Impulse bought a scorpion...

GingerC

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Feb 10, 2017
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I just did something incredibly stupid the other day and impulse bought some sort of Asian forest scorpion of unknown species. I've researched them before, so at least I'm not completely clueless, but it was still dumb. She's a very mellow scorpion (if you poke her on the telson with a stick, she shuffles her feet a bit rather than lashing out) and very good looking and a great eater, too. I don't think she's been sexed.

On the car ride home from the reptile store, it became immediately apparent that these guys really, really hate light. Unfortunately, the seller didn't really provide a hidey hole in the cage, and it seems dried sphagnum moss is not suitable for a burrow. I just bought a spacious frog cage, a half log hide, and a water dish yesterday, and the coconut fiber is drying in the sun as we speak! I'm quite excited about this.

Anyway, as a new scorpion owner, I do have a few questions:

First and foremost, do AFS need any external heat sources? My house is usually in the 78-82 range, but it gets as low as 70 in the winter months.

Secondly, how does one pick up a scorpion? I know better than to handle her (I do not fear her tail or claws, but I know I could drop her and it's impossible not to stress her out) but it's definitely going to be a bit tricky to move her into her new fancy beautiful habitat. Probably going to need to grab a stick and a jar for this, heh...
 

Stugy

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Apr 21, 2016
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Asian forest scorpions like it humid. It is also a very good idea to provide a deep substrate so she can burrow. The temperatures you mentioned are just fine. Regarding handling, not so recommended but if you really want to, I would get her by the tail. The part right behind the stinger. This causes stress though so not the best thing to do.
 

GingerC

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Feb 10, 2017
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Asian forest scorpions like it humid. It is also a very good idea to provide a deep substrate so she can burrow. The temperatures you mentioned are just fine. Regarding handling, not so recommended but if you really want to, I would get her by the tail. The part right behind the stinger. This causes stress though so not the best thing to do.
About how much humidity is needed? Should there be condensation on the walls, or just enough the the air and substrate are damp? Also, is three inches deep enough?

Yeah, I'd heard you're really not supposed to hold them, and I'm totally fine just looking. The reason I asked is that I'm going to need to transfer her between cages.
 

Stugy

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I would keep the substrate damp. The air can be kept the same. 3 inches is fine but 5 would be much better. You can use a cup or something for transfer :)
 

Christianb96

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First and foremost, always do plenty of research before buying any new animal. 80-85% humidity, 80-85 degrees F. I'd recommend getting a temp/humidity gauge to make sure you meet this.and feed about once a week and you will have a really happy scorpion :)
 

Ratmosphere

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Your house temperature is 78-82 degrees? God bless you, I'd be sweating. Best of luck with your new addition.
 

ArachnoDrew

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3" is ok if it's small for now but full grown they get 5"+ the more substrate the better.
 

GingerC

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Feb 10, 2017
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You can use a cup or something for transfer :)
I ended up scooting her into a small plastic flower pot. She went right in after a few taps on the rear without any hesitation, and then I just gently tipped her into the cage! I guess I'm pretty lucky to have gotten such a mellow scorpion, since I've heard some of them will attack a stick if it pokes them...

First and foremost, always do plenty of research before buying any new animal. 80-85% humidity, 80-85 degrees F. I'd recommend getting a temp/humidity gauge to make sure you meet this.and feed about once a week and you will have a really happy scorpion :)
Yeah, it really peeves me when people get an animal on impulse without doing any research, even if it's a dog or cat. I've researched pet scorpions before, but I didn't know the specific parameters for this species so I was inwardly berating myself that whole car ride home. Definitely going to buy a humidity guage or ten, since it would come in handy with any inverts (and I'm slowly obtaining a whole lot of those...)

Your house temperature is 78-82 degrees? God bless you, I'd be sweating. Best of luck with your new addition.
I live in the desert, so I tolerate heat extremely well. With that said, most people have their air conditioners on all the time, so it's still unusual for a house to be this hot. :)

3" is ok if it's small for now but full grown they get 5"+ the more substrate the better.
I don't know if mine is an adult, but she's definitely on the small side. Great advice, will be sure to get a bigger cage!
 

Stugy

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Oh if you are in Arizona then you should mist the sides of the enclosure for some humidity. Haha the same thing happened to me when I got my first scorpion. I bought it impulsively but I already did a bunch of research (though i still had some mess ups lol). I hope you enjoy your scorpion.
 

TheScorpionMan

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Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
190
I just did something incredibly stupid the other day and impulse bought some sort of Asian forest scorpion of unknown species. I've researched them before, so at least I'm not completely clueless, but it was still dumb. She's a very mellow scorpion (if you poke her on the telson with a stick, she shuffles her feet a bit rather than lashing out) and very good looking and a great eater, too. I don't think she's been sexed.

On the car ride home from the reptile store, it became immediately apparent that these guys really, really hate light. Unfortunately, the seller didn't really provide a hidey hole in the cage, and it seems dried sphagnum moss is not suitable for a burrow. I just bought a spacious frog cage, a half log hide, and a water dish yesterday, and the coconut fiber is drying in the sun as we speak! I'm quite excited about this.

Anyway, as a new scorpion owner, I do have a few questions:

First and foremost, do AFS need any external heat sources? My house is usually in the 78-82 range, but it gets as low as 70 in the winter months.

Secondly, how does one pick up a scorpion? I know better than to handle her (I do not fear her tail or claws, but I know I could drop her and it's impossible not to stress her out) but it's definitely going to be a bit tricky to move her into her new fancy beautiful habitat. Probably going to need to grab a stick and a jar for this, heh...
Well you got a good beginner scorpion and you made the right choice to ask the AB community. 78-82 should be fine and I'd pour water directly into the substrate for it to hold in the humidity in the substrate. Feed it about once a week with some appropriate sized crickets or super worms and you should be good!
 

GingerC

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Feb 10, 2017
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117
Thanks for all the advice, guys! While I highly disapprove of the impulsive manner in which I obtained my scorpion, I definitely do not regret the purchase! She's a really magnificent little beast... very imposing, which is why I find it amusing that my brother named her Bingo, lol.

A while ago, when she was still exploring the new terrarium, she suddenly discovered the water bowl and took a big drink for about five minutes. Is it possible that her mild-mannered disposition was merely a result of dehydration? The reason I ask is because a lot of cold blooded creatures act "tamer" and more "calm" as a result of poor conditions.

Anyway, she did stick her claw through the ventilation slits, and I couldn't help but touch it. It was pretty cool; it felt just like a crab claw, only a lot less spiky!
 

Stugy

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That's great you are enjoying Bingo! Scorpions can get slower due to poor conditions. It's the same with us humans. If it gets hot we start sweating, we'll get dehydrated, start slowing down, and eventually die. If the scorpion can get to the ventilation, that may be a problem because he/she can get its claws stuck somehow. A picture of the enclosure would be nice :)
 

Christianb96

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Im in no way judging you for making the impulse buy, scorpions are fascinating. You may just have a mild mannered scorpion. It happens, some can be much more defensive then others.
 

Anoplogaster

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Jan 15, 2017
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That's great you are enjoying Bingo! Scorpions can get slower due to poor conditions. It's the same with us humans. If it gets hot we start sweating, we'll get dehydrated, start slowing down, and eventually die. If the scorpion can get to the ventilation, that may be a problem because he/she can get its claws stuck somehow. A picture of the enclosure would be nice :)
Agreed! The biggest husbandry mistake people make is not recognizing the difference between a docile animal and a lethargic one. I'm sure your scorpion will perk up in the right conditions:) Anything bought from a pet shop, I always assume it's lethargic due to unfavorable conditions.

Reminds me of when I got my adult frilled dragon from someone on Craigslist. Dude was all "Yeah, he's SUPER tame!" When I got there and saw what he was living in, and he clearly hadn't had a meal in a LONG time, I bought him right away just to rescue him. He wasn't tame, he was DYING!
 

Anoplogaster

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Btw, I impulse purchase all the time. But I only impulse purchase species within groups of animals I already have experience with. I guess that's different;)
 

GingerC

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If the scorpion can get to the ventilation, that may be a problem because he/she can get its claws stuck somehow. A picture of the enclosure would be nice :)
I can totally see how this could be an issue. She can't get her claw out to the joint, it's just the tips protruding; is this still potentially problematic? She's settled in now and shows no interest in climbing, but I think hot gluing some mesh over the holes would be a good idea.

Agreed! The biggest husbandry mistake people make is not recognizing the difference between a docile animal and a lethargic one. I'm sure your scorpion will perk up in the right conditions:) Anything bought from a pet shop, I always assume it's lethargic due to unfavorable conditions.
As soon as I plopped the scorpion into her new enclosure (slid her right out of a flower pot, was gentle, but it should have provoked a reaction) and she didn't move right away, I suspected this might be the case. Seeing her with her face in the water bowl for an entire five minutes didn't exactly persuade me otherwise, lol. I don't know if that's a normal amount for a scorpion to drink, but she was definitely thirsty.

The store I got her from specializes in reptiles and is actually pretty decent; all the animals are well fed and appear to be housed appropriately. Their standards for hedgehog care can only be described as abysmal, however, and I don't think their scorps were being sold under ideal conditions, but this is my very first one so I don't quite know what's normal or not yet. :p
 

Stugy

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I think mesh may be fine but if the claws can reach the vents then the legs probably can and they can get stuck even easier than the claws xD Not really much of a way out unless you get a higher enclosure.
 

GingerC

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I think mesh may be fine but if the claws can reach the vents then the legs probably can and they can get stuck even easier than the claws xD Not really much of a way out unless you get a higher enclosure.
Nah, she can barely reach the vents and only by sitting vertically against the wall, her legs can't reach it. Anyway, people use mesh against the ventilation slits to keep mantis legs from getting stuck- and their tiny feet get stuck super easily, trust me.
 

Stugy

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Nah, she can barely reach the vents and only by sitting vertically against the wall, her legs can't reach it. Anyway, people use mesh against the ventilation slits to keep mantis legs from getting stuck- and their tiny feet get stuck super easily, trust me.
Ok then you should be good with the tips we've given you :) I miss my mantis's back in Japan (back when I was smart enough to keep them alive) but now any mantis I catch dies within a week (maximum).
 

GingerC

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Ok then you should be good with the tips we've given you :) I miss my mantis's back in Japan (back when I was smart enough to keep them alive) but now any mantis I catch dies within a week (maximum).
That's a shame- maybe try buying a nymph online? That's what I did; beginner species are pretty easy to keep, just need to clean up after them and mist as needed, and feed them when their abdomens look small. They're a lot more hands-on than scorpions or Ts, too- I like interacting with them, but it's not necessary.
 
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