Investigating Scorpion Death

bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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Oct 15, 2019
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Hey, everyone. I've been keeping invertebrates for about 2 years now and this morning, I checked on my cages and it looks like my Asian Rainforest Scorpion passed away. I had an Emperor Scorpion pass away around a year ago and I want to find out what the problem is before I decide if I should get another one.

Both scorpions lived in the same cage (a vertical 20-gallon Exo Terra tank) that I got from someone when I bought the Emperor. It has a substrate (4ish/5 inches), then this kinda dried Spanish moss on the top (which can be moved and they can dig if they want.) Temp was normal (sometimes it was a little hot/cold but nothing major and it was for a short time), the humidity got a little dry sometimes if I didn't spray that day but I always made sure the water bowl had water. The water bowl was thin, sometimes she would throw the "moss" in it and I'd have to get it out. There was half log hide and some fake plants around it (I took them off the wall since they would climb up and fall sometimes.) No mold or fungus that I could see but sometimes there would be poop on the sides of the glass. Diet was Dubia roaches (I switched from crickets after the Emperor died since I thought it could be disease/parasite) and Forest didn't eat too often maybe twice a month? I'd offered once a week and she usually refused so I moved to longer. And the roaches got fed fresh veggies, sometimes oatmeal. I also had her for a year and a half with no molt.

That's kinda a run down, let me know if I missed/messed up anything. Question from this: I noticed the Dubias started to eat their egg carton some, it was paper and I read they could digest it but could this be the cause? Although, the first scorpion had crickets and they only nibbled on the end a bit, not enough to eat it really. Both scorpions started laying in their water dish a lot before they died but as I said, I usually misted it so I'm not sure why besides bathing, which I saw them do. Also, both scorpions were from a previous owner so there was a chance that they were older. I'm pretty sad about this and I don't want to make another mistake. Thank you.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnoangel
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I'm not sure what a "normal" temperature is. Can you provide an actual temperature range in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Laying in the water dish + your mention of misting makes me suspect that your animals died of dehydration. Was the substrate moist throughout? Did you pour water directly into the substrate as needed to maintain moisture? Or were you just misting the top? Misting is essentially useless for these animals. If the substrate is kept moist throughout, then the humidity takes care of itself and you never need to mist. Do you have photos of the enclosure and/or the animals that you can share here?
 

bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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Oct 15, 2019
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The temperature was around 80 degrees which seems to be about a normal temp for Asian Forest. Some days would be maybe 75, which I know isn't major uncomfortable. When I misted, I usually wetted all glass sides so it would slowly fall down and made sure the top was somewhat moist. When I filled its water, I usually would let it overflow some to get it wet down below, and usually, whatever was left in the bottle, I'd kinda pour in the back. I do know that it got pretty dry pretty fast no matter what, so that's why always made sure the water dish was always full for her. (Like maybe a couple of hours after all that pouring/misting, it would feel very dry.) Dehydration could definitely be a possibility, and I might have not countered it enough. Every time I tried searching for the reason why it would sit in its bowl, I would get something completely different on Google (and only bathing would come up on here.) It was very frustrating, but at least I know now. Thanks for your feedback.

I'll attach a picture anyway. Just know that the fiber isn't usually that compact, I was just digging around to check for fungus/mold as a possibility and took some fiber out/compressed it while digging around. It's usually up to the black bar at least. I think if I redo the tank again, I'm gonna take out whatever that moss stuff the lady before me put in it. I still have the scorpion as well if you want to see her.
 

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Joey Spijkers

Arachnoknight
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You’re better off covering part of the screen if you decide to use an exo terra or other screen top cage. This way it doesn’t dry out as fast.

Asian forest scorps are usually wild caught. So especially if you bought it as an adult or close to adult, you can assume it was WC. That means you don’t know how long they’re going to last and often perish earlier than expected. I think that’s the most likely reason.

I’m not ruling out humidity related issues, but they’re pretty hardy, so even if it’s far from ideal, I wouldn’t expect an adult (that doesn’t have to molt anymore) to die as a result of this if the water dish is full.

So for your next attempt, you’re better off getting a captive bred specimen, partly cover the screen, and maybe a lower enclosure would help keep the humidity more stable.
 

bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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Oct 15, 2019
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Thank you for the info! The previous owners both said that they got them from a random expo so I'm sure they were probably WC. I didn't realize they usually are and I will definitely try to find a breeder for my next one. I will also revamp my cage for the next critter, and maybe put a lower humidity fella in there. Thank you for your advice!
 

Dry Desert

Arachnoangel
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Thank you for the info! The previous owners both said that they got them from a random expo so I'm sure they were probably WC. I didn't realize they usually are and I will definitely try to find a breeder for my next one. I will also revamp my cage for the next critter, and maybe put a lower humidity fella in there. Thank you for your advice!
I read your post yesterday and thought where do I start. Firstly I am not as kind as others on the forum. Do not keep different species in the same enclosure,there are several reasons for this, basically a no no. Secondly 75 is way too low for both these species. Constant mid 80,s is required, they don't need a night time temp. drop like desert species. Thirdly the fact that both scorpions were in the water dish is because they were trying to obtain moisture from somewhere as there was none in the substrate, nothing to do with old age. Also the fact that your roaches were eating the cardboard shows that they had very little , if any food. Always best to give feeders plenty of good food to gut load them prior to feeding. As already has been said, spraying enclosures that require hot humid conditions won't work, you need to dump water in so that the substrate is wet when you squeeze a handful, but NO water comes out, just nice and damp. As said previously 75 is too cold, and the scorpions won't eat. Don't forget they are both tropical species from very hot humid environments and need constant high temperatures.
 

Joey Spijkers

Arachnoknight
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I was pretty tired when I wrote my first reply, so I’m noticing now I read over some stuff.

I thought you meant after the emperor died, you got the Asian forest scorpion, but now that I read it again, I think they were in there simultaneously. Cohabitation is already controversial within the same species (although I think it can be done with certain sp.), let alone different species together, this is a universal no.

I also read over the laying in the water dish part, which is indeed a sign of dehydration. So I think the chances of that being the cause are higher now.

Sorry for my first reply, which wasn’t fully accurate. Now reading it more carefully, I agree with @Dry Desert
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnoangel
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I assumed the scorpions were in the enclosure successively, not simultaneously. If they were in fact in there simultaneously I agree that’s a terrible idea, though it doesn’t seem to have been the biggest factor in these deaths.

I have to disagree that 75F is dangerously cold though - they will eat and do fine at this temperature, though they will prefer closer to 80F and be more active at that higher range.
 

Dry Desert

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I assumed the scorpions were in the enclosure successively, not simultaneously. If they were in fact in there simultaneously I agree that’s a terrible idea, though it doesn’t seem to have been the biggest factor in these deaths.

I have to disagree that 75F is dangerously cold though - they will eat and do fine at this temperature, though they will prefer closer to 80F and be more active at that higher range.
75 F in your funny Fahrenheit scale is 23.8C on a proper scale - right at the bottom end of the ideal temp. range for this type of scorpion. If you recommend 75F to someone and they are kept at 75 it will do them no good long term. Also I didn't say it's dangerously cold I just stated it's too cold.If you are going to comment on my threads make sure you at least read them properly.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnoangel
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75 F in your funny Fahrenheit scale is 23.8C on a proper scale - right at the bottom end of the ideal temp. range for this type of scorpion. If you recommend 75F to someone and they are kept at 75 it will do them no good long term. Also I didn't say it's dangerously cold I just stated it's too cold.If you are going to comment on my threads make sure you at least read them properly.
You’re the one that used Fahrenheit - I was just using the stupid American scale in the post I quoted.
Anyway, since I’m interested in diagnosing the actual problem and not in bickering over details of what constitutes an ideal habitat, I don’t think the temperature was the core problem here. It seems pretty likely that dehydration was the major driver of premature death in these animals, and a higher temperature wouldn’t have helped that.
 

Dry Desert

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You’re the one that used Fahrenheit - I was just using the stupid American scale in the post I quoted.
Anyway, since I’m interested in diagnosing the actual problem and not in bickering over details of what constitutes an ideal habitat, I don’t think the temperature was the core problem here. It seems pretty likely that dehydration was the major driver of premature death in these animals, and a higher temperature wouldn’t have helped that.
The OP was the one using F scale - once again not reading anything correctly - General bad husbandry was the cause of the deaths, not any one single factor.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

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The OP was the one using F scale - once again not reading anything correctly - General bad husbandry was the cause of the deaths, not any one single factor.
So when you use the scale the OP used it’s cool, but when I do it it’s grounds for an insult?
Edited to add: All I’m saying is that 75F isn’t going to kill a Pandinus or a Heterometrus. A dry enclosure will. I assume we can agree on that at least.
 
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bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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Oct 15, 2019
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Guys, I'm not stupid enough to put two species in the same tank lol. I moved over the Forest after the Emperor died. As for the 75, that was on days it was really cold outside and the heat pad got it to around 75 and I didn't wanna also add a heatlamp. Where I live, this happens on random days but not all the time. I really don't think it was a problem.
 
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bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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I didn't mention this, but the guy I got the Forest from kept her in like a clay plant pot? So she was a bit roughed up before I got her, but she seemed fine after a couple of weeks and I had her for a while after that. And about the roaches, it was mostly the babies/juveniles eating the cardboard, not the adults which I use to feed. I have literally hundreds so I tried to pick them out and feed them separately a bit before giving them to the critters. I still asked because it was possible they took a big bite of the carton before I yanked them out.
 

Dry Desert

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I didn't mention this, but the guy I got the Forest from kept her in like a clay plant pot? So she was a bit roughed up before I got her, but she seemed fine after a couple of weeks and I had her for a while after that. And about the roaches, it was mostly the babies/juveniles eating the cardboard, not the adults which I use to feed. I have literally hundreds so I tried to pick them out and feed them separately a bit before giving them to the critters. I still asked because it was possible they took a big bite of the carton before I yanked them out.
Initially you told us both scorpions lived in the same tank, so we assumed they were together. Then you tell us the Asian died just like the Emperor, then in another posting you tell us" you still have the scorpion if we want to see it ?' This is all going around in circles. So I wish you well with your next venture.
 

bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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Um well, they both did live in the same tank so I was telling you details. And I still have the dead scorpion... death is literally in the title... and I said the Emperor died a year prior... I didn't realize I needed to make a bullet point. For someone who is harassing others for not reading the posts, I don't think you read anything...
 
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MrGhostMantis

Arachnodemon
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Um well, they both did live in the same tank so I was telling you details. And I still have the dead scorpion... death is literally in the title... and I said the Emperor died a year prior... I didn't realize I needed to make a bullet point. For someone who is harassing others for not reading the posts, I don't think you read anything...
No point in lashing out at them. You weren’t clear in the original post and you’re denying your scorpion dying to your husbandry fault. That setup wasn’t ideal at all. These people are being raw and straight to the point so the same thing doesn’t happen to another scorpion, it’s best you listen.
 

bugloversami

Arachnopeon
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No point in lashing out at them. You weren’t clear in the original post and you’re denying your scorpion dying to your husbandry fault. That setup wasn’t ideal at all. These people are being raw and straight to the point so the same thing doesn’t happen to another scorpion, it’s best you listen.
I actually never denied anything. I was very thankful for the feedback and still am lol. No lashing out either, if that guy is going to harass people in the replies, then I think I can point out how dumb he is being. (Then again I'm used to it.)
Everyone else was very helpful though and I already started making changes to my setup and took a ton of notes. In the end, I'm glad I decided to post on here.
 

Outpost31Survivor

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They will thrive at 75F-85F, but 80F-85F is truly optimal.

If you had issues of the substrate drying out. There are three solutions to this:

1. Restrict the ventilation 65%-75%.

2. Keep a moist substrate at 4"-6" depth. Not only does this slow the process of drying substrate but it also naturally increases the humidity level in enclosure.

3. Misting is a waste of time it will provide a sharp humidity spike then immediately evaporate. Pour water directly into the substrate. You want moist not saturated. You don't want to be able to squeeze water out of the substrate but that it will stay clumped together.

Add moss and always keep the waterdish full.

The scorpions may have been old who knows. But the best solutions to give an Emp or AFS a long, happy life is proper temps and a deep moist substrate it can burrow into. But follow all care requirements but these are the two biggies.
 

Outpost31Survivor

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I repeat the two biggest life preservors at any time of the life cycles of an Emps and AFS is a deep moist substrate (4"-6") and the temps.

But always provide a appropriately sized waterdish, moss, and 65%-75% ventilation restriction may be neccessary.
 
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