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Emperor Scorpion Q&A

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Cyris69, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    Pandinus imperator:
    Questions & Answers

    Q: Do Emperor Scorpions smell? Will they stink up my entire room?
    A: No, the do not have a body “odor”. Though, the cage might give off a very light musky smell from the moisture and high humidity. The smell if any would not make it anywhere else but the tank. Dead scorpions do smell rank ;)

    Q: Can I use a back light?
    A: Yes and No, UV rays are harmful to scorpions. Yeah, it’s cool they glow neon green and fine to show it off infrequently for a short period of time. So make sure you get heat bulbs that do NOT emit UV (UVA or UVB) rays.

    Q: What substrate should I use?
    A: Coconut fiber substrate is the best. A few brands who make it are Eco Earth & ZooMed. Peat moss with NO fertilizer or plant food additives, just 100% peat moss is another great choice.

    Q: How much substrate should I use depth wise?
    A: I recommend 4”- 6” aka 10.2 cm - 15.2 cm of substrate (Much more if you have the tank for it) which allows them to burrow to any depth needed to help regulate their body’s temperature. I also recommend that you lightly pack the first few layers to make a more stable burrowing substrate.

    Q: What humidity and temperature should I keep my scorpion at?
    A: The RH (Relative Humidity) should be 80-90%. If the substrate is moist enough that it holds its shape when you squeeze it very tightly and has a few drips of water come out, then there is no need for a hydrometer as long as it stays like that. The temperature gradient should be cool low 80’s on one side of the tank and high 80’s on the other. 86F is a perfect temperature for the hot side; 88F would be fine as well.

    Q: What's better, a heat mat, ceramic heat emitter, or a heat bulb?
    A: It all depends on personal preference. Heat mat I think is less efficient and doesn’t give off lots of heat. The preferred heat source would be a ceramic or heat bulb. The ceramic heat emitter is essentially a light bulb without light and more expensive but a great heater (Infrared photons) so a heat bulb (Infrared) is the same thing but with light.

    Q: If I use a heat mat where do I place it?
    A: You can can place it on the back outside wall of your glass aquarium. Do NOT place it on the bottom unless you enjoy steamed scorpion. If you are using a plastic tank/container you must buy a plastic safe heat mat which you can find in any hermit crab section of a pet store.

    Q: Would a 5-gallon aquarium fish tank work for a single adult Emperor Scorpion?
    A: Yes, this is a fine sized tank for one adult. I recommend 3.5-5gals per Emperor Scorpion.

    Q: My Emperor Scorpion is not drinking, what should I do?
    A: Don’t worry, scorpions drink when they get thirsty just as humans do. They will even bathe in the water bowl given its large enough. Scorpions are most active at night so you might not see them do it.

    Q: How often should you clean the terrarium?
    A: Usually ever 2-3 months. Some go much longer, considering coco fiber is pretty cheap there isn’t a real reason not to do it that often.

    Q: Glass terrariums or plastic terrariums? Which would you recommend; Why?
    A: Again, as heat sources its personal preference. When it comes to limited space and stack-ability I’d recommend plastic sterilite containers with the correct amount of proper sized holes drilled. For more of a show piece and for a communal setup I would recommend a glass fish tank. It looks nice and you have lots of room for décor.

    Q: My Emperor Scorpion isn’t eating! What should I do?
    A: Take the prey item out and go watch TV. Usually scorpions will not eat for 5-10 days prior to a molt and should not be given food for 7-10 days after a molt. So if it’s a juvenile or sub-adult it may be only coming up for a molt. The other cause could be it’s just not hungry. You should feed your scorpion 1-2 times a week and 1-2 proper sized crickets each feeding or just one proper sized roach for the size of the scorpion. Don’t forget to remove the prey item after 24 if it is not eaten.

    Q: Do they need a water bowl? If so what size?
    A: Yes, Emperors drink a lot of water and require a bowl be present in the tank. The size of the water dish/bowl should be relative to the size of the scorpion. If it’s a 2nd instar you should use small bottle cap. Adults need a wide shallow ½” to ¾” deep water bowl. You can add rock pebbles to the bowl so make sure it can get out.

    Q: My Emperor Scorpion is running around trying to climb up the sides/corners of the tank is something wrong?
    A: This is normal behavior; they are trying to escape from their tank or just exploring the terrain. The don’t know that there are 4 glass walls preventing this and are seeing if maybe its just a ledge they can get over. Now if it’s running around and appears to be stinging itself or going on it’s back then check the temperature it may be way too hot.

    Q: Is my scorpion eating itself?
    A: No, you scorpion is merely cleaning itself; arachnids are meticulous cleaners. You might see it with its “stinger” in its mouth or scraping its body. They also will clean their claws, underbelly, and legs. They even bathe in the water bowl from time to time.

    Q: My scorpion has been leaving what appear to be cricket parts around the entrance and also in his hide. It had what almost looked like mold on it. What can I do?
    A: Spot clean every feeding, checking for any left over prey parts and for any mold that might be growing. Now you can't go digging up the hide or burrow to check. Scorpions usually do not defecate or leave food remains in their hides/burrows. They should give up on their burrow if its get very moldy inside which isn’t common. You can throw in a good handful of isopods aka (Rollie Pollies, Pill Bugs, Woodlouse) they will eat dead remains but they don’t get everything.

    Q: My Emperor hasn’t come out of its burrow or hide should I be worried?
    A: No, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. It usually means the scorpion is happy. New comers usually don’t know that Emperor Scorpion are basically “pet holes” they spend most of their life inside their burrows waiting for prey to just pass right in front of the entrance.

    Q: What is this white stuff on the ground in my scorpion’s tank or on my scorpion?
    A: If it looks like “white out” then its poo. If it’s fuzzy and appears to have hair then that would be mold from dead remains or mold growing on the poo.

    Q: How do I know if my Emperor is a male or female?
    A: You can tell by the size of the pectines(the feather looking things). The males would be much thicker and longer than female’s pectines. You can also tell by the shape of the Genital Operculum. The males have an oval shaped Operculum and the females are more rectangular. Here is a link to one of my sexing pictures http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/cyris69/Sexing.jpg?t=1198270713

    Q: Is my Emperor gravid?
    A: If you have witnessed the mating process and have spotted the spermaphore then I would say yes. If your scorpion is an adult female and is very large (fat) and you can see what looks to be small rice colored balls along the sides then those are the embryos.

    Q: Why won’t my Emperor leave its hide or burrow?
    A: Around the boards we call Emperor Scorpions “pet holes”. The reason for this: Emperors are pretty inactive and are ambush predators. They lay and wait with their claws barely out of the hide/burrow for some unsuspecting critter to walk right into its claws. They are nocturnal and come out here and there some nights to drink, explore, or to go to the restroom. They also use their burrow to regulate their body’s temperature. If it spends most of its time in the burrow/hide then that generally means its content or happy.

    Q: My scorpion is acting very sluggish and drags its tail along the ground, is there something wrong?
    A: Yes, this means 95% of the time that the scorpion is on its last leg and going to pass soon. Also check the tank temperature to make sure its warm.

    Q: Is any old red bulb fine for viewing my scorpion at night?
    A: Yes and No. Depending on the frequency you view you scorpion depends if its fine or not. If it isn’t clearly stated to be a Infrared bulb then it would emit UV (UVA & UVB) rays which are harmful to scorpions. So it would be ok once and a while for a minute or two to use a non Infrared bulb. I’d still recommend you buy a low wattage IR bulb to view them with.

    Q: Can I have more than one Pandinus species or any other tropical scorpion in a mix communal together?
    A: No, some have had success with a cross Pandinus species communal and some with H. spinifer. It is not recommended and will most always result in casualties. It hear its easier to have a communal of all females than it is males due to males being very territorial.

    Q: How old is my Emperor?
    A: There is absolutely no way of telling unless you have bred and raised them yourself. You can tell if it’s and adult or not by the color of the telson (The bulbous looking thing the stinger is attached to). If it’s white it’s a juvenile, if it’s a milky darker white than it is a sub-adult, if its dark red/brown then it is an adult

    Q: Are they mating or fighting? How can I tell?
    A: Well, that’s a 50/50. Sometimes they like it rough ;)
    Here are the 2 part video of my adult pair mating and the break up at the end which is fighting.
    Part I
    Part II
    Part II is embarrassing considering it was my first time seeing mating and I blew on them to break up the fight once the lost the hold from there Chelicerae. No Spermaphore was found.

    Q: Can I put live plants into my scorpion’s tank?
    A: Yes, you can add tropical species of plants into you tank to help out with humidity and décor. Only problem is that it give something for your crickets or other insect food for you scorpions to hide and climb on. The second problem would be that you will now require a UV bulb to give light to your plants so that they can photosynthesize. UV rays are not healthy for scorpions if they come in prolonged contact over time with it. However, considering how Emperors aren't to surface active I don’t think this will pose too much of a problem and is something you can do at your own risk so to speak. Also, you mist wash them very well to make sure there are no pesticides or chemicals on the plant. If its a plant that might be harmful if the scorpion ingests from the crickets or other items eating the plant then I wouldn't place it in there obviously.

    Q: Can I just feed super worms or meal worms to my scorpion?
    A: Yes. However, considering their high concentration of fat makes them not the most healthy choice. They are fine for "treats" or feeding here in there with a mix of crickets.
    I will have the analysis chart up for the most common feeders as soon as I get permission from the owners to post it here. Until then here is the link http://doubleds.org/contactus.html
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Arachnobaron

    Yeah to be honest, half of the threads posting here are related to emperor scorpions.

    They're so cool though!!!

    Anyways, a few weeks ago I made a thread with several questions, which all got answered.

    Right here -> http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=111086
  3. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    I know my effort will be futile for the most part and won't completely stop this constant barrage of "Emperor Scorpion" threads but maybe it will help cut it down some and maybe become a sticky.
    I'm going to scour the board and compile a full Pandinus imperator Q&A.

    I will update here and there and wait and add several items to the thread rather than constantly updating bumping the thread. If anyone wants to help out by sending me common or more complex questions and well written answers to them or I will answer them that would be greatly appreciated to help cover all corners.

    Once complete or I have a lot of them maybe have a area to discuss the question ordering. Try not to post much to this thread if you decide to post at all just give me a PM so it keeps this thread to single page. I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot from this and have brain spasms every time I read or hear the words emperor scorpion ;) This is going to be a slow process and will be low on my main to-do list.
  4. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    Q&A Updated.
    Please PM if you find any spelling or grammar errors. Incorrect or wrong answers or wording.
  5. Brian S

    Brian S ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I know several that have used Miracle Grow Peat for years with no problems.

    Up to 10 or even 12 inches is even better (if you have a deep enough tank that is) :)

    A plastic shoe or sweater box works much better. By drilling holes around the sides you allow less ventilation than with the screen top your fish aquarium comes with thus keeping it more humid therefore the substrate wont dry out as quickly

    I dont think I have ever cleaned mine. If I have I forgot it:8o

    Oh dear!! You said Kritter Keeper!! Oh man I thought I taught you better than that:shame: (I say with a tear in my eye)
    KKs are probably the worst thing you can put them in IMO. You can not keep a humid environment for long on those damn things. If you're going plastic, make it a rubbermade or sterlite box (same as shoe or sweater box). The only thing those KKs are good for are desert species

    All in all not too bad but some improvement is needed in your FAQ thread, especially that KK stuff. I am still in tears and hurting from within since you recommended one of those blasted things:4:
    I really thought I raised you better than that! ( I say with another tear in my eye):shame:
  6. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    Thanks for the info. I'm sitting in the corner as I type :(

    I know KK are "bad" ventilation wise I only own one and use sterilite containers for everthing else I have no idea why I didn't say that insted. Will change immediately. However, KK look soo much better than those shoe boxes if you going to display them. It is much more economical to use sterilite containers and much more convenient. My large KK I store my 3i and 4i emps in keeps the humidity at 80-95% at all times though. The top 1/2" of sub dries out super quick though.
  7. Brian S

    Brian S ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I am really crying the blues now!;P
    How accurate do you think that gauge is? If its from a pet shop I venture to say not very (sniffle sniffle)
    You even said its not neccessary in your original post
    Now that I know you keep those poor 3i and 4i Emps in a blasted KK I am really crying aloud now!!

    Stop hurting my tender feelings!!:shame:
  8. ~Abyss~

    ~Abyss~ Arachnoking Old Timer

    you might wanna talk about false bottom. I have a guide on a self sustaining enviroment. No cleaning ect. I posted it on the SCABIES site but here it goes

    I still have this setup with a lot more isopods and i'm not really using it anymore still pretty functional.
  9. InfestedGoat

    InfestedGoat Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I think my KK works very well. I got a peice of plexiglass on top and the sides already have ventilation so it balances perfectly. Humidity is always around 80-90.
  10. ~Abyss~

    ~Abyss~ Arachnoking Old Timer

    It's a lot easier without the KK because the humidity won't stay that high for long.
  11. Xaranx

    Xaranx Arachnoprince

    KK are fine as long as you restrict the ventilation, which you did.
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Arachnobaron

    What about Exo Terra's Faunariums? Wouldn't they work okay as "plastic terrariums" for emps scorps? I've seen loads of people using em.
  13. marcelo_987

    marcelo_987 Arachnosquire

    Please, someone, make this a sticky.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Arachnobaron

  15. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    Thanks everyone for you comments and questions submits. Please PM them to me not post them here. Makes the thread very unorganized :)
  16. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    OK, I have made a small update of 7 more Q&A's.
    Keep those questions coming, please PM(Private Message) them to me.
    Thanks for all of you participating.
  17. Brian S

    Brian S ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Whew!! I was really worried about that when I read it. I was really skeered you were gonna make me cry again like you did last night "whew":D
  18. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    You know I wouldn't ever try and hurt you ;)
    Added 3 or 4 more just now.
  19. Seconded!

    (Though, I think you were a bit harsh on blacklights -- just leaving it as "infrequently" is my suggestion.)
  20. Cyris69

    Cyris69 Arachnoprince

    Ok, changed it to Yes and No. Thanks guys for pushing the hopes of this making a sticky. I'd feel so accomplished. I thought it was time I "contributed" more than just my opinions and thoughts in threads and make a useful one myself.
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