Looking into Heterometrus spp.

ChrisTy

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I have been really interested in branching out from collecting tarantulas and venturing into scorpions. I have been trying to research and research and the Heterometrus spp has really caught my attention. Heterometrus madraspatensis has caught my attention the most out of this genus. I haven't found a ton of info while trying to research. From what I understand Heterometrus spp require moist substrate, enough to burrow, a hide and a water dish, and basically the same temps that I keep my house (70-75F). Is the H. madraspatensis an obligate burrower? How is the temperament? What is an average size? How is the feeding response? have you kept others in this genus that you prefer more? I am very new to scorpions and want to make sure if I do it, then I do it right. Any advice is helpful.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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From what I know, most of the Heterometrus genus have he same care. They do burrow, so enough sub to make a burrow is a good thing to have. Most also need moist sub, just like many T's. You have the basic care down. I have never owned one, but they seem easy so long as you keep the enclosure with moist sub and a full dish. From what I have heard, they can be very defensive. They can be handled and can be easy to work with, but some just like to put up their claws and strike at anything. Their temperment seems to vary alot from what I've seen. As for size, most get pretty big. Never heard of H. madraspatensis, but I know species like H. swammerdami and spinifer are great. They are some of the "girthiest" scorps in the world, some getting to huge 8-10" body span. You would have a lot easier time fonding H. spinifer for sale. They are dirt cheap and widely avalible, and they are very similar. Jet black and huge bodied :D For feeding response, I have little info. They seem like big eaters and I know emps can overeat and have health complication, but not sure if that translates.

This is all I know pretty much. Hope it helps! :D
 

ChrisTy

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Thank you for your help. When working with scorps I would imagine it is similar to Ts? Like the catch cup method for transferring and keeping hands at a safe distance? I'm going to have to look into the spinifer now! :)
 

RTTB

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They can be feisty. Add long padded tweezers to your tools to use.
 

ChrisTy

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Lol! Thank you. I do already have the tongs in hand from my T care. I have a couple species of tarantulas that remind me to respect their personal bubbles. I don't mind feisty just not looking for crazy.
 

ChrisTy

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Now that I am thinking about it I will ask on this thread as opposed to starting a new one. I have a smaller display enclosure that I am not using that would work well for a smaller species scorpion too. Any good species to recommend that stay smaller like maybe 4-5"
 

RTTB

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You might like taking a look at Hoffmannius spinigerus. Small feisty tough and communal.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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C. gracilis are fantastic small-er scorps! They stay about 3-4", but they can be kept communally. I keep my adult pair together and they do well. My female is very active and they have a variety of patterns and colors to boot! Almost anything in the genus Centroides stays relatively small and can be kept communally as adults. T. stigmurus is great too, but they are a lot more toxic than most.
 

ChrisTy

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I think those are what I used to find when growing up in Arizona. Cute little things. What substrate is best for the H spinigerus? I am starting to think my house is going to be packed with scorpions, tarantulas and frogs if I keep these habits up! Its so addicting and fascinating!
 

WeightedAbyss75

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I think those are what I used to find when growing up in Arizona. Cute little things. What substrate is best for the H spinigerus? I am starting to think my house is going to be packed with scorpions, tarantulas and frogs if I keep these habits up! Its so addicting and fascinating!
Just coco fiber works. I also like organic pea moss/potting soil from places like Home Depot. Keeps moisture, especially if you add vermiculite with it too. Btw, those scorps in Arizona were probably C. sculpuratus. Same genus and very similar :D
 

ChrisTy

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C. gracilis are fantastic small-er scorps! They stay about 3-4", but they can be kept communally. I keep my adult pair together and they do well. My female is very active and they have a variety of patterns and colors to boot! Almost anything in the genus Centroides stays relatively small and can be kept communally as adults. T. stigmurus is great too, but they are a lot more toxic than most.
C gracilis sound great too. I'll probably keep my distance from more toxic species like T stigmurus for now until I get a better idea of my husbandry skills. what is the toxicity on the C gracilis?
 

ChrisTy

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Just coco fiber works. I also like organic pea moss/potting soil from places like Home Depot. Keeps moisture, especially if you add vermiculite with it too. Btw, those scorps in Arizona were probably C. sculpuratus. Same genus and very similar :D
Ahh Thank you for the correction and the info! I'm like a kid waiting to go to the candy store now!
 

WeightedAbyss75

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C gracilis sound great too. I'll probably keep my distance from more toxic species like T stigmurus for now until I get a better idea of my husbandry skills. what is the toxicity on the C gracilis?
Not very. On a scale of 5, probably 2-3. Would hurt quite a bit, but would never really be dangerous. If you can get stung but Arizona bark scorps, C. gracilis are less toxic than that :)
 

RTTB

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Be sure to have vertical bark for Centruroides along with some nooks and crannies.
 

ChrisTy

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I like putting fake plants in with my T enclosures to add a little color even though most of them don't use the plants. How are scorpions with fake plants? Mostly the species named in this thread.
 

ChrisTy

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Not very. On a scale of 5, probably 2-3. Would hurt quite a bit, but would never really be dangerous. If you can get stung but Arizona bark scorps, C. gracilis are less toxic than that :)
Not that I plan on being stung, but better to be prepared than not. I can take a sting, just not really wanting to risk one that will put me in the hospital. One of the reasons I haven't gotten into OW Ts and I don't have a clue about the toxicity of any scorpion.
 

RTTB

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I keep my enclosures somewhat spartan so I don't really have input on fake plants. A neat lil fairly low tox communal scorpion is Centruroides hentzi. You can keep quite a few in a semi humid semi tropical environment. Look them up.
 

ArachnoDrew

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I use a Large critter keeper for my asian forest. Hese about 4". wood hide. Fake plants and a water dish. Heat pad on one side (optional, my rooms drops below 70 at night) and enough substrate for a burrow... he likes to dig up the plants and trash his enclosure from time to time. These guys seem pretty messy
 

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Galapoheros

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I use 10" tongs with 4-5" of heat-shrink tubing on each end, works great for scorpions and I even use it for centipedes often. It's the tool I use most in "the roooom".
 

Collin Clary

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Alright, several things...

Heterometrus is a great genus to start with. All of the species are burrowers, however some semi-arboreal behavior has been observed in H. longimanus. Care for all Heterometrus species is pretty much the same: 4-6 inches of moist substrate suitable for burrowing, a large water dish, and a few pieces of bark to hide under. Most species are communal, though some more than others. Temperaments vary from species to species, as well as between individuals. Some are quite docile, while others are very defensive. They usually have a good feeding response, however they sometimes will fast for a few months at a time. At night they will often come out of their burrows and wander their enclosures.

Regarding H. madraspatensis, this species is fairly uncommon in the US. It is one of the smaller Heterometrus species, and usually doesn't get much larger than four inches in length. (Keep in mind that scorpions are measured from the anterior margin of the carapace to the tip of the telson, and that the pedipalps are not included in the measurement.)

As for H. spinifer...

The truth is that almost nobody has real H. spinifer. 99% of scorpions sold as H. spinifer are actually either H. petersii or H. laoticus. Simply because a breeder claims that he's breeding and selling a particular species, doesn't make mean that the specimens are correctly identified. ;)

H. petersii and H. laoticus have dark telsons, rounder chela, and dorsal keels on the 5th metasomal segment that consist of relatively minute granules, while H. spinifer usually have telsons that are lighter than their metasomas (usually red in adults), narrower chela, and dorsal keels on the 5th metasomal segment that consist of relatively large, pointed granules. H. petersii and H. laoticus can be distinguished from each other in that H. petersii has granulation on the carapace and tergites while H. laoticus is totally devoid of any granulation, and H. petersii shows sexual dimorphism in that males have an enlarged tooth on the movable finger of the chela.

Moving on from Heterometrus, if you want a smaller species, I agree that Centruroides gracilis is a good species to keep. These are arboreal, and thus should have pieces of vertically oriented bark in their enclosure. Keep the substrate semi-moist, with a small water dish in the corner. C. gracilis is quite a quick species, and is a master escape artist, so make sure that you have a secure lid. Plastic "kritter keepers," for example, are totally unsuitable for anything but adult specimens. Juveniles will easily squeeze through the ventilation slots in the lid.

As for "Hoffmannius spinigerus"...

First off, Hoffmannius is no longer a valid genus. The species is now called Paravaejovis spinigerus. This is a rather small species, that usually constructs burrows, or scrapes under rocks and other surface objects. A mix of excavator clay, coco fiber, and sand works well for this species. Do not make the substrate excessively sandy.
 
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