Is Keeping an Emperor Scorpion as a Pet Advisable?

Elevated View of a Scorpion

Scorpions, especially emperor scorpions, are becoming more and more common as pets. The species is often difficult to handle, yet they are quiet, hygienic, and simple to maintain. Additionally, scorpions are peaceful creatures. Finding a pet sitter that is willing to take care of an emperor scorpion might be challenging because they demand a fair amount of time and attention. Although it's not a good choice as a pet for small children, this scorpion is the one that new scorpion owners are frequently advised to get.

Species Overview

Common Name(s): Emperor scorpion, imperial scorpion

Scientific Name: Pandinus imperator

Adult Size: About 6 inches long

Lifespan: 6 to 8 years

Can You Own a Pet Emperor Scorpion?

Legality

Even though emperor scorpions may be hard to come by as pets, it is quite acceptable to have one as a pet. The dictator scorpion, Asian forest scorpion, and desert hairy scorpion are just a few of the scorpions that may be kept as pets, along with the emperor scorpion.

Ethics

Consider whether your lifestyle is acceptable for the pet of your choice while looking for any pet, even a pet emperor scorpion. The morality of having a scorpion depends on your ability to give it the right atmosphere, nutrition, and care so that it can survive. Emperor scorpions are also nocturnal, which might affect your sleeping patterns or routines.

Things to Consider

The emperor scorpion will sting if provoked, like the majority of scorpions. Even though it has some of the mildest venom, it is still not a good pet for a family with young children or members who are at danger when touching the pet (or if it gets free from its cage). Before buying and caring for an emperor scorpion, make sure you do your homework and take care to obtain the proper tools, equipment, and food.

Emperor Scorpion Behavior and Temperament

Comparatively speaking to other scorpion species, emperor scorpions are not extremely deadly. Except when threatened, it seldom stings or pinches. Like a bee sting, their sting is unpleasant, but most of the time no medical treatment or intervention is required. However, similar to bees, some humans may have anaphylactic shock or have a severe allergic response to the venom, necessitating medical intervention.

Emperor scorpions will often pinch you instead of stinging you with their pedipalps (claws). In any event, due to these hazards and the fact that handling might stress a scorpion, it is not advised to handle pet scorpions. If you must handle your scorpion (for example, to clean its cage), pick it up by the stinging end using a set of long-handled forceps with foam covering the handles.

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Housing

Emperor scorpions can live individually or in groups. Glass aquarium tanks are frequently the simplest option for housing, but no matter what tank you use, make sure the cover is tight-fitting and secure. One scorpion may live in a 10-gallon tank, but groups need a tank that is 20 to 30 gallons large. You don't want to allow them too much room, either, since that can make it hard for them to grab their prey.

To ensure that each scorpion has their own space, a good rule of thumb is to give a few more hiding places than there are scorpions. Consider separate the scorpions if there is any indication of hostility in order to avoid harm.

Specific Substrate Needs

As bedding, some emperor scorpion keepers use dirt, others peat, and yet others choose vermiculite. Whatever you decide, make sure it's deep enough for your scorpion to dig tunnels (3 to 6 inches). For your scorpion to hide in, you can also add bits of bark, flat stones, cracked porcelain flower pots, or even reptile hides.

Sphagnum moss pieces placed on top of the substrate will help keep the area wet as well. Emperor scorpions will rearrange the decorations and furniture in their cage as they wish, therefore you should let them do it because changing the habitat's layout could make them anxious.

Specific Humidity and Heating Needs

Providing emperor scorpions with the necessary heat and humidity is the most difficult aspect of maintaining them because they are native to Africa and thrive in a warm, humid environment. Habitats for emperor scorpions should maintain a high humidity level (about 75 percent) by routine, daily misting. Whatever kind of substrate you use, it has to be maintained moist but not wet. The humidity is too high if there is mold on the substrate or condensation on the tank walls.

Emperor scorpions require between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit but do not require UVB lamps. Even some scorpion keepers advise allowing temps to periodically get to around 100 degrees. These cold-blooded arachnids must have in order to control their body temperature.

A heating pad made for use under reptile tanks is the simplest way to create this thermal gradient. In order for your emperor scorpion to be able to migrate between warmer and colder temperatures as needed, the mat should only cover about a third of the tank. Always check the temperature by placing precise thermometers in a few different places throughout the cage.

What Do Emperor Scorpions Eat & Drink?

Emperor scorpions consume a wide range of insects, other arthropods, and tiny lizards in the wild. They appear to thrive in captivity on a diet that consists mostly of gut-loaded, calcium-dusted crickets, with sporadic additions of other insects like mealworms and moths.

An adult emperor scorpion has to be fed every other night and will consume three to six adult crickets each week. Make sure there is a shallow water dish available so the scorpion may drink if necessary without drowning.

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Common Health Problems

Dehydration is a typical issue with scorpions. If your emperor scorpion appears shriveled or sluggish, this can indicate that it isn't getting enough water. If you observe your pet acting suspiciously, speak with your exotics veterinarian. Usually, increasing the humidity in its container will be beneficial.

Grooming

Shedding

Up until they reach adulthood, scorpions molt, or shed, their exoskeleton six times from birth (roughly three years of age). Molting is typical and to be anticipated. The scorpion may hide, be inactive, and stop feeding a few days before molting. It may be molting if you see the outside shell starting to fracture. It is prone to assaults, like as bug bites, at this period, so you should remove any visible, living insects in the cage or other cagemates. Additionally, you may raise the humidity in the cage to simplify the procedure for your cat.

An emperor scorpion begins to molt, and it takes approximately a half-day to remove its skin before the new layer hardens. Wait until the scorpion's new exoskeleton has fully developed before feeding it during this period. If you detect any issues with the shed process, such as injured limbs or exposed parts of the exoskeleton, you may want to speak with an exotics vet. Incomplete molts can be a potentially fatal condition.

Purchasing Your Emperor Scorpion

Although many pet stores sell scorpions and other invertebrate pets, finding a reliable breeder is preferred. To find and choose the best scorpion for you, consult a seasoned and well-respected reptile breeder. Pet stores sometimes lack knowledge about an animal's needs, care, and even age. Breeders frequently keep a more thorough record of a scorpion's life, medical history, and maintenance needs. Depending on factors like size, age, look, and other factors, an emperor scorpion can cost anywhere from $25 and $100.

Similar Pets to the Emperor Scorpion

If you are interested in creepy-crawlies but are not sure if you are up to caring for a scorpion, here are a few other pets to check out:

Otherwise, check out  that make good pets.

FAQ
  • Is emperor scorpion venom deadly?

    No. The venom of the emperor scorpion is not deadly and most people will have a mild response, similar to that of an insect bite, if bitten by an emperor scorpion.

  • How long do emperor scorpions live as pets?

    With the proper living conditions and care, an emperor scorpion can live anywhere from two to six years.

  • Are emperor scorpions hard to take care of?

    Often considered a "beginner" scorpion, emperor scorpions are among the easiest to care for and a great options for new scorpion owners.

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