Black Rock Scorpion - Newbie Q's

Brescia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
4
Hey all,
im from Sydney Australia and am totally new to owning scorpion's,
i purchased two of them yesterday.

Ive been researching Scorpions in general for the past few days, but now that i have these little guys in my posession i want to be sure im doing everything 'right'

First off they are only small (about half the size of my pinkie)

At the shop they were labelled 'rock scorpion',
when i got home i googled, and found that there are two Australian 'rock' scorpions, theres a black rock scorpion and a flatrock scorpion.

I remember the guy saying they grow to about 8cm,
so ive ruled out flatrock scorpion; as they grow over 18cm. (appearance is more blackrock as well)

Ive purchased a tank, which i was told is a good size for them both?
A heat mat, which is working great - the tank sits a centimetre off the surface so it does not get too hot.
Water Crystals - I was told to get these instead of using water, as they are only small and could drown? They also give off moisture helping the tank stay humid?
Small Crickets - food source
And lastly, a black light for cool factor (not always on)

Ok what im worrying about now is why these guys havent been moving or eating

Here is where they stay, and have not moved since ive bought them - (white arrows)

(picture was taken with my mobile phone)

There has been a small cricket roaming around for 24 hours,
every now and then the cricket will make its way to thier hideout; a scorpion will make a sudden 'dont bother me' movement, and the cricket will be out of there pretty quick.

Is it ok to leave two crickets in there? or will that just upset them?

Also, the pet shop guy said these guys will never fight,
after reading a little on scorpions eating scorpions, im starting to question this???

and, am i stressing over nothing; and this is all just totally normal?
 
Last edited:

Thaedion

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
902
...I remember the guy saying they grow to about 8cm,
so ive ruled out flatrock scorpion; as they grow over 18cm. (appearance is more blackrock as well)

...Water Crystals - I was told to get these instead of using water, as they are only small and could drown? They also give off moisture helping the tank stay humid?
...
And lastly, a black light for cool factor (not always on)

Ok what im worrying about now is why these guys havent been moving or eating

Here is where they stay, and have not moved since ive bought them...

Is it ok to leave two crickets in there? or will that just upset them?

Also, the pet shop guy said these guys will never fight,
after reading a little on scorpions eating scorpions, im starting to question this???

and, am i stressing over nothing; and this is all just totally normal?
I'm not familiar with Aussie scorps so I will only answer the Qs and concerns that IME I can.

1st just checking when you measured did you measure from face to tip of tail?

I'm not sure if your scorpions drink or not but water crystals won't work for them if the do, if you are concerned that they may drown, just build up a ramp of pebbles into/outof the dish.

Use the black light very infrequently, as too much UV is harmful. Just for a few minutes at the most IMO.

Not moving or eating is normal behaviour. Do you cover the front of the glass where there tunnel is? If not this is a wide open and lit space that they may feel vulnerable in. Most scorpions feel more secure with a cramped burrow. you could fill up the tunnel floor with loose sand and cover over the front glass with cardboard and that may help.

Alot of crickets in there may upset them but 2 should not, just make sure to pick out the dead parts if and when they die so as not to encourage other scavenger bugs to enter your tank.

The basic statement for communal scorpions is "they are communal until they are not" all scorps may eat another for no apparent reason.

GL Thaedion
 

Johnny Savage

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
107
Sorry if I'm getting off topic but what type of substrate are you using? Your set up is pretty impressive.

In regards to your question leaving crickets in the tank isn't the greatest idea. Plus, females will lay eggs. And yeah, you need to get a water dish because those crystals won't work for the scorpion. The pet shop dude was probably reffering to using the crystals for the crickets.
 

Mr. Mordax

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
2,301
If that's dry sand, then the crickets won't lay eggs. They need damp substrate for that.

As far as the scorps not eating, that's nothing to worry about. Most scorps take a while to get settled in to a new environment. Additionally, many species are known for fasting for long periods. If they don't eat after a few days, take out the prey, wait a week, and try again.

Welcome to Arachnoboards and scorpion-keeping! I trust you'll have 20 or 30 this time next year. ;)
 

Brescia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
4
Sorry if I'm getting off topic but what type of substrate are you using?
The tank came as a whole im not actually sure,
it feels like sand, and as you can see it has a very earthy colour

you could fill up the tunnel floor with loose sand and cover over the front glass with cardboard and that may help.
This is a great idea, thanks for the tip

Good news is ive woken up today to find them not hiding anymore, they are hanging around else where
the cricket is still alive, i will take it out today and will put two fresh ones in tomorrow.

If these guys are hungry and there are no food source in the tank, will i know about it?
Do they do something out of the ordinary when they are really peckish?
 

Johnny Savage

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
107
Some people have noticed that a scorpion will exhibit some sort strange behaviors when they are hungry, but chances are it won't starve. I've heard of scorpions lasting months without food. So, if it doesn't eat the crickets in about 24 hours take them out and try again in a week.

Oh, and thanks...hmm, I wish I had a tank like that. It sure looks sweet!
 

Brescia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
4
Cheers guys,
I put two new crickets in and one has been terminated :razz:

Since ive never seen a scorpion feed before, does it take a long time?
Because right now it just looks as if its holding it...

The other scorpions alot more active too, its great to see them doing things for the first time :)
 

Brettus

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
167
Hey all,
im from Sydney Australia and am totally new to owning scorpion's,
i purchased two of them yesterday.

Ive been researching Scorpions in general for the past few days, but now that i have these little guys in my posession i want to be sure im doing everything 'right'

First off they are only small (about half the size of my pinkie)

At the shop they were labelled 'rock scorpion',
when i got home i googled, and found that there are two Australian 'rock' scorpions, theres a black rock scorpion and a flatrock scorpion.

I remember the guy saying they grow to about 8cm,
so ive ruled out flatrock scorpion; as they grow over 18cm. (appearance is more blackrock as well)

Ive purchased a tank, which i was told is a good size for them both?
A heat mat, which is working great - the tank sits a centimetre off the surface so it does not get too hot.
Water Crystals - I was told to get these instead of using water, as they are only small and could drown? They also give off moisture helping the tank stay humid?
Small Crickets - food source
And lastly, a black light for cool factor (not always on)
First of all, welcome to the hobby. I'm also from Australia, so can help you out.

I'm assuming by your description you are talking about the species Urodacus manicatus, or Alpine black rock scorpion. I don't have this species myself, but fellow AB Aussie Phil K has just got some, so he could help you out.

I'm not sure what the big burrow on the side of the tank is for. In the wild, these scorpions tend to create scrapes or shallow burrows under rocks and other objects. Perhaps it is worth putting some rocks and driftwood around, so they can make their scrape underneath it.

I think this species could perhaps be kept communally, but remember all scorpions can be prone to cannibalism. If you intend to keep them in the same tank, you MUST provide many hiding spots and suitable objects to create a scrape. If they only have one hiding spot between them they will not share and one will likely end up dead.

This species does not need a waterbowl-a misting every week will be sufficient at one corner of the tank. To maintain humidity, you may want to establish a false-bottom set-up. Just look as to how to do tis by entering false bottom into the AB search. And like Thaedion said, if you do have a waterbowl, put rocks in so that they can climb out.

Just as a note, you should put the heat mat on the side on the tank rather than underneath it. Scorpions burrow to escape heat rather than go towards it. If you put it on the side, it will establish a temperature gradient, and allow the scorpion to decide itself where the best temperature is.

If you want more information, lok at the care sheet for this scorpion at:-

http://www.thegreenscorpion.com.au/showcon.toy?cid=60149

Congratulations on the new additions :)
 

pandinus

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
3,084
a happy scorpion will just chill most of the time, and not move around too much except for at night occasionally. In regards to the heat mat, it is much better to stick it on the side, as scorpions burrow to escape heat, so if they try and cool off by digging down, the will just make themselves hotter. Cool little tank. that burrow is huge for them, but its a nice little setup and if they dont mind then its no worries.


John
 

Brettus

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
167
it feels like sand, and as you can see it has a very earthy colour
This is not a desert species, so I wouldn't recommend keeping it on pure sand. There needs to be something in the substrate to hold the moisture, like peat moss or coco-peat. They are not a rainforest species, so they do not need a very moist substrate, but you should still have at least of the soil slightly damp to establish a humidity gradient.
 

PhilK

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
605
I got two of these guys yesterday as well.

Don't keep them together as apparently Urodacus manicatus (this is their species name) are notorious for munching eachother.

The flat rock scorpion does not live in Australia.

Your tank: you need to reconfigure that tank completely. Take them out and keep them in seperate jars for a bit, and do the following.

Empty your tank out, mix up a mixture of half sand and half cocopeat/peat moss. Put a layer of pebbles in the bottom and then pack down the peatmoss/sand on top of that. Have an access tube going down into the pebbles (this will allow you to add water, so the earth gets moister as you get further down). If you're still going to keep them together, make sure you have two flat rocks in there. Manicatus are not burrow dwellers and are not desert species. They will dig themselves a little scrape under a rock. If they both have their own rock this will minimise the chance of them eating eachother.

They will eat maybe one cricket a week.

Do your scorpions a favour and visit this website: http://www.thegreenscorpion.com.au/showcon.toy?cid=60149

It's an excellent caresheet on manicatus
 

Brettus

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
167
I think the main problem, apart from not having rocks to burrow under, is that the tank looks way to do dry. With dry sand a heat mat, there is not going to be much humidity. This species should preferably have a humidity of between 60-70%. I find a hygrometer is always a useful investment, just so you know round abouts where the humidity is.

The Green scorpion link is very useful-if you set the tank up like that, they should be fine. If you need more help feel free to PM me :)

ps NEVER TRUST PET SHOPS!
 

Brescia

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
4
I apologise guys, now that you mention it, it isnt pure sand.

i have no idea what it is though, im not too bright regarding this, theres tiny bits of everything.

I grabbed rocks from the backyard for the time being, (i know they arent very good) ive placed two on each side,
I also ditched the water crystals and slightly filled the rockpool up, the scorpions should not have a hard time in there im sure of it.

Regarding the heat mat, i wish i knew earlier,
it is not possible to peel it off the bottom and place it on the side? im going to have to purchase another mat correct?

I also have a small picture frame covering the tunnel at the front,
so its nice and dark in there all the time



Ive also bookmarked the caresheet, and will have a read a little later, thanks for that guys..
 

Brettus

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
167
I apologise guys, now that you mention it, it isnt pure sand.

i have no idea what it is though, im not too bright regarding this, theres tiny bits of everything.

I grabbed rocks from the backyard for the time being, (i know they arent very good) ive placed two on each side,
I also ditched the water crystals and slightly filled the rockpool up, the scorpions should not have a hard time in there im sure of it.

Regarding the heat mat, i wish i knew earlier,
it is not possible to peel it off the bottom and place it on the side? im going to have to purchase another mat correct?

I also have a small picture frame covering the tunnel at the front,
so its nice and dark in there all the time
Whatever the substrate is, it doesn't look appropriate-its looks too sandy and too dry. What you need is a 50/50 mix of peat moss or coco peat with sand. The peat moss will help keep the moisture in.

As for rocks, scorpions like these like rocks that are mostly above the surface-they don't like burrowing deeply to get underneath it. That is another reason you need peat moss in the substrate-the substrate will hold together much better around the rock, allowing the scorpion to make its scrape.

If you are going to use a water bowl, it has to be shallow and preferably low-for scorpions like these I really think a small, shallow terracotta dish with rocks in it would be fine.

As for the heat mat, in honesty I really don't think you need one. These scorpions do best between 20-30 degrees celsius, which it will be above all throughout summer. What is more, rarely in a house does the temperature drop below 20 degrees.
 

PhilK

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
605
Yeah heatmat is un-needed, that burrow is not appropriate. You really need to change the entire substrate and just have a few flat rocks in there. Seriously, read the caresheet, your scorps won't do well in there at all.
 

Midnight Liar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
2
Nice tank, baaaaaad substrate. Black rock scorpions like coco-peat and such. And I agree that the heat mat is un-needed. Also, seperate the two. These arn't really overly sociable scorps. Make sure that they hav a nice big flat rock to create their own hides under!
 
Top