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Good with everything...EXCEPT P. Imperator

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by infinitebohr, May 2, 2012.

  1. infinitebohr

    infinitebohr Arachnosquire

    Hello Everyone!

    I want to be upfront and say this isn't an "I'm new to scorpions and I don't know how to take care of my Emperor" type of post. I have over 12 spiders (mostly T's) and have had zero deaths, and most of them I've since they were slings. I also have over 20 hermit crabs and in a years time I have lost one. My flat rock scorpion is doing great! So while I could be better about upkeep, I do not feel that I am neglectful or uninformed about the care of my animals.

    Over the last 6 months I've been having a constant loss of my Emperors, I initially had 4 in a colony in a 20 long. They were all juvs and were fat things living happily, but a few months ago I found one laying outside the hide, missing a leg and very very lethargic. I put it into an iso, but he died shortly after. This repeated itself 2 months later, another one was outside the hide, missing a leg and died shortly after. Now keep in mind, I feed 2 crickets each per week, so there is ample supply of food, I try to mist daily but even if I forget they ALWAYS have a water dish, and I keep more than one hide available although they all want to be under the same one. Well two days ago I found one of my last two outside the hide but seemed to be hunting so I left him alone. Today I found him laying there tail straight out and moving his legs and claws slowly, looked on the underside because I was worried he might be being predated upon by mites, but he was clean. (I do keep springtails and isopods in their tank, as scorpions are nasty with leftovers) The only difference is that this guy is not missing any legs and doesn't show any obvious signs of attack, he is however not very fat. I suspect he is going to die, but I suppose it could be a molt. I have yet to see any of them molt (I've had them for about a year).

    Setup Details: 20 Long, Ecoearth substrate 4-6 inches deep (they never burrow, just stay under the hide), three hides made with either a corkbark flat, or corkbark and sphagnum moss. A water bowl, and a constant supply of food is provided. Heavily misted twice a week, and usually misted daily or every other day. The top of the tank is a screen top with 80-85% covered in plastic wrap to keep in humidity. The room is an ambient 78 minimum up to 82 in the daytime. I am aware that the prefer higher temps, but I am still working on a way to get heat to them (I am totally out of plugs in the room :sarcasm:). However, I think we've all known people to keep Emperors in much cooler and suboptimal conditions than I do and while they may not flourish they are stable at least. So I am really at a loss as to what I am doing wrong.

    I don't consider myself an expert, but I do like to think I am at least an intermediate invert keeper. This loss of what is supposed to be an easy pet that is great for people new to the hobby, is hurting both my spirit and my pride. I feel terrible that I cant keep them alive, and I am saddened by each of the losses as well. Has anyone had this kind of experience? If it is cannibalism, what would spur it? I feel like I have enough hides, and food to prevent this kind of behavior (if it can be prevented).

    Thanks for any aid in advance.
  2. shebeen

    shebeen Arachnobaron

    Are you sure they're all juveniles? Perhaps you have a gravid female that's preying upon her tankmates in anticipation to giving birth.
  3. infinitebohr

    infinitebohr Arachnosquire

    Well when I say juvenile I guess I should say smaller adults. They are about the size of an adults pointer finger (2-3 in?) approximately. The tales are still creamy colored, but they are not babies. The last remaining one is pretty fat...I suppose she could be gravid I hadn't thought about that. I take it that gravid females are nasty and to be kept alone then?
  4. These are still juveniles.;) It is possible that this is just happening without reason...sometimes these things happen. The temperatures are much too cold, and should be about 29 degrees Celsius or slightly warmer...
  5. callum b

    callum b Arachnosquire

    The temperatures are hardly much to cold. 82f is 27.7c which is perfectly adequate for an emperor and the night time drop to 78f, 25.5c, is hardly dangerous.
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  6. infinitebohr

    infinitebohr Arachnosquire

    I was wrong about this one not being attacked. One of his leg is mangled. He had it under himself or hidden somehow when I looked at him yesterday. So it is cannibalism!! What induces them to act like this? I feed 2 cricket per scorp, per week so food shouldn't be an issue. The last one has certainly got her wish now...she's all alone, I just wish she hadn't murdered her tank mates to give me the message.
  7. cricket54

    cricket54 Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I feel for you. Have been Keeping tarantulas for over 15 yrs, and scorpions a little less then that. I have not had much luck with Emporers. I have done the under gravel thing to hold moisture and all. Only thing I have not tried is using a plastic top or film. I've been reluctant to try them anymore. It is so frustrating to have one live 3 or 4 yrs, sometimes less and they die suddenly. I have always thought it could be that they needed to molt and thats why they died, but never found one dead in the process. I had one that was little and doing great in a critter keeper, but the cat knocked it off the shelf and it died after that. So some day I will get the courage to try a known younger Emporer.

  8. Thanks for that.:)