Generally we think that scorpions are venomous but only 24 out of 1500 species are dangerous to humans. In fact they are one of the best exotic pets. The article Pet scorpion stands as complete guide to own a scorpion. We have covered information about Scorpion lifespan, Scorpion Diet, Scorpion tank, Types of scorpions, Handling and Scorpion bite treatments.
There are about 1,500 different species of scorpions present in the world. They can live in different types of habitats like grasslands, deserts, forests, tropical forests etc., Most prefer warmer subtropical or tropical climates.
They attack a wide variety of insects and animals and all have the ability to sting. Even though a sting can be painfull, very few scorpions are dangerous for humans.
Scorpions As Pets
Keeping scorpions as pets is becoming popular. They require very little maintenance and are relatively inexpensive to purchase, a lot of set-up, or care.
They can be easily found in pet stores, reptiles shows and breeders and online sellers. If you are looking for an unique pet, a scorpion makes an excellent choice.
Now that you have decided to get a pet scorpion, it is time to acquire all the supplies you will need to house it and create an appropriate habitat. You should prepare your pet’s new cage before bringing it home.
Here is a list of supplies that will be needed. Hope this helps you
Pet Scorpion Lifespan
Scorpion lifespan depends upon type of scorpion you own. In general, most of the scorpions live between 6 to 8 years.
Things To Buy Before Getting A Scorpion
- You will need a lock screen tank. A 5-10 gallon tank is good for one or two scorpions. A 15-20 gallon tank will be needed if you keep a common colony.
- For tropical scorpions, you will need Eco-earth or a similar substrate. For desert scorpions, you can use commercial sand as a substrate.
- Enough space to hide. Driftwood and logs available in most pet stores work well for this.
- A dish of shallow water.
- Optional decorations available in pet stores can be added to the cage if you want to make it a more attractive and natural habitat.
- A heating pad under the tank must be provided on one side of the tank.
- Specific lighting is not necessary for scorpions because they are nocturnal. A bulb can be used to create a day and night cycle.
- Crickets loaded with gut and other insects for feeding.
What Do Scorpions Eat
Feeding scorpions in captivity is simple. A healthy scorpion eats almost anything small enough for him to catch.
Mealworms and Crickets are an ideal source of food. They are easily available at pet stores and online and are inexpensive. The loading of the intestine is the process of keeping the insects well fed so that they transmit additional nutrients to your pet.
You should feed your pet every few days to a week. If you have a communal tank, make sure to provide enough prey for every scorpion to eat. If they are happy and well fed, the chances of cannibalism or fighting are reduced.
The amount of food in the scorpion diet should be monitored to ensure a healthy pet. A healthy scorpion is not too lean or too fat.
The age of the animal is also a factor in how much he will eat. Young scorpions eat almost continuously, as they grow quickly.
Sometimes an animal refuses to eat for long periods. Do not worry. Healthy adult males have been known to take long fasts for months.
A shallow and robust water dish should be provided. If you have a community colony, it’s a good idea to provide more than one dish. The dish should not be more than half an inch deep. Fresh water need to be supplied everyday and the bowl should be cleaned regularly.
Scorpion Tank And Habitat
When setting up home security for your new scorpion is a big problem. Scorpions are very skilled at strong enough to open tops, squeezing through small openings, and agile enough to climb objects.
AAnaquarium or terrarium with a lockable screen is the best place pet stay. It will also prevent other animals from getting to your scorpion and possibly injuring it or getting injued. Scorpions are good climbers, so when you open the lid of your aquarium, make sure you know where your pet is.
A 10-gallon tank is the ideal size for one or two scorpions. If you are going to have a common habitat with several scorpions, a 15-20 gallon tank is what you need. Even though some species like the emperor scorpion, may have several tank mates, cannibalism is always a concern.
Heat And Light
A heating pad under the tank must be provided on one side of your tank. This will help you to maintain a temperature gradient for your pet. The optimum temperature for tropical and desert scorpions is between 75 and 90 ° F.
They are nocturnal and do not require special lighting, but under a black light, the scorpions will appear fluorescent. Please note, the ultraviolet light of a black light can be harmful to scorpions and is not recommended.
Substrate And Decor
You should provide 3-5 inches of bedding on the bottom of the tank for terrier scorpions. The substrates are quite different for tropical and desert scorpions.
Tropical scorpions require a moist substrate for digging and high humidity. The Eco Earth, sterilized potting soil are good choices for tropical scorpions. Commercial sand play bags can be used as litter for desert scorpions.
A shallow water dish should be provided and a skin area is also required for your pet. If you have multiple scorpions in an enclosure, several masking areas must be provided. Logs and Driftwood that are readily available at pet stores helps you to make hide area for your pet. You can add decorations to the habitat at your discretion, but they are not mandatory.
Handling And Stings
Handling your scorpion is not recommended. There is a possibility of caught by scorpion claws or being stung. More importantly, there is a chance to injure, lose your pet.
A scorpion can move quickly and look for a dark place to hide. If he runs away, he can run under furniture, and other darker places where you may not be able to retrieve it. If he runs at the end of a table, he will not stop and fall.
A fall can easily kill or hurt your pet. If you need to move a scorpion, the safest way is to use a ladle or bowl and pick up the animal.
All scorpions can sting you and all scorpions carry venom. Most venoms are not dangerous to humans. Even though 1,500 species of scorpions were present, only about 24 are considered life threatening to humans.
Toxicity of venom varies considerably between different animals of the same species. Scorpions with larger tweezers tend to have less toxic venom because they prefer to catch and crush their prey.
Even though most are not dangerous, you should always try to avoid a scorpion sting. Everyone has different reactions to a sting and venom.
People with allergies to bee stings can have a very unfavorable reaction. People with illness, people with high blood pressure, the elderly and Children under the age of three can also react badly to scorpion stings.
The normal symptoms of a scorpion sting are similar to a bee sting and include mild swelling, immediate pain and a tingling sensation. Symptoms of a severe reaction may be salivation or convulsions, a thick tongue, difficulty breathing, numbness, difficulty swallowing, blurred vision.
Scorpion Bite Treatment Procedures
In Search Of Medical Assistance
1.Call emergency services if necessary. If the victim has symptoms other than slight swelling and pain, call emergency services. Also call if you believe the scorpion which stung you is from dangerous species, or someone with a weak lungs or heart, if the victim is a child or an elderly person. Some of these serious systemic symptoms include allergic reactions, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and muscle spasms, and may also include symptoms experienced with snake bites.
Find a list of ambulance numbers online.
2.Call the poison control center for advice. If you do not have any of the serious symptoms mentioned, call a poison control center to report your symptoms and seek specialist advice. Look for your area name and “poison control” online.
In the United States, you can call at 1-800-222-1222 or search this database for a poison control center closer to you.
Outside the United States, locate a poison control center using the World Health Organization database.
3.Describe the victim on the phone. The approximate weight and age of the victim is helpful to medical staff to help assess the risk and recommend treatment. If the victim has any allergies or medical conditions that are specific to medication or insect bites, notify the poison control center or emergency services.
Also, give the exact time the victim was stung if possible. If you are not sure, say so and mention when the injury was found.
4.Describe the scorpion for medical assistance over the phone. An emergency response service may not be able to advise you over the phone, but a poison control center should ask for a detailed description of the scorpion. See the scorpion identification section for tips on danger signs and how to capture the scorpion if it is still there.
5.Find someone to monitor the victim and take her to the hospital if needed. Since scorpion venom can produce involuntary muscle movement, the victim may not be able to drive or walk if dangerous symptoms develop. Find someone with a car or other means of transportation that can bring the victim to the hospital in case she cannot reach an emergency ambulance service. The victim should be observed at least 24 hours, and preferably monitored the following week if symptoms worsen.
Treat The Sting At Home
1.Consult a doctor for severe symptoms. In any case, people with damaged heart or lungs, the elderly, infants, children and should always consult a doctor for a scorpion sting. Yet most scorpion stings can be treated at home, although stung from dangerous species requires doctor advice. Seek medical help immediately if you see any of the following symptoms.
- Lathering, drooling, sweating or Vomiting
- Involuntary excretion or urination
- Muscle contractions, including involuntary movements of the eyes, head or neck, or difficulty walking
- Irregular or Accelerated heart rate
- Difficulty seeing, talking, swallowing or breathing
- Severe swelling of an allergic reaction
2.Find the location of the sting. A scorpion sting sometimes swell significantly. Any scorpion sting, however, will cause burning sensation or sharp pain at the time of injury, followed by numbness or tingling. The sting areas are usually near the lower parts of the body but may include the rest of the body.
3.Wash area of sting with soap and water. Gently remove all clothing around the area and wash gently. This will remove if any small amount of venom is present around the area and keeps the wound clean to reduce the risk of infection.
4.Keep the area of the injury always and below the level of the heart. Unlike some injuries, scorpion stings should never be raised above the heart, as this can result in a faster spread of venom into your system. Keep the affected area at heart level or lower and minimize the movement of the victim to avoid an accelerated heart rate that will spread venom more quickly
5.Calm the victim. Excitement or Anxiety can cause an increase in heart rate, which will increase the rate at which the venom is absorbed. Try to reduce the victim’s movements. Remind them that the majority of scorpion stings do not cause permanent damage.
6.Apply a cold compress or ice on the effected area. Cold helps slow the numb pain, spread of venom and reduce swelling. Apply the cold pack for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. This will be most effective within two hours of the injury.
7.Take over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce pain. Use acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve pain and discomfort. Always follow the instructions on the label. Do not use opioid analgesics (narcotics) because they can suppress breathing. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are the best because they are NSAIDs that will help reduce swelling. If the pain is severe, consult a doctor.
8.Provide first aid if necessary. Unconsciousness or severe spasms are rare, but if they do occur, call an ambulance as soon as possible. Learn the basic steps of CPR and use them on the patient immediately if you suspect that his heart has stopped.
9.Check with a doctor. Even if you think you have recovered through your self-treatment, but you must consult a doctor or a health professional. To reduce the risk of infection and other complications, you may be advised to take a tetanus vaccine, take use antibiotics or muscle relaxants. Do not give yourself these medications without the advice of a doctor.
1.Capture the scorpion only if you can do it safely. You should give priority to helping the victim rather than catching the scorpion. However, identifying scorpion species allows you to determine if a treatment is needed, and in the case of venomous species, will allow doctors to give you the correct treatment. If you have a much larger glass jar that the scorpion try to capture the give the greatest chance of identifying an expert. However, if you cannot see the scorpion, or if you do not have an appropriate container, do not try this step.
Find a big glass jar, big enough to cover the scorpion and big enough to keep your hands out of reach of the sting when you hold it upside down. If you have them, find a pair of pliers at least 25 cm long.
Capture the scorpion with the pot or clip. Hold the pot upside down and place it completely on the scorpion. If you have long enough tongs to use them while staying out of reach, use them to grab the scorpion firmly and place it in the pot instead.
Secure the cover. If the container is upside down, slide a large piece of cardboard or heavy construction paper under the opening, then hold it from the outside by inverting the container upside down. Attach a lid or place a heavy book on the opening.
2.Photograph the scorpion if you cannot capture it. If you do not have the right tools to capture the scorpion, atleast try to photograph it. Take several photographs from different angles if possible. Having pictures to look at will help you find details you may not remember, and if you need to see an expert, it will help a doctor to identify the species for you.
3.Suppose a fat tail scorpion can be dangerous. Scorpions with thorns and thick, fat tails are often more dangerous than scorpions with thin darts. Although it is always useful to photograph or capture the scorpion to identify specific species, you should consult a doctor even if you have not yet had any serious symptoms, especially if you are in India, the United States or Africa.
If you only have a good view of the forceps, you can also estimate the risk: powerful and large pliers often indicate that the scorpion relies more on the defense than on the venom. It is not an infallible system, but can be valuable information to pass on to a health professional.
4.Identify dangerous scorpions in northern Mexico and the United States. If you are in the northern Mexico or the southwestern United States, look for images of the “Arizona Bark Scorpion” online and compare them to the scorpion that caused the injury. Note that bark scorpions at high altitude tend to be striped, while desert bark scorpions are usually of a uniform light brown or brown. The bites of these scorpions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
If you are elsewhere in the United States, there is a small risk of serious injury from scorpion stings. You should always treat the site of the injury as described below, and be prepared to see a doctor if you have allergic reactions or other serious symptoms.
5.Identify dangerous scorpions in the Africa and Middle East. The “deathstalker scorpion“, also known as the Israeli desert scorpion, grows up to a maximum of 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) and can vary considerably in clip size and color. Because of the risk of lung or heart failure associated with their stings, any sting of a scorpion smaller than the hand of an adult encountered in this area should be treated by health care professionals as soon as possible.
As noted above, fat tail scorpions can also be extremely dangerous, and many species are found in this region.
Unidentified thin-tailed species are generally low risk, but due to the large number of scorpion species in Africa, not all of which have been studied in detail, be prepared to consult a physician if symptoms other than pain and slight swelling appear.
6.Identify dangerous scorpions in South and Central America. Most of the scorpions in this area are not dangerous for adults, but there are exceptions. One of the most dangerous is the “Brazilian yellow scorpion“; Like many dangerous scorpions, he tends to have a big, thick tail.
7.Identify dangerous species in other regions. The few remaining species of scorpions that can cause death or serious injury in adult humans, but as all species have not been identified, it is always advisable to seek medical attention if the victim has symptoms other than pain. and a slight swelling around the effected site.
The bites of orange or small red scorpions in Pakistan, India or Nepal should be treated immediately. These can be Indian red scorpions.
The risk of death or serious injury to an adult is low because of scorpion venom from New Zealand, Europe or Australia. Identification is always a good idea in case you have severe symptoms and should report them to a medical worker.
If the area where you have been bitten is still numb after a few weeks, you should call your doctor for evaluation
Do not cut the site of the lesion, as this can cause bleeding or a dangerous infection and will not remove venom from your bloodstream.
Do not try to suck the venom with your mouth. Healthcare professionals may attempt to remove it with a suction device, but it is unclear how effective it is
When a scorpion grows up, his hard exoskeleton becomes too small for his body and he has to develop a new one. The new external skeleton forms under the current skeleton.
The process of replacing the exoskeleton is called molting. It’s a stressful process for the scorpion that can take up to twelve hours and requires a lot of energy.
Just before molting, a scorpion will hide for a few days and refuse the food. Like a spider, a scorpion will drop its old skin leaving behind a translucent replica of itself.
The newly molted scorpion will be white and extremely full-bodied. When at this stage, he is extremely vulnerable.
Try not to disturb your pet until its new exoskeleton hardens. If you have a communal tank, pay special attention to the newly soft scorpion so that it is not injured.
A scorpion molts an average of six times before reaching adulthood. Once an adult, he does not molt anymore. Depending on the species, a scorpion reaches adulthood between six months and seven years of age.
Best Pet Scorpions Species
African Scorpions Of Burrowers
There are about fifty species of African scorpions. They are from the eastern and southern parts of Africa, most of them living in South Africa.
They dig long, deep tunnels in fairly hard terrain. The size of the species ranges from 2.5 inches to 6 inches. The African burrowing scorpion is a very attractive and colorful species with stocky constructions and wide pliers. They spend most of their lives underground.
These scorpions are very aggressive. They will sting easily if they are restrained or cornered. Their venom varies from mild to strong. The pain at site of the sting and can last up to 48 hours. It is better to leave this species to the experienced collector.
This scorpion will need a ten-gallon terrarium tank with a heating pad on the bottom of one side. Three to five inches of eco-land, a bed of animal or a potting soil constitute a suitable substrate. The driftwood creates a nice decor and areas to hide for habitat. A bowl of shallow water and cockroaches or crickets loaded with gut are needed for the scorpion food.
Scorpions Of The Asian Forest
The natural habitat of the Asian scorpion stretches from Malaysia to India. It’s a heavy, big, thick black scorpion that can grow up to five inches in length.
They live mainly on the surface under trunks and rocks, but sometimes dig burrows. They look very much like emperor scorpions and are sometimes sold as such in pet shops.
The forest scorpion is more aggressive than the emperor scorpion. They can be kept in groups, but this is not recommended because of their aggressive nature. They will adopt a defensive stance more easily and will be more likely to protect themselves with their pincers.
The venom of the sting of an Asian forest scorpion is sweet. They are a very common scorpion kept as a pet.
A ten gallon terrarium or aquarium is required with a heating pad under the tank on one side of the tank. The habitat needs a shallow water dish and a hiding place. If several scorpions are in a tank, several skin areas must be provided.
The substrate should be 3-4 inches deep. The eco-land is good bedding commercially available. The scorpion diet is easily maintained with mealworms or crickets.
The bark scorpion is found in Central America, North America and the northern parts of West Indies and the South America. There are 41 species, with 24 subspecies, of bark scorpion.
They range in size from 1.5 to 3 inches and live in a variety of environments, from rainforests to deserts. These can be found hidden under tree crevices, leaves, loose bark, or any other place that gives them cover.
Bark scorpions are very mobile runners, fast and excellent climbers. They are somewhat aggressive and will be ready to sting. Most of bark scorpions are not life threatening, but some have very strong and potentially deadly venom.
They are considered the most dangerous scorpion in the United States. Because of their strong and aggressiveness venom, only an expert in handling them should consider keeping this species as a pet.
The bark scorpion needs a ten gallon tank with a lock screen top. Three to four inches of substrate should cover the bottom of the habitat. A heating pad under the tank on one side of the tank is required.
He will need a lot of hiding places and a shallow water dish. Their diet include Crickets and other gut-loaded insects.
Emperor scorpions are native to tropical Africa and other countries near the equator. They live near the surface in tunnels and under litter of soil holding moisture.
The Emperor Scorpion can reach a length of over 8 inches and is one of the largest scorpions. He has a big shiny black body and bent pliers. His venom is mild and the scorpion as a whole is not very aggressive.
This species of scorpion is the most common type found as a pet. Tens can live together in colonies and this trait allows to have several living together in a common cage.
Although they can live together, it is not necessary. Also note that when more than one scorpion lives in a habitat, there is always a chance of cannibalism. They are the perfect choice new scorpion owners.
A terrarium or ten gallon tank is a suitable habitat for emperor scorpions. He will need a heating pad on one side of the tank. About 3-4 inches of substrate like Eco-earth needed at the bottom of the tank. The scorpion will also need a hide area and a bowl of shallow water such as half a cork or log bark.
If there are several scorpions, the habitat will require more hiding areas. Mealworms and Crickets that have been ingested may be the main diet.
Flat Rock Scorpions
The flat rock scorpions are native to South Africa. The 16 species of this scorpion live there majorly.
These scorpions are large on average seven inches in length. They have large flat grippers well suited to grab prey in cracks. When you look at these scorpions for the first time, they look so flat they look like they’ve been crushed.
Most are rarely stinging, docile, slow to run and venom is very toxic. It is a good pet for the novice collector, but they are more easily injured than forest or emperors scorpions.
A ten-gallon tank makes a good home for the flat rock scorpion. A heating pad under one side of the tank will be needed. The habitat will require a hiding areas and shallow water basin. Areas to hide should be narrow and snug.
Stacks of slates or rocks that are well protected in most pet stores work well. The substrate should be 2 to 4 inches deep and composed of sand, eco-land or something similar.
Only one scorpion should be kept per habitat because of its territorial nature. A good diet consists of intestinal crickets and mealworms.
Giant Hairy Scorpions
The giant hairy scorpion is native to California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Eight known species live in rocky deserts where they dig deep burrows in dry sandy areas.
These scorpions are the largest found in North America. They vary in size from 5.5 to 6 inches. They are likely to have a yellow-green appearance.
This kind of scorpion is rather docile and would be a good choice for a novice collector. They will quickly flee the confrontation, but they will adopt a defensive position and will sting if they are provoked or cornered. The venom of giant hair scorpions is considered weak to mild, but if you are stung with swelling and pain will occur.
A ten gallon aquarium or terrarium with a heating pad under the tank is a suitable habitat for the giant hairy scorpion. The substrate is poured at the bottom of the tank should be three to four inches of a mixture of eco-soil or potting soil and sand.
A dish of shallow water and hide areas such as cork bark should be provided. The food for the scorpion consists of crickets loaded with gut and other insects.
The golden scorpion is native to Middle East and the West Africa. It digs in sandy soils in rocky areas.
It can measure between 2 and 3.5 inches and is a stocky, small and fast scorpion. It has a golden yellow or a shiny straw aspect with short rounded pliers.
Many species of golden scorpions will sting if confronted and grabbed with their pincers. Their sting is very painful and some of these species produce more severe symptoms. Because of their layout, these scorpions should only be kept by an expert in scorpions.
A ten gallon terrarium with a heating pad under the tank is needed. Sand or a mixture of Eco-earth and sand three to four inches deep is a suitable substrate. The habitat should also have a small flat rocks and shallow water dish, logs or cork bark to create areas to hide.
Many gold scorpions can be in the same habitat as long as they are well fed and there are enough hiding places and places to dig. Crickets loaded with gut and other insects will do the feeding.