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Florida Tailless Whip Scorpion Care?

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by sloth, Jul 11, 2019 at 8:25 PM.

  1. sloth

    sloth Arachnosquire Active Member

    im considering purchasing a Florida talked whip scorpion (Phrynus marginemaculatus). I like this species more than others because I’m limited on space and I know it’s a smaller species. Before I decide on whether I’m buying it or not, I have some questions first.

    1.) How big do they get?

    2.) What prey do they eat? I know they eat crickets and roaches but the ones I’m thinking of buying are 1/2-3/4.

    3.) Enclosure size? Would a 32 oz deli work?

    4.) I know most whips prefer higher humidity. Do I keep the sub moist? What about ventilation?

    If you have experience caring for these guys please input your experience. It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    1. My understanding is about the size of a quarter.

    2. I feed mine pinhead crickets....but I imagine anything appropriately sized would be eaten. Mine aren't the best eaters and seem to have long molt cycles.

    3. I have mine in 32oz delis.

    4. Ive never paid much attention to humidity...I keep the sub damp, and when it dries, add water. It dries from time to time without issue. I ventilate just like I do for ts....a ring or two around the top, one close to the sub and a couple holes on the lid. The breeder I know uses a mesh type lid for his delis.
  3. sloth

    sloth Arachnosquire Active Member

    Thanks so much!!! And by the size of a quarter, with or without legs?
  4. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I was under the impression, with the legs.

    maybe @sschind will help us out here when he logs in next....he's bred them.
  5. sschind

    sschind Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I have had them breed for me a couple of times and I just found another female with eggs last night.

    I really don't do much special for them. I use coco fiber (I know cold blood loves that stuff;)) and keep it damp like he says and I mist them once a week or so. I have some ventilation in the top but not a lot. I buy the 12 by 12 cork tiles from a home improvement store and cut strips for them to crawl on but regular cork works as does Styrofoam or or flat pieces of bark. I prefer the cork tile as it looks more natural than styrofoam but doesn't have the nooks and crannies for the tiny prey to hide in like regular cork bark does and doesn't tend to mold like some smoother tree bark can.

    The bodies no way reach the size of a quarter. Dime to nickle at most. Personal opinion a 32 OZ deli would be to small for multiple adults which it sounds like you are getting or at least close to it. My favorite containers for my TLwhips are these.


    I get them at walmart and use the gallon size for my adults. I'll keep the babies in a 32 oz deli for a couple of molts then move them into the gallon size and after a few more molts they go into something like this.


    They can handle fairly large prey despite their small size but I found that they are not quite as communal as I had read about if not kept well fed. I think there was a fair amount of cannibalism during molts. My first batch of babies I lost all but 1 my second batch was reduced to 6 (those are the one CB has) but think I figured out a couple of secrets that work well for me. They may not be for everyone though because they both have drawbacks. 1 I started breeding banded crickets so I have lots of pinheads second I started putting a thawed pinkie mouse or a couple of dead super worms in a small cup and placing it in the container. This draws the phorid flies like...well like flies... and after I get a bunch in the container I seal off the ventilation holes with paper towels to keep them in and the babies can feast. Of course the flies lay eggs in the dead matter and in several days they start hatching and its a round the clock food supply. Of course this is not practical for most people and I'll let you figure out why :D

    I would guess yours could handle 1/4 crickets as long as the 1/2 to 3/4 you referred to is body size. How many are you getting?

    Over all I don't like them as much as my D. diadema. They seem to be a bit more secretive although that is probably due to the fact I do keep them in groups so I provide more hiding places so obviously they hide more. I also think they are a bit harder to keep than the D.d. but that mostly stems from the fact they are so much smaller and providing them with appropriate sized food is more difficult. At least it is for me or would be if not for my no longer secret feeding methods. Also my feeding secrets do not work out so well for adults and I need to have larger food than pinheads and phorid flies.

    Unfortunately I have never really figured out how to sex them. The first pair I got were a breeding pair so I knew which one was the female but all my successive breedings came from community setups with younger specimens and they are hard to tell apart. They breed much smaller than you might think and much smaller than 1/2 of adult size. I just look for spermatophores and thankfully these don't carry their eggs hidden like the D.d. do so you can see them from the side pretty easily. My group now is 10 individuals born on 11/11/17 (my records say 2018 but I think I wrote it down wrong when I made the new tag I doubt they mature in 6 months) . I saw the first spermatophore on 5/11/19 and just spotted the eggs last night.

    They are cool animals and fairly easy to keep so you shouldn't have much trouble. If you have any more questions let me know either here or through PM and I'll try my best to answer them.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 11:23 AM
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnobaron Active Member

    Once a week? o_O My whip gets misted (lightly) once a day to maintain adequate moisture. To be fair, it's got a pretty good amount of ventilation and I do live in a desert, but still!
  7. Hardus nameous

    Hardus nameous Arachno... just..... no. Arachnosupporter

    I keep mine in an unmodified short Exo-terra nano with Zilla jungle mix substrate. Every week or two I pour water in and soak the substrate.

    Mine is a lone adult female and she is probably one of the most photophobic critters I own; she spends most of her time on the back side of the corkbark slab. She's also one of the most fun to watch hunt.
  8. aphono

    aphono Arachnobaron Active Member

    @sschind gave excellent information.

    This is a tiny(second instar if I remember correctly) baby with a "yikes, that's too big" small cricket that got dumped in by accident. This little one pounced on it before I could do anything about it. They're surprisingly capable when really hungry, however it's best to go with the correct sizes anyways- provided by sschind above.

    Noticed you're in So. Cal- if there is a Winco by you, check out their Salzon food storage containers. I use them and the same containers sschind showed above. I raised a brood in the taller Salzon container- can't remember how many oz it is exactly off hand. Approx 8" tall, 6" wide, 4" deep. Multiple pieces of styrofoam and cork bark. Cocofiber for substrate.

    I keep them in extreme humidity- substrate at 'super moist' at a minimum, usually soaked, occasionally flooded. They seem to be happy. From talking with a few others, it seems they do as well in less humidity than this. So it might be they have a wide range of tolerance.

    They do not need much ventilation. Useful if one wants to give high humidity and/or lives in dry climates. A couples holes on the lid will be fine in this case.
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  9. sschind

    sschind Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Sometimes a little more often for the babies. I don't have a lot of ventilation. When I first set up my D.d. they get spritzed a little more often because I keep them in 32 oz containers with the fruit fly lids and a paper towel substrate so they dry out quicker but even for them I have learned they can be bone dry for several days without a problem. Once they move up to crickets they go into pre punched 32 oz delis so they don't dry out as fast. The Floridas seem to like it a little more humid so their containers have less ventilation.
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  10. sschind

    sschind Arachnobaron Old Timer

    That's a blast. Watching them herd the crickets toward them with their whips.
    • Agree Agree x 1