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I just got a scorpion, but I think it's behaving strangely...

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by Altyran, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Altyran

    Altyran Arachnopeon

    I recently purchased an Emperor Scorpion and had it shipped (from a breeder) to my home, via express overnight shipping. The tank set up is, according to what I've read here, in a solid place.

    I didn't leave the scorpion in the package and collected it immediately. I took some time to make sure I was home for delivery.

    As for how it's behaving:

    * It was very sluggish when I put it into the tank. It mostly stayed right where I gently plopped it down.
    * My husband fed it a mealworm after a little while to see if that would get it to react, and the scorpion did take it and moved into the hide we provided. However it seemed to just hold the mealworm for a while, and when we checked later it wasn't holding it (we didn't want to lift the hide to see if it ate it or dropped it, in case we stressed it out).
    * It's tail is curled, but not "up in the air". It's sort of curled all the way forward (almost like the stinger is about to rest on the ground.
    * It did not go deeper into the hide than just into the entrance, it's easily visible from the outside (but it's technically "all the way in" in the sense that even it's tail is inside).

    Temps: 87 warm side, 78 cool side.
    Humidity: 86%.
    Substrate: Coconut fiber.
    Water: Reverse osmosis.
    Color: Black.

    So... is my scorpion showing signs that it's not going to make it after the trip, or is this "stress and a new home"?


    This is what she looks like, with an example of her tail not being held up and away but drooping (it has drooped a little more since this was taken, but is not flat out or anything).

    This is a video of her "eating" and then moving into the hide. It also shows the tail being held at a 45 angle.

    About two hours after this her tail had "drooped" quite to the side and I thought maybe she'd died. I used tongs to gently nudge the tail and she turned around fairly fast.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  2. FrankiePinchinatti

    FrankiePinchinatti Arachnosquire Active Member

    Looks perfectly normal to me from that video. Usually when they walk around the tail is nicely curled and perpendicular to the ground, but most of the time when they are resting they will have it curled and parallel to the ground. If the tail is laying on the ground perfectly straight that is usually a bad sign, that is usually the position they die in, although I have seen healthy ones keep their tail like that occasionally.
    As far as being sluggish, I think for the most part that's just how most scorpions are most of the day. They usually roam the tank at night though.
  3. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    She looks fine to me, alittle sluggish but responsive, and she is eating which is a super good sign. I would just leave her alone, she made a long journey (possibly alittle rough). They are also nocturnal and possess a low metabolic rate.
  4. Altyran

    Altyran Arachnopeon

    Thank you, both of you. She’s become a bit more “active” in the evenings. Certainly not full on running around, but she’s explored the tank a little and dug out an extra hide on the cool side (where she is currently resting right now).

    She doesn’t appear to enjoy mistings at all. She tries to grab the mist and it appears to agitate her. We swapped to “rain” (water poured gently through a sieve, not near her) to hydrate the soil (we only needed to do it once) and allow evaporation to slowly release a steady humidity.

    This is a picture of her walking about, tail is held up, though not a perfect 90 degrees to the ground. Looks like it curls to the side little, like how some dogs tails will curl up and over itself but prefer left or right slightly. I don’t think that’s a problem, just a small variation.

    Attached Files:

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  5. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    Oh she is perfectly fine. She probably just needed a small recovery period from her trip. The less tail curling could be a sign of relaxation in fact.
  6. Altyran

    Altyran Arachnopeon


    I’ve never had an animal shipped, so the stress was *real*. Glad to hear she looks and is acting normal.

    Weve has snakes and chameleons and geckos. We had the stuff, but we didn’t know what to expect. We researched a lot but experience is better. Best to ask and be wrong than to assume and lose a pet.
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  7. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    Good safe packing makes all the difference buy from reputable online dealers and breeders. ;)
  8. Altyran

    Altyran Arachnopeon

    She arrived in a small box, with a styrofoam “cube” around. There was a thermometer tape on her plastic container. There was a hand warmer (that indicated 95 as its maximum temperature) outside the styrofoam outside the styrofoam on one side.

    The temperature tape said “78” when I opened the package. Assuming it actually doesn’t go above 95 then I can only assume she went from the 90s to the upper 70s during her trip.

    Her plastic container had substrate on the bottom and a, *very*, loosely packed damp (but not wet) paper towel on top. She wasn’t floating freely but she could move under it like a burrowing animal.
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  9. Outpost31Survivor

    Outpost31Survivor Arachnobaron Active Member

    It sounds like she was packed very good. The paper towel is excellent to provide scorpions or spiders a grippable surface and to provide safe padding.
  10. Dry Desert

    Dry Desert Arachnobaron Active Member

    Whenever any invert arrives in the post / shipped, open the box just enough for ventilation and leave in the box for one hour to acclimatize to room temp. NEVER unpack and place directly into the heated enclosure - from low 70 to upper 80/ 90 - not good. After the hour of acclimatization place in the prepared enclosure and LEAVE ALONE. The more quiet time the animal has the quicker it will settle. I don't think after a stressful journey not knowing what comes next I would want to tuck into chicken and chips! Also most breeders feed their stock solely on crickets so anything offered other than crickets may not be readily eaten.
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