- Sep 1, 2016
Thank you for this great information! I think I have a great starting point for a new found obsession. You guys have been fantastic. Thanks again to everyone for the input.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.