Actually, Paul, there is a great degree of variability. Some buthids will live only a few years at most. Some Liochelidae have lifespans in the suspected 20+ year range. The biggest variation is between the Buthidae and the rest of the families. Buthidae are atypical scorpions in many respects -- and are in fact more typical anthropods because of it.
is it all buthids are just particular buthids that exhibit shorter life span? Do you know of anyone who has kept buthids from scorplings to old age adults? if so, what species? any papers you could refer me to or details on longevity would be much appreciated!
In terms of personal experience, I know several people who have kept various Buthidae from scorpionlings to maturity. In fact, colonies of C.gracilis seem to be standard issue and I have heard several people talking about how many generations they went before they crashed. Maturity in this species can be reached in under a year and you can't expect much more than a few years after that.
In terms of papers, your best starting point is The biology of scorpions by Polis (1990). If you don't have a copy already then get one -- it is THE starting point for scorpions.
I have kept B. arenicola types for years. I collect them in the wild in central Egypt and bring them here to Los Angeles. I have had many come and go, but two I have had for quite some time. A female, who has given birth at one time, for 7 years and another male for nealy 5 years. They seem to be doing fine. I have tried hard to reproduce their enviroment, being easier because I spend alot of time in it myself.
Hope this info gives more insight,
My Emperor Scorpion just past away 5 days ago, Believe it or not but I had her for 1 month shy of 14yrs. I still have her in my freezer til I can find a way to prove her age @ death. She may have been one of the oldest living in captivity