Advertisement There many, many threads one the forum where experience is spoken of. I understand the premise. People should, at a minimum, have experiencing doing their own research and developing critical thinking skills, which we see lacking more and more by the countless threads, in all hobbies, that ask questions a google search could have answered. That aside, I'm curious as to what qualifying factors someone should have to be considered "experienced". For me, it's not about having kept such and such species, before acquiring another, it's more about the mindset and maturity it takes to house an animal safely and properly, respect its potential to do damage, and being responsible for learning about the animals from before acquisition and into an ongoing relationship with learning. That said, not everyone is cut out for a highly venomous species from the outset. Some people simply aren't very good at seeing the potential ahead of time for things like cats knocking things over or toddlers finding loaded guns, but I suspect our often quoted word of "experience" doesn't really address those types of people. What I'm really getting at is that I see people advising people to get "bark" scorpions before and L.q.. To me, a Tityus or more venomous Centruroides is more dangerous than an L.q.. Why? It's simple! A bark scorpion has the potential to be in unexpected places, like the rims of containers or hidden between decorations. Stings are more likely when the location of the animal is unknown. Danger is not just about venom level. With an L.q., the hides would be flat and it they don't climb the way barks do, so they should stay more visible or at least their location is known and the less likely to be some place you're not expecting. I think that "experience" is a term that has a lot of broad bases to cover, from maturity to experience with other species, but if we are to give advice on providing a progression from say emperors to L.q.s, I would think a Desert Hairy gives a more similar scenario to the L.q., without the venom. If someone is wanting a dangerously venomous bark ( which dangerously venemous can be an ambiguous concept itself ), we could start with FL C.gracilis or the like, so the person can be used to looking for the animals in tight and high places. Of course, maybe none of this is needed for someone having kept arboreal Ts, pokies for sure. I'm curious as to what others feel makes and experienced keeper and what qualifiers there are to owning the species we consider more dangerous. To me, experience is much more about critical thinking and owning your role as responsible caretaker, which encompasses practicing humane husbandry and excellent safety practices. I'm not sure keeping other species first is an obligatory prerequisite, but I think having experience with hands off herps, whether it be they are animals that stress when handled or that they can hurt you, sets up a person for not being inclined to handle something they shouldn't. For myself, I tend to research, and jump into whatever I want to do, once I feel I have enough to draw from. In other words, if I have the husbandry knowledge I need or all that I can find, in some cases, I've kept enough of everything over the years, that I trust my judgement to take precautions and approach things with a mature and responsible frame of mind. I might have been less likely to do so at 12 years old, but that doesn't mean a 12 year old can't have a sound mind and safe approach to husbandry either. It's about the mental commitment and if you can stay married to the idea of absolute responsibility.