H. Arizonensis finally surfaces!

r8frazer

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
199
Hi all

I've been a member on here for over 10 years but not been on for quite some time. Used to keep tropical scorps but about 18 months ago I got a H. Arizonensis. I'm in the UK and it took months to find one at the time! Anyways I named him Cochise and he's been doing fine - he even managed a successful molt soon after I got him. He's in a glass tank with a mesh top and a heat pad on the back. Substrate is around 4" deep. Not long after I got him he disappeared for over 2 months (never ate anything) - and I convinced myself he was dead as he'd been so active until then. Dug him up and the little bugger was fine!!

Anyways he's done it again - I'd not seen him since late May and not once has he surfaced for food so has gone over 3 months without. Dug him up today and once again he is alive! I notice though that his sides look sort of puffy and white instead of that translucent grey colour - he also has a black patch on one of his knees which I don't recall seeing before. Should I be worried about either of these and any tips on what to do now I've disturbed him?

You should be able to spot my concerns on these pics - it's the second leg on the right.



 

darkness975

Latrodectus
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
4,372
@r8frazer H. arizonensis goes though a "diapause" period of sorts in the winter months. I am in the US so I am much closer to their native habitat than where you are. All of my H. arizonensis (including my H. arizonensis pallidus) disappear around late October / early November and I do not see them again until late March / early April. I keep their water dishes full and they do tend to eat when offered food but even if I do not offer food they are fine and I do not worry about them at all. They do not emerge even the slightest during this period of time.

The reason for stating this is that given your location it is possible the diapause period is triggered at a different time based on who knows what factors. Temperatures, barometric pressure differences, etc.

In the future, don't dig it up. It will emerge when it is ready.

Hope this helps.
 

r8frazer

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
199
@r8frazer H. arizonensis goes though a "diapause" period of sorts in the winter months. I am in the US so I am much closer to their native habitat than where you are. All of my H. arizonensis (including my H. arizonensis pallidus) disappear around late October / early November and I do not see them again until late March / early April. I keep their water dishes full and they do tend to eat when offered food but even if I do not offer food they are fine and I do not worry about them at all. They do not emerge even the slightest during this period of time.

The reason for stating this is that given your location it is possible the diapause period is triggered at a different time based on who knows what factors. Temperatures, barometric pressure differences, etc.

In the future, don't dig it up. It will emerge when it is ready.

Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for this - I had no idea they did this and as you say it's entirely likely the different climate here has triggered it early. Will be sure to give him 6 months or so next time before I start worrying!
 

darkness975

Latrodectus
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
4,372
Thanks so much for this - I had no idea they did this and as you say it's entirely likely the different climate here has triggered it early. Will be sure to give him 6 months or so next time before I start worrying!
Not a bad idea to offer food during this period but I would do it less than you would for a "normal weekly feeding schedule" in the active months.

I used quotes there because even during the active months I do not really have a set schedule I just offer food whenever my crazy schedule allows me to remember to do it. My specimens are all pretty good weights (one looks a bit obese actually) so I am not too concerned.

Always keep a small water dish in there though. I see them take long drinks every now and then.
 

Dovey

Arachnobaron
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
547
I would also recommend making sure your guy has a normal daylight cycle. Maybe make use of a low wattage LED or fluorescent strip light on a timer. This would provide a light differential and a temperature drop signal. Are you SURE he hasn't been out at all, or are you just not catching him out in the wee hours?

Meanwhile, think about getting some sonoran desert beetle species to liven it up in there! Death-feining beetles, especially, are mostly diurnal, are not on Arizonensis' menu, and are fun to watch--along with usefully cleaning up any scorpion food scraps.
 

Dovey

Arachnobaron
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
547
Also, is the heating pad really necessary? Entomologists working in the field here in Arizona find borrow temperatures to hover in the mid 70's Fahrenheit with humidity in the 70% range when the surface temperatures are 100 or more with single digit humidity. I think Arizonensis keepers would be better off with gentle overhead heat sources like a light strip.
 
Top