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Aggressive Emperor Scorpion

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Eclectix, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Eclectix

    Eclectix Arachnopeon

    I picked up an Emperor Scorpion from a Craigslist ad; it was free including the set-up. The kid who had owned it was going off to college and couldn't take it with him, yet couldn't leave it with his mom.

    He's a good sized scorpion; when asked about its age I was told it was about a year old. This seems off to me, because the scorpion looks to be at least 6 inches long if its tail is stretched out, but then I'm no expert- maybe this is normal for that age?

    It was also kept in a large tank with about 5 other scorpions, 4 of them being various different species (I don't recall which species), but all of the others had died over the last 2 years. I was told that this scorpion had been fed only crickets and the occasional frozen pinky mouse. The substrate in the enclosure was some combination of coconut fiber and some sort of small bark chips. Judging from the strong smell and the large number of cricket corpses, the substrate had not been cleaned in a long time. Also, it was absolutely bone dry in the enclosure and the water dish had a thick lime build up on it from never having been cleaned.

    Despite all this, the scorpion seems healthy enough--- but it is very aggressive. The kid said he handled it frequently and it had never stung him before, but I'm not sure I believe that based on my observations. I used a big cup to gently scoop up the scorpion and put it in a new tank, with a mix of coconut fiber and cypress mulch which is kept moist (in accordance wit the information I've gathered), overall environment quite humid, gave it fresh water, a decent hide (it didn't have one before- well, not one that it could fit inside anyway) and a CHE. The first day I got it (yesterday) I gave it a medium-sized dubia roach which it consumed over the course of about 3 hours. It seemed uninterested in a cricket I also offered it, so I removed the cricket. Today I checked on it and it was still acting very aggressively- attacking anything and everything with its pincers and stinger, even snapping angrily at little drips of water as I was misting the enclosure.

    I've never seen an Emperor Scorpion act so aggressively before. Is it likely a response to having been kept with other species of scorpions? Could it be a result of the living conditions it had been kept in? Is it possible (or likely) that it might calm down after it gets acclimated to its new environment? I don't feel that I necessarily need to handle my scorpion to enjoy having it, but it would be nice to know that if I wanted to, I might be able to occasionally with at least some likelihood of not immediately getting viciously pinched and stung. If it's a hands-off pet, I can live with that- I'd just like to know if there's a chance it might settle down given some time.
  2. Michiel

    Michiel Arachnoking Old Timer

    There are agressive ones that never settle and less agressive ones that might settle in time....you just can't know without trying:D

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  3. Bayushi

    Bayushi Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Also there could be the small possibility that said P imp is actually a Heterometrus sp. I have seen several times where a Heterometrus spinifer has been misidentified as a Pandinus.
    Now I am not saying you can't identify the species, but the description of its behaviour sounds more like a Het to me.

    just my thoughts anyways...
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  4. Eclectix

    Eclectix Arachnopeon

    My impression is that Heterometrus spinifer tend to be a bit thinner and less textured with a smaller telson; here are a couple of photos I took of mine last night if it will help. I'm pretty sure it's P. imperator, but like I said, I'm no expert! I gave him another roach today, which he ignored for a bit before deciding to grab and hold onto, but he was still snapping at the water mist angrily when I misted his tank! He was also more interested in snapping at the hemostat that I was holding the roach with than he was in the roach itself.

    0 IMG_0013 800p.jpg

    0 IMG_0010 800p.jpg
  5. Michiel

    Michiel Arachnoking Old Timer

    That is P.imperator..

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  6. le-thomas

    le-thomas Arachnobaron

    Well after reading about the previous owner, I've deduced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're not the brightest bulb and don't know what they're doing.
    Some scorpions will always be aggressive and some settle. My P. imperator definitely isn't handlable. Good luck with your new scorp.
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  7. signinsimple

    signinsimple Arachnobaron

    Maybe this Emp just doesn't like you :) jk. But seriously, I've had plenty of emps. Some attack at the slightest provocation, some are all sorts of chill. I like the ones that pinch at their own shadows.
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  8. Eclectix

    Eclectix Arachnopeon

    He actually has calmed down somewhat; he no longer snaps at the water mist when I'm misting his enclosure. In fact he now seems to enjoy it, taking droplets and drinking them from his pedipalps. I think his previous owner never misted his enclosure before and initially he simply didn't understand what was going on. Having a decent hide probably has made him feel a lot more secure as well; at first he spent almost all of his time hiding in it for several days when I first got him, but now he frequently comes out and climbs around his enclosure. I don't think he'll ever be classified as "calm," but he's not as overtly aggressive as he was when I first got him.
  9. Formerphobe

    Formerphobe Arachnoking Arachnosupporter

    I had babies born in my communal tank that were easily 6 - 7 inches by the time they were a year old. I know of some others born about the same time that grew at half the rate. Without knowing its exact birthdate, no way to tell.

    If it is given plenty of appropriate substrate to burrow in, it will be a happier scorpion. Happy being handled?, probably never.

    I never mist mine, but they do get weekly 'downpours' to keep substrate moist and humidity up.
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  10. Eclectix

    Eclectix Arachnopeon

    I've given him several inches of coconut fiber and cypress mulch mix but he seems to have no interest in burrowing. He uses his hide plenty, and occasionally even climbs up on top of it at night but never even tries to start digging into the substrate. I just use a cheap spray bottle to mist with to keep the substrate moist and humidity up. Nothing fancy.
  11. Galapoheros

    Galapoheros ArachnoGod Old Timer

    It sounds to me that they had no idea how old it was when you picked it up. Some people will buy an invert and a year later will say it's a year old, only based on how long they've had it. I've had some CBs blow through molts easily less than two years. I have this other brood from a larger one, they are all taking longer to mature.
  12. Ludedor24

    Ludedor24 FangzTv Arachnosupporter

    all i know is that I can never find any inverts on craigslist around my area... :\

    well once I did see someone selling a rosie for $70 with a critter keeper haha.
  13. Eclectix

    Eclectix Arachnopeon

    This is about the only time I can recall someone offering any arachnids on Craigslist in my area, too- and for free nonetheless. Although it included the set-up he was in, I did get a more appropriate replacement... but I got that off Craigslist, too, so all I ended up buying retail was the substrate!

    $70 for a Rosie and critter keeper? :sarcasm: My local Herp store has a batch of beautiful, captive bred, nearly mature rose hairs they are selling for $20 apiece, and you can get a brand new large Kritter Keeper for less than $15 retail. Some people have no idea what Craigslist is for.
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