. The babies go right up to that side of the tank. Hoping it’s not too hot for them. It would probably fall to 70 if I took the pad off. Is that too cold? I have a red light but it dries out the substrate too fast. The 2 babies are not eating yet, I keep dumping in the pinheads. I bought little 1/4 inch crickets, should I try those? One of the 2 babies is not doing as well as the other. We may have moved her prematurely, but mom was picking her up from the floor, I was afraid she was going to eat her, so I opened her claw and the baby fell out. She does not seem to be damaged, just a little younger than the other? (Mom had given birth starting and stopping for a week, probably because I was checking on her a lot. I did not know not to bother her…)

    The 9 that are still with mom, I tried to move some, but they ran back to mom when I got my soup ladle in there. I keep thinking they are not all there, but some are hiding under mom now. She is in and out of her hide. She seems to be ok with the babies on the ground… What I am unsure about is:

    She seems to have eaten her first cricket since birth yesterday. (I don’t see the cricket anymore). How do I feed her and the babies while they are communal? Should I put an adult cricket in the tank again? I am so worried it will confuse her, and she will eat the babies… Should I hang it in front of her face with tongs? She will not like the tongs coming at her right now. Should I put small crickets in the cage for the babies yet?? Or pinheads? Should I lift the hide to see if the cricket is still in the tank, but hiding? Should I remove the water dish? I have not changed water in a week – I am too scared to bother her… since I removed her other 2 babies she has been much more cautious… I have a very hard time keeping her tank humid, I mist every day, but that also bothers her… it’s all very complicated! I think they are 3 weeks old now. They have all molted as far as I can tell, and are turning brown. I have not seen any of them eat… And mom has only eaten the one cricket… I think… I am worried they will die from not eating. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

  6. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for the feedback, you’re doing everything right…losses are common, even in zoos; whatever we do, it’s an extremely un-natural situation and scorpions sense that (they pre-dated the dinosaurs, and so are rather “set in their ways”!

    It’s hard to starve a scorpion…they can regular metabolisms to deal with food shortages, so don’t worry too much.

    90 is ok if they seem unstressed. Youngsters desiccate easily, so best to avoid the light you mentioned unless the are in a larger tank.

    You can try the size up from pinheads.

    Female may take a killed cricket from a tongs if you crush it a bit, and move very slowly…scent sometimes sparks them. Don’t worry about finding other adult cricket. If you add another live adult, try pinching the crickets back legs at the “knee”…this will cause the leg to drop off; limits it’s movement and so may draw female’s attention and be caught quickly. Scorps have unique sebnsory hairs that detect air movement…can distinguish prey types, etc, so a stumbling cricket may work.

    Shallow water bowl is fine, or add some gravel to lower water level; any disturbance is a risk, but no way around that.

    Does female have a cave, to get out of sight? If not, and one can be added w/o too much trouble, this would be useful. would allow you to work, mist while she is in shelter.

    Pouring in a bit of water might be less stressful than misting.

    Probably best to leave young in, add small crickets in large tank…if you see losses, then risk moving them…no set rules, sorry, each situation and individual varies, but you doing what should be done.

    Enjoy (if possible!) Frank

  7. avatar

    Thanks for the advice. She does have a half log she hides under and when I see she is hidden I mist or whatever. It does help. She has settled down again since taking out the first 2 babies. She did not like that at all. All the babies are off her back in the past hour, I am hoping to move some in the next few days, but most of them are hiding under her now. One of the issues is that the tank is fairly small for all these shenanigans. The pet store thought 5 gal would be fine for “him,” but now with babies there is not much room to maneuver in there. The half log is about an inch from the water bowl, then there is more room on the other side. I’m hoping to inch the log over some more.

  8. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thx for the feedback…I didn’t think to ask you about the size..that explains a lot. A 5 gallon is too small even for a single adult; a female with young will sense the close confines and be stressed. Try for at least a 10 gallon eventually. Best, Frank

  9. avatar

    Good news! The back-leg-less crickets worked! I fed her at nightfall, and she got it in about 60 seconds. She can tell the difference between cricket and baby scorpion very easily. She passed it from hand to hand until it stopped moving, and all the babies came running for dinner. I watched 2 of them eat while she continued to hold it in her hand. Then I got out of there. The other 7 were not as aggressive and may not have fed, so I fed her again in the early am while it was still dark. This time she ate half then gave the body to a baby to feed on for a while. I did not stick around to see who else ate. Since it went so well, I will try again tonight, and maybe add in those little crickets too. Seeing her feed the babies was very inspiring. She also let one of them crawl back up on her back. For now, they will stay with her mom.

    I will definitely get them all more space in the future.

    Thank you for the advice.

  10. avatar

    Very good to hear, thanks for letting me know! Lucky guess on my part!…teasing – no guarantees with these guys, but some tricks have proven useful. Wonderful that you saw her feeding the young..not always done, or observed. Amazing, they are one of the most ancient groups to survive until present..please keep me posted, Frank

  11. avatar

    This week’s update is mostly good news. We observed lots of feedings with mom and babies. We even watched a baby take down a somewhat handicapped large cricket. Unfortunately the two that we separated from mom did not make it. Not sure why. We did see one of them eating and tried to keep their home humid. The 9 babies that are still with mom seem to be doing fine. They have found nooks and crannies to hide under. This morning the mom’s stinger looks white and crusty. It’s hard to see through the glass right now as there is condensation. I am hoping it is just poop??? Do I need to try to clean it off??? Not sure I want to get in there. Also wondering what to do about their group home. Move everybody to a bigger tank? Start moving a few babies? Leave everybody together in this tiny 5 gal tank for a while? We don’t plan to keep everybody, although it is tempting. We have two 5-gal tanks. Wondering if we can make use of them still. One is currently housing mom and 9 babies. The other is empty, but set up with substrate. We definitely want to keep the scorpions until we can determine genders. We want to keep the mom, and one boy at least. Not to breed – is it even wise to breed mom and son? My son wanted a boy all along (the pet shop told us mom was a boy). But I assume we need 2 tanks for a male and female scorpion if we don’t want to breed them?

  12. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Glad to hear your news; I would not try to remove anything from the stinger, will likely be fine and in any event no way to determine what it is.

    You’ll need a larger tank eventually, as they grow, but best not to disturb for several weeks…gender determination cannot be made until age 1, 2 or 3, depending on diet and other factors; it is difficult to do..please see link on article, showing genital openings of each sex. Best, Frank

  13. avatar

    mother scorpion eat her baby.baby age 3 day they not get into her mother back.they are mother eat the baby.
    i give spider,ants in the cage but the scorpion don’t eat them.
    what are they eat water?

    i live in bangladesh.i dound it on forest. (i don’t know anything of scorpion)(but i try to know something)

  14. avatar

    Hello Sohag,

    It is a bad idea to keep scorpions unless you can identify the species and are sure they are not dangerous. The venoms of several species have caused human deaths; even those considered not deadly can cause serious illness or death if a person happens to be sensitive or allergic to their venom. We know nothing about the venoms of others; many in Bangladesh have not been studied.

    The stress of captivity often causes female to eat their young, and the young not to feed. Even in zoos, females with young are difficult to care for. I advise you to release them where they were found, and be sure not to handle them.

    Best regards, Frank

  15. avatar

    thank you for advise.
    could you tell me what is my scorpion species.please where i past my scorpion photo.
    (please,please)

  16. avatar

    mother scorpion eat her baby.what can i do?

  17. avatar

    Hello,

    Unfortunately it’s not possible to identify most species by a photo…there are very tiny differences, some internal, in the various types. many Asian species have not been studied and have no common names. Please take my advice and release the animals…it is dangerous to keep unidentified scorpions. Best regards, Frank

  18. avatar

    Hello,

    Emperor scorpions usually eat the youngsters as a response to stress…disturbances, a too-small terrarium, no hiding places, etc. Sometimes this also occurs when she is feeding…seems almost accidental. If the young are off her back, you can relocate her or them. if they are on her back, best to just leave them. Some females consume several and then raise the rest w/o problems. They are agressive at this time…take care when working near her. best regards, frank

  19. avatar

    what is scorpion eat.

  20. avatar

    how i kanow my scorpion is a females or male.

  21. avatar

    are you know about bangladesh.there are a little number scorpion in this country.(most of pepole kill them)

  22. avatar

    how i know my scorpion is a male or female?

  23. avatar

    Hello,

    We have much to learn about the scorpions living there…undiscovered species almost certainly exist; those that are known have not been well-studied., As most people cannot tell dangerous from non-dangerous species, all are killed (this is common wherever scorpions occur); as children are frequent victims, the killing of all scorpions near homes will not likely stop. Best regards, Frank

  24. avatar

    Please see this article for information on feeding emperor scorpions. I do not advise keeping scorpions unless you have first done a good deal of research as to their needs, and the possible dangers involved. Never keep a species that you cannot identify…a number produce venom capable of killing people. People who are allergic to the venom can be killed even by those considered “harmless”. Distinguishing the sexes visually is very difficult and requires some experience. Differences vary among the species as well. best regards, Frank

  25. avatar

    Hey my babies scorpions haven’t been eating and burrowed themselves down and closed off the cave is that normal

  26. avatar

    Hi Todd,

    They sometimes do so when shedding, but generally not a whole group at once….low temperatures or low humidity could be involved. Please send some details as to past history, day/night temperatures, etc. best, frank

  27. avatar

    Exciting news. We are reaching 4th instar. I think that’s what I mean. Our third shedding. Right after the 2nd shedding, the mom died, we were very sad. But we still had 9 babies. We moved everybody to a nice big tank with plenty of substrate. Lots of burrowing happened, and now we don’t see the kids so much anymore. About a month ago it got colder and they all went down below. Less feeding. I wasn’t sure if it was too cold or if they were moulting or both. This week we saw more movement, and 3 molts so far in 3 days. They seem to be moulting, then going back in the burrow, and then dragging the exoskeleton into the burrow behind them. Not sure why they do that?

    I am wondering what the best way to heat the tank is. It’s about 30 gallons. 4 inches of substrate with gravel on the bottom. We live in a dry climate. I have plastic wrap over most of the top to keep it moist. I have a mat heater underneath but it probably isn’t enough. When the heat is on in the house the tank gets up to 70 F, with no heat on in the house, it gets colder and I don’t see much movement or feeding. What kind of bulb can I use on a lamp, and when can I use it?

    Thanks for your help!

  28. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Very nice to hear , thanks for the update.

    You will need to raise the temperature, as 70 and below long term is not suitable. A ceramic heater is a good option; a 100 wt should do it, but in very cold situations you might need a 150. You’ll also need a ceramic-based clamp lamp to house the heat-emitter. Red or black heat bulbs can also be used, but the heat emitter will give a more penetrating heat, which should help to warm the substrate. You’ll need to monitor humidity carefully, likely spray more once you set up the heater or bulb, as both can dry out the terrarium.

    A temperature/humidity gauge might be useful…some of the newer models are equipped with probes that can be inserted into tunnels, etc.

    Shed skins are a good Ca source..yours are likely consuming their sheds (they do not always do this, it seems).

    Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  29. avatar

    The heatlamp is working great. I can’t believe how much water I have to add every day, but I’m dealing with it. We had 7 molts close together, then finally 2 more just a few days ago, so I am pretty sure we still have 9 young scorpions. One molt was not completely successful, the scorpion got out of the exoskeleton, but it was stuck on it’s claw. It walked around with that thing attached to its claw for a day or so. I didn’t want to mess with it for fear of hurting it. It finally fell off, but his claw is funky. I can’t tell if that part of the exoskeleton never fell off and it’s impeding it, or if his claw is mamed. This happened 2 months ago, and he does ok with one good claw. The claw looks like it is turned in on itself.

  30. avatar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Nice to hear from you, Thanks. Good you are keeping up on the water…no way around that,. unfortunately, when using any form of heat.

    It’s common for them to suffer molt-related problems as you describe, but they are quite resilient as you see; best to elave them be, as you did, as it’s not often possible to do much good. It may molt out successfully the next time.

  31. avatar

    Hello I just brought home my Asian forest scorp and it looks really large. The segmants on its back are very spaced apart, I’m not sure whatbthe sex is yet, I believe it is close to molting or pregnant. Also, I’m having trouble keeping the humidity up. I mist it, I have a wet towel over 3/4 of the lid, the substrate we bought is damp, but the humidity doesn’t go up..well it does when I put more water onto the towel..I just can’t seem to figure this out. Please help

  32. avatar

    Hello Victoria,

    Hard to say for sure that she is carrying young, but it could very well be. Be sure she has caves and hiding spots.. Dampening the substrate and covering most of the screening with plastic will help, as does increasing the misting. A small reptile humidifier can be used, but not usually necessary. Sphagnum moss and coconut husk hold water well…you can mix some into the substrate, but best not to disturb her much right now..perhaps just place some on surface, mix it in the future. Info on hygrometers: http://bit.ly/VMm4tI

    Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  33. avatar

    Hey,

    My Emperor Scorpion had babies while I was away on Spring Break. I didn’t notice until a few days after I got back. She finally came out of her rock and was very then compared to when I left and there was a baby hiding behind her. I did not see any on her back and I went to the pet store and they told me to separate them into smaller containers so she doesn’t eat them. I separated the mother and took the 18 babies that were alive and put them 3 to a container with a little moist substrate. I put some pinheads in each container and put the containers in the same 10 gallon terrarium I have the mother in. The temperature in the cage hangs between 70-80 degrees. I turn the heat lamp up a little during the day and turn it down during the night. They do not seem to have eaten yet that I can tell. They are still white and a little smaller than an inch. They were not on the mothers back when I separated them and most were buried in the substrate under the rock. Am I doing anything wrong here? I just got her a few months ago and didn’t know she was pregnant. I do not want to stress the mom out anymore than I have and I’m hoping I didn’t separate the babies too early. I estimate it has been a week or so since she gave birth. I put the pinheads in right away and cannot tell if the babies are trying to eat them or not. Is there anything I should change?

  34. avatar

    Hello Adam,

    They usually remain on her back until first molt, when they darken in color; but captive females sometimes dislodge young early, and consume them. So it’s better that they are separated. They may not feed now..usually do not until first molt…females usually feed them, may take some time for them to start on their own, but they usually do; keep humid, as they do not regulate water loss well when young. Higher temps preferable….85-88; I wouldn’t let it drop below 80 if possible. Can set up in another terrarium, all together…complicates feeding, but extra space beneficial, lets them thermo-regulate, etc. Please let me know if you need more info, enjoy, Frank

  35. avatar

    Thanks! Most of them are eating and some are starting to get a little darker now. How often should I feed the babies? Some eat all the pinheads I put in by the next day and some have a couple still left in their container.

  36. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    My pleasure…Good to hear they are doing well. It’s typical to see differences in the amount of food eaten…if they are kept at 80-85 F , you can keep food in with them most of he time…however, this is not necessary, feeding 3-4 x week works well also; they are bale to adjust to varying amounts of food, within reason. enjoy and please keep me posted.

  37. avatar

    Hey Frank,

    It has been about 5 1/2 weeks since the little ones were born. I have them separated so there is 1-2 together. They are still eating although some seem like they may have slowed down a little bit. I have a heating pad under them and I am keeping the areas moist with misting about once a day. They are pretty dark now and a little fat. When should I expect them to molt again and is there anything I should be doing differently? They are up to eating about 1/4 – 3/8 inch crickets now too.

  38. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    Sounds like you are doing fine; after the first molt, there is usually a great deal of variation as to when each will molt again; no general rules, other than that growing youngsters molt more frequently than sub-adults. You can expect to see size differences as time goes on also; this is typical, no need for concern. Groups can be reared together, but this may make it harder to keep track of feeding etc. Enjoy and pl keep me posted, Frank

  39. avatar

    So far 2 have successfully molted! I am trying to keep track of the others with their eating habits, sluggishness, and their body size. It has been about 2 days since one has molted and about 3 for the other. They still seem fairly light, not white, but not as dark as before the molt. I am trying to keep up humidity. Should I wait to feed them? I do not want to throw crickets in there too soon and have them harm them. I was also wondering how often I should clean out their little enclosure? There is no sign of mold and not much poop too clean out. I remove uneaten crickets and parts when I can find them. Otherwise, everything is going pretty good and I appreciate the help!

  40. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    Nice to hear all is going well.

    Always a fine line with feeding, but pins and 10 day old crickets gen are not much of a threat to newly-molted scorpions, unless perhaps there in huge numbers. If molted scorps are hungry, they may eat newly molted ones as well, so no harm in feeding.

    Very little cleaning needed, esp when small; best to leave mostly undisturbed as molts are due.

    Good luck and enjoy,. Frank

  41. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Such good info here. We had maybe 13 babies 15 days ago. We have a 20 gallon tank, with 4 inches of coco substrate, a ceramic heat bulb, a small heating pad on the corner of the back wall under the bulb, a huge piece of driftwood that momma has her cubby in. We also use a reptile fogger to keep the humidity up, whew! Anyway day 15 we have no idea what’s up we have fed crippled large crickets and some disappear into the cubby and others don’t, momma came out and laid in the warm spot which she always did before she gave birth, and there are a bunch of babies on her back. We have seen no cannibalism, however we don’t see too much that is going on. We have containers ready for babies but we don’t want to push anything. My question is how long do I wait before becoming concerned that they may not be molting or that something is wrong since no babies have climbed down off her back?

    Also if we decided to take them from her how does one accomplish that. I love my scorp and I do not want to stress her which is why I have spent a fortune to make everything comfortable for her.

    Thanks

  42. avatar

    Hi Patty,

    Nice to hear! Sounds like she’s in a great situation..you’ll do more harm than good by interefering; really not much to be done if they do not molt or behave as we expect. Let them be…some losses are normal, but any stress etc will cause them to drop off quickly, be eaten by the mom, etc. Ideally, you’ll be able to raise them together…this is the best way, but doesn’t always work out in a tank. Once they have put on some size and are well on their way, you can remove some or all if need be. Enjoy and pl keep me posted..best, Frank

  43. avatar

    Hey Frank,

    The babies are doing well so far, majority of them have molted. A few are soon too molt again it seems. one that has recently molted has not had a completely successful molt so far. He has had his front two legs still in the old skin for a few days now. I do not know if it got a little dry, or what happened, but should I be alarmed? He seems to be fine besides this.

  44. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the update…molting times will vary; no need to be concerned about timing. Increasing humidity may help the individual that is stuck…sometimes easier to gently move it (scoop up with plastic spoon etc) to a small plastic container that can be kept covered and damp. best, Frank

  45. avatar

    Hi Frank! I’m hoping you may help me! My boy Emperor scorpion turned out to be a girl! Yesterday around 5 p.m. I noticed babies on her back! This morning I woke up to not 6 babies but layers of babies!!! I’m guessing around 15! I’ve done some research & this leads to my question. Should I move tank? Reason being, the tank is on my kitchen counter because I just cleaned it & I was waiting for my boys to clean their room b4 I put “Her” back in their room. I have four children ages 8,9,10, & 12! So my kitchen is always busy. I read that the mom can jolt around do to loud noises etc. & the babies my fall off & she may think food & consume them. Also read not to disturb tank because it can stress her & she may consume babies! I have more questions but b4 typing them all I’ll wait for your reply to this one, which will be much appreciated! Thank you!

  46. avatar

    Hello Cindy,

    Nice to hear, congrats.

    The sexes are hard to tell apart, and females can store sperm, so such surprises do happen.

    4 kids…yes, best to move the tank to a quiet location!…place a blanket over it when carrying, and do so slowly. Most females consume 1-2 youngsters in the course of eating etc,; hard to avoid that, but disturbance can cause them to kill all or most.

    Let me know if you need anything, enjoy and pl keep me posted, Frank

  47. avatar

    Thank you for such a quick response! I will definitely keep you updated & probably will have lots more questions! Today’s questions are…When do the babies first molt? When should I consider finding new homes for them? And I have eco Earth coconut fiber substrate only n tank. Is that good enough or what else should I add & how many inches deep is ideal? I usually sprayed tank with dechlorinated water to keep humidity but not sure thats a good idea since mamma hated it b4 she gave birth, any better suggestions & what humidity level do u think is best? I also have an African Spurred Tortoise. Do u specialize in them as well??? Sorry for question overload! Looking forward to your response!

  48. avatar

    Hi Cindy,

    My pleasure…

    First molt varies quit a bit, but is usually within 2-3 weeks of birth. The young will then darken in color and move about the terrarium. Leaving them with her is a fascinating project, if they get along. In the wild they live in social groups; captivity changes this sometimes so be alert. Or you can seperate them as soon as they move about and begin feeding.

    Eco earth is fine. I like to use several inches, but do not make any changes now, other than maybe t add some shelters, cork bark etc when they become independent. De chlorinated (not distilled) water is best; most do not like to be sprayed directly. keep soil damp, as young do not control water loss very well. You can cover part of the screen top with plastic if need be. Please also see the articles linked under “Further reading” and let me know if you need anything.

    Here are some articles that may be of use re your tortoise. Pl let me know if you need more info
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2009/09/07/are-you-ready-for-an-african-spurred-tortoise/#.U7bsT7EnUpo
    http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2012/04/25/tortoise-care-keeping-desert-forest-and-grassland-tortoises/#.U7bsgLEnUpo

    Best, Frank

  49. avatar

    Thank you so much! All your information was very helpful. I will give you an update when they move off mothers back! If I have any questions between now & then I will be back!!!

  50. avatar

    You’re welcome, Cindy….enjoy!

  51. avatar

    I’m back…:) I posted a few pics on my FB of the scorpions & people who further than I want to drive want to buy one. I have no idea how I would ship one & I paid $30 for mama Scorpianna (kids renamed her after discovering a female!!!) How much should I charge? I’m definitely not in it for the $ but I want them to go to good homes & if I give them away I’m scared people will take them just because there free and not take good care. I live in WV if geographical area makes a difference.

  52. avatar

    Hi Cindy,

    Internet-based suppliers sell adults at $15-25, sometimes more if availability limited; generally more expensive at pet stores; young ones wold be less, and you’d need to charge for shipping; they do fine in a tupperware or similar container packed tightly with moist sphagnum moss (to limit bouncing); air holes not needed for 1-2 day shipment; most folks use FedEx overnight and do not mark container..others note harmless invertebrates etc…I would hesitate to recommend shipping if you’ve not done it before…liabilities and such possible if there is an accident, and I’m not sure about FedEx policies…check first to be safe. Would not likely be worthwhile, financially. Perhaps best to contact a regular shipper and ask for more specific advice….check Ken the Bug Guy or any of the sellers listed on Kingsnake.com., Can usually sell in bulk to local store..simplest option in my experience. best, Frank

  53. avatar

    I think I’ll take your advice and try to only sell babies locally! Since Emperors are social I don’t mind holding on to them till I find good caretakers. My scorpians are in a 40 gallon fish tank. How many ideally can I keep in there?I will set up as many homes as I need to if it will make a better enviroment!
    I also have a ten gallon tank Im setting up for the babies when they move off Scorpiannas back! Is that big enough for 15-20 babies? Or should I keep them in bigger tank and move Mama once all babies move off? I seriously appreciate your help!

  54. avatar

    Hi Cindy,

    Sounds like a good idea. In a 40 you might be able to raise them all together, with the mom. Maybe gradually add caves, substrate so that they can split up, have individual hides and all if needed, but rearing all together is an option if the female does not attack them. You could keep 6 adults in a 40, maybe 8… plenty of substrate and cover is important, best, Frank

  55. avatar

    Hi Frank wanted to update you. Thursday, 4 weeks 5 days after we saw the babies being born Momma came out of her cubby with no babies on her back so we moved her to a different tank, removed the big log and found our 12 babies alive and well. We added some Gatorade lids for hides. The temp is between 75 and 80 and the humidity is maintaining 80%-85% (can’t say enough about my repti fogger) plus a towel on top of the tank. They are adorable! We have a friend taking 1, we are keeping 2 and the rest are going to a guy who sells snakes, spiders and scorpions. His shop is nice so I wish them the best.I really want to stress that keeping her environment stress free really helped to keep everyone happy and healthy.

  56. avatar

    Hi Penny,

    Thanks for the update, glad to hear…nice job! Enjoy, Frank

  57. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    So the guy that said he wanted the babies changed his mind, he says they are too small. So we now have 11, 5 week old babies to raise until they are big enough to sell. We have a 20 gal tank divided 1/3 for babies and 2/3 for momma. They 1/3 was for my tarantula who recently passed away (RIP Riz). Is this enough room for the babies? Should we seperrate them into deli containers, or put some in another tank? Also hides, the tank floor is pretty well covered with hides, a bamboo shoot, turtle shell, etc, is the OK or should it be open. My concern with the hides is feeding them. We are ripping up big crickets and tossing pieces in several places around the tank, but what if some babies don’t get enough food?

    I am such a worrier!

  58. avatar

    Hi Patty,

    You can raise together, and lots of cover is ideal. losses early on are common whether you split or keep together…a certain % of most litters will not survive, but yours seem well on their way. Can you get 10 day old crickets? Stocking tank with them is a good way to ensure all will feed…leave a bit of orange for the crickets to eat/drink from. Please let me know how all goes, best, Frank

  59. avatar

    The big day has came! I see 4 of the 24(so far counted) babies are hiding under mom! I am so undecided if I should move them. I lifted the bark cave to see them & mom seemed very agitated I did so, so for now I’m going to let them be & hope she doesn’t eat them. I keep adding plenty of crickets! If I notice little ones missing I’ll attempt to move them! I have to admit I was reluctant, as a mother, at first to bring a Scorpion into my house but this experience has been amazing! I would have been lost without your help! Thank you for helping me through & I’ll let you know what happens next!

  60. avatar

    Congrts, Cindy, and very kind of you to write in. Best to leave them for awhile…disturbing can cause her to kill some; always a chance she’ll grab 1 if they are left, but she seems to be doing well as is; glad all is going so well – you may hava a new side-business on your hands – fist-sized tarantulas next?! Frank

  61. avatar

    Hi Frank! All babies have moved off moms back! They all are very active! If you would like to check out the pictures and videos of them you can look me up on face book under Cindy Graham Cochran. Its open to public view! Few questions…1. Should I be removing any dead crickets? I usually do cause I’ve read it can cause mites! Wasn’t sure if maybe she killed some for babies to eat so I shouldn’t take them out! 2. If mites do occur what do I do to get rid of them & can they harm my babies???

  62. avatar

    Hi Cindy,

    Sounds good.

    Small white mites usually appear in scorp tanks at some point..they arrive as eggs via substrate, perhaps attahed to crickets etc; will feed on dead crickets but do not appear as a result of such. they are harmless in most cases..please see this article.

    You can remove via tongs etc, always best to limit decaying food…any she kills for them would be eaten quickly. hope all continues to go well, Best, Frank

  63. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I have a question that no one seems to have asked yet… How in the world do I get momma scorpion to come out of the burrow far enough to be able get a hold of her? She only comes out half way. The babies are dark brownish-black in color and about 2 inches long. I’m pretty sure there are not as many as last week so I want to get her out of there. Moving one large scorpion seems easier than moving appox. 12 small ones! Anytime I go anywhere near her tank, she runs back down inside with the babies underneath her. I’ve had (silicone) tongs in my hand for about 6 hours now… LOL ANY help would be much appreciated!
    Thanks!

  64. avatar

    Hello Crystal,

    It’s preferable to move the youngsters…the female has an established burrow and would be stressed by removal. Some losses are inevitable, but if she’s not systematical killing them, then I’d leave them for awhile. Place some small pieces of cork bark etc in the tank..as the young start to wander away from her they will find their own places to hide and will be easier to catch. Enjoy, Frank

  65. avatar

    Hey Frank,
    Like many of the others you respond to, my “male” forest scorpion starting having babies today. Been averaging 1 every couple of hours. I’ve got then housed in a Zilla brand 10 gallon desert habitat converted to a terrarium with coconut substrate and a repti fogger on a regular timer to keep the humidity up. I bought a good sized ufo shaped house for her a while ago and it’s been her regular home for a while now. Noticed yesterday that she started moving substrate like crazy. There is two dome lights on the tank, one with a basic white basking light for during the day and a red heat bulb for the night time, both on a day/night timer. Also have an under tank heater on one side of the tank. I’ve also got a small water dish and an artificial plant in there. Is this tank and setup going to be suitable for Fluffie and her brood?

  66. avatar

    Hello John,

    Should be fine…small ones desiccate easily, but the fogger will prevent that. Good idea to spread cork bark or other bark slabs etc. around the tank so that they can find hiding spots once they begin roaming about. Enjoy and let me know if you need anything, Frank

  67. avatar

    I’ve got another ceramic “house” that I had from a previous emp (which came from a bad brood from a local petco, still lasted longer than all the others), was thinking of replacing the artificial plant with the second hidey hole, but keep the water dish somewhat inbetween. So Fluffie the momma will have get ufo she’s grown to love and the little ones can have the rock like house of my former emperor. That fogger is a blessing, since we live in a low humidity area and I was having allot of trouble keeping humidity over 20%

  68. avatar

    Hello John,

    Yes, good that you have the fogger…they have trouble regulating water loss for the first few weeks of life. Another shelter would be useful, but also include lots of bark pieces to break-up the floor area and to provide additional hide spots if needed. This decreases aggression, which may or may not occur, allows smaller ones, poor feeders etc. to stay away from others if needed. Enjoy, Frank

  69. avatar

    Hey Frank, so Fluffie appeared to have stopped giving birth about two days ago. She’s been hiding inside of her house and hasn’t come out since. We’re wondering what we should do along the lines of feeding. The way the hide she is in is setup, it’s a ufo shaped house possibly designed for a lizard, and she loved s bunch of the substrate in it and created a little hole in the front that leads inside under the molded ufo ramp. I wish I could put a picture on here too show you, it’s kinda hard to describe. I took one of the large crickets I was feeding Fluffie before the pregnancy and removed its larger rear legs and led it into the hole that leads into her hide, haven’t seen it come out so I’m going to guess it’s been eaten. I also bought some canned small meal worms that I’ve placed best the hole entrance she made and on the ufo ramp she usually used as an entrance. We’re worried to move the hide as she might become aggressive and start eating her young. Any advice?

  70. avatar

    Hi John,

    Feeding w/crickets as you describe is fine; disturbing almost always leads to cannibalism. Even following birth, scorpions are amazingly resilient as to food needs, well able to live on stores, regulate metabolism etc. rarely any reason to worry along those lines. Enjoy, Frank

  71. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    So all babies alive and well living under their water dish. They are now almost 14 weeks old. I am wondering how often we could be feeding them? We have been buying pin heads and keeping them in the tank with the babies but we buy 24-36 every 3 days. Is that too much? The crickets keep disappearingso someone is eating them? Also I find no molts? How often should they be molting and do they always eat it. I would have thought I would find them once in a while. Shouldn’t they be moving around to other shelters? OK I know so many questions? I appreciate any help.

    Thanks

  72. avatar

    Hi Patty,

    Sounds like you’re doing fine; you can move to 10-day-old or 1/2 inch crickets if carried by local store, should cut down on need to feed so often. They grow faster with frequent feedings, but you can also cut back…they are very adaptable once they have put on some size. They usually consume sheds and often congregate under the same hides, at least for awhile. Best, Frank

  73. avatar

    How often will they shed from now on? They are getting so big, and they have created a tunnel system under the substrate. So cute!

    Thanks for the info.

  74. avatar

    Hi Patty,

    My pleasure…shedding depends on a variety of factors…diet, temperature, etc., and you’ll see individual differences as well. Not much written on this, hard to observe and record, etc. Enjoy, Best, frank

  75. avatar

    hi,,,i just cought a scorpion ,,i decided to keep it,but dont know its specie,its with babies,,i made a tank to keep her,,plz tell me more about how i shud feed her,and provide her in tank,,

  76. avatar

    Hello Harris,

    I would not suggest keeping a scorpion that you are unable to identify….the venom of some species can cause severe illness and/or death; even those considered harmless should be avoided if you are not well-experienced, as one may be allergic to the venom (as we see with bee stings, etc). The needs of each species varies, so there’s no way to provide proper care w/o a certain ID…best to release, without touching, in an area away from homes etc. Emperor scorpions are captive bred and make a far better choice as a first scorpion. Best, Frank

  77. avatar

    Hey Frank,

    It has been about six months and there are still 14 out of my 18 original babies. A few had shedding problems and one was accidentally eaten by another. They rest are doing pretty well and they are now all together in a 5 gallon tank. Waiting for them to molt once more so they are big enough to sell. I have noticed tiny white mites. I have spotted them before but I was not sure what they were. Should I be concerned at all?

    Also, I now have a large hairy desert scorpion. I am curious with water. I have heard they can survive on water from their prey, but also that some people will place a dish in the terrarium during the night once a week or two. Do you know what is best?

  78. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the update..sounds good. The mites are generally harmless, and almost always show up at some point; please see this article.

    Most scorpions get all the water they need from their prey in the wild; captivate conditions can alter their physiology, however, so it’s best to provide a shallow water dish.

    Enjoy, Frank

  79. avatar

    Frank,

    Thank you, your help has helped a ton! I do have one more question so far. There are about 14 of varying sizes together in the terrarium. I believe some are approaching molting as they are becoming a little fatter and stretching their exoskeleton. I usually drop in a handful of crickets every 4-5 days now instead of every other day as I did when they were very small. Not all of the crickets have been eaten after a couple days. I am wondering if I should try and remove them? I am worried that there could be a couple still feeding and do not want them to starve or try cannibalism.

  80. avatar

    Hi Adam,

    I’m glad all has been going so well…it’s fine o have a few crickets left over…no way to accurately feed a large group exactly what they need. But don’t worry too much, they will adjust growth rate etc if not getting enough,,cannibalism always a bit of a risk, even when all are well fed, but generally not a major problem at this size, Best, Frank

  81. avatar

    everyone help me
    What is the best food for baby scorpion?

  82. avatar

    Hello,

    Small crickets are the standard diet, but most small, soft-bodied insects will be accepted. They will not feed until after the first molt, 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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