Your New Emperor Scorpion
Aqualand’s info on Pandinus imperator

 
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Emperor Scorpion Factoids

Origin

Western Africa

Maximum Size

4’’ to 6’’ typical

Longevity

8 years

Housing

Not a great lap runner

Security

Likes tunnels, caves, pipe

Temperature

Room temp okay.  Much warmer to breed.

Attitude

Nocturnal at first

Foods

Crickets and other bugs

Breeding Not difficult
Threats Meerkats

Water

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LA
Emperor scorpion.  Seen any good monster movies lately?  Good Fear Factor menu item.

Legal Caveat:  Des Moines City Code, Subchapter 5, 7-44 defines all scorpions as illegal animals.  It is illegal for you to own any scorpion within the city of Des Moines.  The City Code says your emperor scorpion will be confiscated if the City finds out you own it.

LA
Don't put emperor scorpions over potting soil or dirt.  It's messy and makes them invisible.  

Origin.  Emperor scorpions come from Western Africa.  They set up camp around termite mounds.  Scorpions love termites.  They also eat any other small insects, lizards, rodents, or small birds they can find.

LA
He grabs crickets in his pincers then sticks them in his mouth.  His sting rarely gets involved.

LA
Mr. cricket disappears fast.

Foods.  In captivity, emperor scorpions eagerly eat crickets, spiders, mealworms, and pinkie mice.  Feel free to offer other edible treats as well.  They like Madagascar hissing cockroaches and would undoubtedly love one of our big Iowa water bugs -- and an occasional goldfish.  Hungry emperor scorpions will also eat ZooMed’s “Can o’ Worms.”

LA
Check out those hairy pincers.  When roughly handled like this, his stinger does get involved.

Most Popular.  More information is known about the emperor scorpion as these are the most commonly kept scorpions for a number of reasons.  They are not expensive.  Scorpions cost about the same as a guinea pig.  They will fit in your hand.  They are easily handled.  Though not rare, emperors are still different from other creatures in an “exotic sense.”

 



LA
Oklahoma scorpion with one-inch body.  She's carrying an egg sac under her thorax.

LA
Death stalker scorpion, Leiurus quinquestraitus, same size here but grows to 4.5 inches.

LA
Best suited to experieced scorpion keepers.

LA
Flat-rock scorpion.

LA
Eating end.  Insert crickets here.

LA
Stinging end.  For emergency use only.

LA
Use a very shallow water bowl, so your emperor scorpion can get out easily.

Easy to Keep.  Basically, scorpions need only food and water.  You can keep one in a small “critter keeper” with a wet sponge for water.  Feed one cricket three times a week and clean his cage every Saturday.  Boring.  Give your new emperor scorpion more room and more decór.

LA
Don't pick him up like a crayfish even tho he looks similar underneath.  Good belly shot.

 

Dangerous?  In spite of the City Code, emperor scorpions are not dangerous (except to crickets).  Yours could sting you (like a bee) or pinch you (like a crawdad) but will most likely do neither.  Still, these are not good pets for children.  Actually, there are few good pets for small children.  Adults are the ones who really take care of "childrens" pets.

LA
LA carefully holding that hypodermic needle-like stinger immobile.  Good top shot.

Can You Handle Them?  We do not recommend stirring up a dozen scorpions in a bucket with your bare hands.  However, you can easily pick these guys up if you do it slowly and gently.  A well-fed emperor scorpion is not going to try to eat you.

LA
You probably won't see your emperor scorpion use his stinger.

Why the Stinger?  Emperor scorpions use their stinger for fighting enemies and sometimes for killing prey.  Little guys use their stingers more than the big guys.  Yours probably will not bother stinging crickets.  They can handle crickets with one claw tied behind their back.

LA
Feel free to put emperor scorpions together.

Can You Keep Two Together?  Emperor scorpions get along fine with other emperor scorpions.  In the wild, large families of them live together.  Never forget to feed them when you keep them together.  Big hungry critters of many species will eat smaller and weaker buddies.  (Remember Donner Pass?)

Burrowers.  Emperor scorpions want to dig down into the ground, build a cozy burrow, sleep during the day, then come out at night and party.  If you put gravel on their cage floor, they will try to dig in it.  If you give them a small cave, they will use it.  Take these natural desires into account when housing your scorpion.  

Humidity.  Damp vermiculite works great.  It provides the high humidity these arachnids like and is easily burrowed into.  Emperor scorpions are similar to tarantulas in their preferences.

LA
Recently arrived emperor scorpion in shipping container.

LA
Momma scorpions carry their babies on their backs (and bellies).

LA
She has three others on her belly.

LA
You can almost see the babies under her belly.

LA
You can see the other babes under her front right legs.

LA
They're a little over half an inch.

Breeding.  Since importers keep herds of these scuttlers together, any female you get will probably be fertile.  Females give birth to live young (white) and care for them for quite some time.  Your chances of seeing babies increase with the temperature you maintain.  Bump their temp up to 80 F or even 90.  Your baby emperor scorpions need high humidity even more than the adults.  High humidity increases in importance as their temp goes up.  Avoid drying your emperor scorpion out. 

That Old Black Light Magic.   Scorpion hunters use a black light to collect these guys at night.  Emperor scorpions glow a very strong, eerie, unreal green under black light.   Scorpion keepers love critters that fluoresce -- and posters and T-shirts etc.
 

Dave Kelly, UK, January 22, 2010
Hi (again)..... Just a quick note regarding Black Lights and scorps.
While it's generally true that these don't cause any harm to scorps, this is very much not the case with Emperors. Maybe it's due to their habitat, but these guys are ultra-sensitive to the entire UV spectrum. While black lights, unlike reptile lights, won't kill them, it will put undue stress on the animal. Long term exposure, such as using a black light to illuminate at night, can lead to an untimely death. (While I can't list the sites I visited, I did several months research before committing to my new-found friends and this seems to be the most common information found.)
In my opinion any pet owner who doesn't mind putting stress on an animal really shouldn't have them. Cheers,

A:  I added your info to my scorpion page.  LA

LA
Not a good idea to hold an emperor scorpion in your hand.

Other Comments.  Emperor scorpions can live up to eight years.  Who knows how old they are when you get them?  Expect three or four years.  Females take good care of their babies.  They grind up crickets and feed their babies.  Scorpions are relatively noiseless except for occasional clicks at night.  They make interesting pets unless you live in Des Moines.  LA.

© 1996, © 2003, © 2004, © 2009  LA Productions
 

Mike Haare, March 25, 2007
RE care sheet: http://www.aqualandpetsplus.com/Bug,%20Scorpion.htm
The guy that wrote this, honestly had no idea about scorpions other than
that he's slightly afraid of them. I am sad to say I am in the same hobby as
him. I'd suggest just removeing the article, and have someone that actually
knows what they are doing write it. Most antonmy he tried to mention to was completely wrong. Most basic husbrandry comments are wrong, doesn't even mention negative effects of black lights. Again, I doubt he even knows it. To sum it up, it sucks. I hope he can at least get it right. Cheers,

A:  I added your comments to my scorpion page.  LA

Hugh Nadunop, February 13, 2009
Hugh here again. I found Mike's comment in your Emperor Scorpion page ridiculous. He just says all those stuff without giving any proof. I think he just wants some attention or maybe he's an idiot (no offense to that guy if his reading this, lol).
Some info I found while searching around the web. I don't keep any scorpions so I don't have much knowledge about them.
Venom: Emperor Scorpions have mild stings. It is stated that the smaller the scorpion, the more toxic they are which seems to be mostly true. However, there is no general rule relating toxicity to scorpion size. The P. Imperator's stings, while toxic tend to have varying effects in each individual with some reporting no problems while others report severe pain. Emperor scorpions rarely use their stingers on prey. They mostly use it when being threatened.
Over all, the only things dangerous about Emperor scorpions are their claws, which are said to be powerful enough to break a pencil in half.
Black light: Black light will not do any harm to scorpions, or maybe it's just that matter has not been researched well. It is known that only adult emperor scorpions will show up in black light since juvenile scorpions lack the fluorescent mineral in their outer shell to make them glow.
Hope this info helps and thanks for those great articles. I did find that your Otocinclus page lacks some info. Hope you at least update it.

A:  Thanks, I added your comments to my scorpion page.  How would you like the otocinclus page updated?  LA

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