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Keeping and breeding Emperor Scorpions Pandinus imperator

Posted 08 July 2004 - 09:02 PM (#1) User is offline   BoomerSub 

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OVERVIEW
P.imperator hails from west Africa and is one of the largest scorpions, reaching a length of around six or seven inches. It has a glossy black back and claws, with lighter purplish areas on the sides and on the joints. It has sparse, short hairs on the claws, I do not know what these are for.

P.imperator is the most common species of scorpion in the trade, due to its large size, interesting appearance, ease of care, relative docility, and mild venom. The fact that it can be easily captured in quantity in its native habitat and is fairly easy to breed in captivity probably has something to do with this as well.

TOXICITY
P.imperator has a comparatively mild sting, supposedly it is quite similar to a bee sting, both in terms of pain and lasting damage (none, unless you're allergic, in which case you're screwed). You hand (or whatever) will swell up as well. All of this is second hand, I have never been stung. Even so, don't handle them unless absolutely necessary, such as cage cleaning or removing a pregnant female if you are housing them communally. As strange as it sounds, the best way to pick them up is to grab them by the stinger with two fingers, they can't sting you and they can't whip up and get you with the claws.

Never pick up a wild scorpion unless you're willing to bet your life that it's harmless.

GENERAL CARE
A 5 or 10 gallon aquarium with a screen lid will suffice for one to three emperors. These are not particularly active animals, they do not need a large cage.

Temperature should be kept at around 75-85°F during the day, and can be safely dropped to 70°F at night. Do not let it get cooler than that, they are tropical animals and do not tolerate cold.

Humidity should be kept around 75%, mist twice daily to keep it at that level.

Bark, peat, sphagnum, and various mixes of the above will all work as substrate. They like to dig, the substrate should be at least 3" deep to allow for this.

Cork bark and plants (real or artificial) should be used as hidespots. Dry leaves will work as well.

A small, shallow water dish should be provided.

They can be kept communally if there is enough space and food. If you wish to breed them, pregnant females should be removed and kept seperately.

FEEDING

A carnivore, P.imperator should be fed mainly crickets and mealworms. Around three or four per animal per week will suffice. Larger specimens may take pinkie mice, but this is unnecessary (not to mention really, really cool to watch).

BREEDING

I do not know how to induce them to breed in captivity, however if you look around you won't have to. Pregnant females are frequently imported, look for one that looks fat. Eventually you'll have a female scorpion that is carrying around a couple dozen tiny white babies or her back. They remain there for a couple months until they assume the glossy black color of the adults and go out on their own. I do not know how long it takes for them to reach full size.

Let my know if you see any inaccuracies or feel anything was left out. Feel free to post you own experiences and pictures and what-not.

-PK
He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
- William Blake

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 10:04 AM (#2) User is offline   Burf 

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Another good looking caresheet, and another animal I keep :rockon:

As for breeding you basically put a male and female together with a large, flat stone in. The male will grab the females claws and "dance" with her on the stone. eventually he will drop his spermatophore. He will then manover the female so her genital opening is over the spermatophore. The sperm will then flow into her leavin the empty spermatophore on the ground. The male will then leave as quick as he can!!! If he is too slow there is the risk of him getting eaten by the female.

the female can store the sperm for a long time and is able to produce many broods from the single batch.
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Posted 09 July 2004 - 10:09 AM (#3) User is offline   Burf 

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BoomerSub, on Jul 9 2004, 03:02 AM, said:

I do not know how long it takes for them to reach full size.

They become sexually mature after anything between 3 to 7 years. I dont know at what age they reach full size tho
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Posted 09 July 2004 - 12:01 PM (#4) Guest_Bullsnake_*

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Boomersub, great care sheet.

For diet, they are also fond of small earthworms.

For substrate, I kept mine in a mixture of coconut chunks, shredded coconut coir (Bead-A-Beast), and partially composted oak leaves. This substrate was light and airey, retained moisture well and only needed to be re-misted a few times a week.

Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:12 PM (#5) User is offline   sweet lu 

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the hairs on a scorpion serve a very important purpose. they are the practically the eyes for them. since the scorpion has bad eye sight and cannot see around its entire body these hairs are the ways they feel around for food or for when predators come near. there are actually thousand of hairs but they are so microscopic that you cant see them at all. they are very sensitive as i said before an can feel stuff we cant even sense if it was right next to us. more research is being done on them. but for now we know it is for finding where they are, looking for food and for protection as in sensing there surroundings

also using cocnut fibers (bed a beast) is possibly the best for scorpions, great for burrowing which they love, you need to have lots of cover and maybe a cave or something with a small crack so they can sqeeze through, (they have amazing skrinking abilitys) thye just like it dark

you dont need to feed a lot to them, they eat about 2 large crickets a week and that is it. overfeeding them is bad and having left over food in the cage is bad to cause crickets can bite through the soft fleshy area between there joints

i will add more later if i can get on
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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:36 PM (#6) User is offline   Burf 

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Just remembered somthing else...

when sexing the scorpions, females have larger "flappy bits" on their belly. I cant remember for the life of me wht their proper names are :rockon:
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Posted 30 September 2004 - 06:49 PM (#7) User is offline   carisma02uk 

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could the venom of this scorpion kill a human, and is it easy to breed. i have a 20gal 18x10x12 how many could this house and how do you handel tham without getting stung. one last thing would they kill a preying mantis or the other way around
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Posted 01 October 2004 - 01:45 AM (#8) User is offline   BoomerSub 

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  could the venom of this scorpion kill a human

Not normally, I suppose it might if you have an allergic reaction. It's about on par with a bee sting.

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and is it easy to breed

I've never bred them, but it is doable. I don't know how easy it is. They apparently require several years to reach maturity.

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i have a 20gal 18x10x12 how many could this house

You could have several in there without too much of a problem. Just make sure you have plenty of hidespots.

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how do you handel tham without getting stung.

First, it's not a good idea to pick them up and play with them. That said, if you need to handle them it is possible to pick them up by the end of the telson (the bulbous structure immediately behind the stinger), thus preventing stings and reducing (but not eliminating) the chance of being pinched. Another, better option would be to herd them into a cup or jar using a stick.

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one last thing would they kill a preying mantis or the other way around


I wouldn't keep them together, if that's what you're asking. I suspect an emperor win if the two ever fought.

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- William Blake

Posted 07 November 2004 - 03:50 PM (#9) User is offline   sweet lu 

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j_burf, on Jul 9 2004, 02:36 PM, said:

Just remembered somthing else...

when sexing the scorpions, females have larger "flappy bits" on their belly. I cant remember for the life of me wht their proper names are :owned:

i know what you mean, i believe there book lungs, but dont quote me on that

females tend to have bigger "feathers" and males have smaller ones. if you where to pick a scorpion up gentially and place it in a clear bottom cantainer you can see them very clearly.

scorpions breed very easly from what i hear, most likly if you pick up a bigger female at a pet store it is most likly pregnant and mean
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Posted 22 October 2005 - 05:00 AM (#10) User is offline   psychofish 

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Looks great
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