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Advise for choosing a Scorpion and a Tarantula for the first time

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by thescorpionsling, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. thescorpionsling

    thescorpionsling Arachnopeon

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    Dear Fellow-Arachnoenthusiasts!!

    I'm a high school student in India and I'm thinking of getting one or two Scorpions and a Tarantula for myself to start the hobby. So, I'm looking for some advice on which Scorpion and Tarantula to pick.
    I'm limited to 2 Scorpions and 1 tarantula or 2 rare Scorpions like androctonus or leirurus (Deathstalker) since budget is an issue.
    The choices I have are--
    Scorpions--
    1. Heterometrus laoticus
    2. Heterometrus petersii
    3. Heterometrus spinifer
    4. Opisthacantus Madagascariensis
    5. Liocheles sp. Celes
    6. Pandinus viatoris
    7. Scorpio maurus palmatus (Israel)
    8. Parabuthus schlechteri
    9. Androctonus Australis
    10. Leirurus quinquestriates
    11. Opisthacantus sp. N.Mozambique


    Tarantula--
    1. Avucularia avucularia
    2. Brachypelma albopilosum
    3. Brachypelma Emilia
    4. Brachypelma harmorii
    5. Brachypelma vagans
    6. Caribena versicolor : Antilles
    7. Hysterocrates sp: Nigeria
    8. Lasiodera parahybana


    Hoping for someone's help!!

    Regards,
    Vibhuti Shyam
     
  2. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Welcome to the forum! Since you're a beginner, I would recommend avoiding anything in the family Buthidae (removing 8, 9, and 10 from your scorp list). Old World tarantulas (from Africa/Asia/Australia) usually aren't the best choices for a beginner tarantula because they're more defensive and have medically significant venom (though not on the same level as Buthidae). That said, some people still use those groups for starters and it can be ok if the keeper respects the heck out of the invert and has safe and proper setups and habits while doing maintenance.

    Really the biggest things to look at for your first species are what characters do you like/want? Size, care requirements, arboreal vs. terrestrial, behaviors, defensiveness, etc. are all things to take into account. For example, Opisthacanthus require deep substrate they can burrow into, which means you likely won't see them very often. Are you ok with a pet hole, or would you rather have a species you see more often? Avicularia/Caribena are gorgeous genera, but are more finicky when it comes to care, not being as forgiving as the essentially bullet-proof Brachypelma and Lasiodera. They're also arboreal from humid areas, meaning the type of enclosure will be completely different.
     
  3. thescorpionsling

    thescorpionsling Arachnopeon

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    Hey Pannaking22!
    Thanks for the help!!
    I'm looking for some Scorpion species which likes a humid environment since I'll keep it in a closed box with holes and some plants. I think I'll purchase just the 2 Scorpions for now, The qualities I'm desiring for the Scorpions are--
    1 Scorpion which is large and terrestrial and less defensive
    &
    1 Scorpion which is large and arboreal and more defensive.

    This way I can study their behaviors also.

    Regards,
    Vibhuti Shyam
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    There aren't many arboreal scorpions and I believe most, if not all, are within Buthidae (Centruroides, Tityus, Heteroctenus, etc.). Scorpio maurus is a desert dwelling species, so you could use that as a compare/contrast as well with Heterometrus or Pandinus.

    @basin79 keeps Opisthacanthus and would know a lot more about care and behaviors than I would. Maybe he can weigh in with some thoughts. I admit I don't know much about Liocheles.
     
  5. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I own a stunning Opistophthalmus glabrifrons. But set them up right and proper (as they deserve and you should) and you may as well have a catcus.

    OK that's not entirely fair but I definitely wouldn't get 1 if you don't already own more visual pets.
     
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  6. AzJohn

    AzJohn Arachnoking Old Timer

    I would love to go scorpion hunting in India. Your native Heterometrus species are very cool. I'd try to find one or two on your own. Collecting H swammerdami in the wild would be a dream for a lot of collectors. Be very careful if you do try to collect your own. Hottentotta Tamulus is, in my opinion, the most dangerous scorpion in the world. I'd do some research and try to find something cool.
     
  7. thescorpionsling

    thescorpionsling Arachnopeon

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    I live in Bihar, so do you think I'll find any Scorpions here?
    I can also go towards southern India if need be to find Scorpions, anybody can help in giving me some locations where I might find them?
    If I find a H.swammerdammi here, I'll remember to send you a few babies lol!
     
  8. thescorpionsling

    thescorpionsling Arachnopeon

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    Hi Pannaking22!

    I think I'll get a group of 3 Heterometrus petersii and 1 Scorpio maurus, are these both good and interesting species?
    Like, are they active?
    Also, what kind of a setup will I need for them and what kind of live food will they require?
    Thanks for the help!

    Regards,
    Vibhuti Shyam
     
  9. Patherophis

    Patherophis Arachnobaron Active Member

    H. petersii is excelent species You wont regret getting them. But I wouldnt get S. maurus, they dont do well in captivity at all.
     
  10. Mordax8393

    Mordax8393 Arachnosquire Active Member

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    @thescorpionsling Here's my advice for you:

    First off, I don't normally recommend wild catching (WC) as it puts unnecessary stress on wild populations and encourages poaching, but in your case going out and finding specimens yourself makes WAY more sense than buying them. Here's the ones I reccomend (with pictures)

    Instead of getting H. petersii, you can easily find some Heterometrus sp. scorpions near where you live. I know they live in West Bengal and Jharkhand, so you can probably see some near you.
    You can expect them to look somewhat like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29299763
    Or like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29623821

    Just be careful - The area is also home to one or more species of Hottentotta, which are among the most deadly scorpions in the world. Don't pick them up!
    They look like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29300986
    Or this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29623822

    I am not sure if Lychas or their relatives, such as Isometrus and Reddyanus are found in Bihar, but I know they are found in West Bengal. They are in the family Buthidae, meaning their stings are painful, but for these specific genra, they are not dangerous. Still, don't touch them.
    You can expect them to look like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29100908
    Or like this: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29156362

    Finding the scorpions: For Heterometrus, you can flip rocks and logs in the day, For both Heterometrus and Lychas (and relatives), use a UV light at night (scorpions glow under a UV light) or just walk around at night with a torch. Generally, you can find Heterometrus with both techniques, and Lychas only by Blacklighting (using a UV light). That is because Lychas are small and camouflaged. They also often live in trees.

    Care: Bring a thermometer and something to measure humidity, and try to replicate that in your home in their cage. Don't rely on weather forecasts and try to copy that temperature/humidity because you want the exact requirements for the area the scorpion lives in - under its rock on in its hole, not the air temperature around it. Get a medium sized flat cage for Heterometrus and a small, tall cage for the Lychas. Put a substrate they can burrow in and hides, horizontal for the Heterometrus and vertical for the Lychas. Feed them small insects (preferably bred inside your home).

    Also, don't try exporting scorpions out of India. You will go to jail for a very long time.
     
  11. thescorpionsling

    thescorpionsling Arachnopeon

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    Hi Mordax8393!!

    I'm not very keen on collecting Scorpions from the wild but I do intend to photograph them and somewhere in future, take male and female samples of them to breed them and then reduce poaching.
    Is it safe to put a male and a female H.petersii in a box, will they breed?

    Regards,
    Vibhuti Shyam
     
  12. Mordax8393

    Mordax8393 Arachnosquire Active Member

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    Although I have over 50 scorps I have never bred them (though I am planning to in the future) so someone else can answer that better.
     
  13. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    You can't really go wrong with Heterometrus, but I don't know anything about S. maurus, so I leave that up to others (though I'd heard the same thing as @Patherophis said about them not doing well in captivity).

    A 5 gallon enclosure should be fine for Heterometrus with several centimeters of substrate for it to burrow into. Food is crickets, roaches, etc.

    I'm not sure how well the young do together, but I know as adults they don't really play nicely, so your male and female together would eventually end up as one scorp remaining. Putting extra hides in when you want them to mate works pretty well short-term though.
     
  14. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnosquire Active Member


    Yeah, India has highly venomous snakes to reconsider too. :(