Lost my little emperor today =(

Bjorgly

Arachnodemon
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Aug 7, 2002
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Hi all,

I came home from work today and was very dissapointed to find my little 2" emperor dead. I saw his clear shed skin in his burrow, so he must of just molted, and then his body (no larger than before the molt and completely black still) was out on the substrate where he never usually goes and it looked totally limp and perhaps dried out. I lightly misted the cage making sure a bit of water hit the scorpion to see if it was alive and no movement what so ever - I am certain it is dead. It had 2 water dishes and I generously misted the cage daily wetting the substrate in and around it's burrow because I know they are a rainforest species. It appeared dried out and sort of flat so perhaps I did not mist quite enough. I guess I will just have to learn from this experience...it does not appear to be any kind of molt complication so I guess I kept it to dry? I dunno. I could get a pic of it by tomorrow if anyone want's to see and help determine cause of death perhaps.

EDIT: It was always fed well and it was nice and plump with it's scales seperated on it's back. Because it was fed well I would assume it got lots of moisture from it's food.

Mark
 
Last edited:

XOskeletonRED

Arachnodemon
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Jan 6, 2003
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Well, from your description, the humidity being too low is exactly what it sounds like, BUT, if the humidity was indeed too low, I would have thought the scorpion would've never made it completely out of the old exoskeleton. It sounds like the humidity was great up until the scorp shed it's exo, then it sounds like the humidity dropped rather rapidly, killing the scorp. Definitely need more ideas on this one. Never had anything even close to this happen before.


adios,
edw. :?
 

Baphomet

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Feb 22, 2003
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Sorry to hear about your little guy Bjorgly.

Unfortunately, it does sound as if it was desiccated (dehydrated), although I too am surprised that it shed its exoskeleton if the humidity levels were at their proper levels.

Did you experience a higher-than-normal warming period that may have drastically lowered the humidity and raised the heat levels in the tank?

Central heat and wood-burning stoves are notorious for this type of occurrence.

As you stated....a good learning experience.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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My question is how deep was the substrate? I've found that if the substrate is slightly moist and deep enough that the scorp can dig a burrow and seal itself in that there's almost never any problems with emperors molting. I'm guessing there was enough moisture to complete the molt, but not enough to keep the scorp from drying out afterwards before the exoskeleton could harden.

Also, misting is definately the slowest and most ineffective method for moistening the substrate, it's going to be impossible to keep moisture unless you're doing like twice a day. I simply pour water onto the substrate. I let the surface get kind of dry before I re-moisten, but as long as there's sufficent substrate depth the lower levels will still be moist.

Wade
 

Bjorgly

Arachnodemon
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Aug 7, 2002
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729
Wade,

The scorp was 2 inches and the substrate was 4 inches. It molted just fine but it died sometime after probably due to the humidity dropping before i was home for the daily misting. It did however walk past 2 water dishes to get to where it died so it had ample opportunity to drink.

Mark
 

Wade

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Mark-

I think sometimes the standard advice we get for tarantulas doesn't always transfer 100% to scorpions. It's true that the vast majority of tarantula species can molt just fine in a dry cage as long as they have access to water, but I'm not sure that's the case with scorpions. I suspect that the amazing water-retention abilities scorpions possess is temporarily lost immediately following a molt and they are very very vunerable to dessication, espesially humid tropical burrowers like emperors. The opprotunity to drink may not be have been enough compensation.

In my (admittedly limted) experience, emperor babies fare much better kept in a very moist enviroment. I wouldn't say wet, but it is more moist than I use for any tarantulas I keep. Since I started keeping the substrate moist, I've successfully raised more than a dozen from birth to breeding adults with no molting casualties. Before, I was lucky to get 30% to adulthood.

Annother advantage of keeping the substrate moist is that you have a built-in back up plan. If I'm unable to pay attention to my emperors for a week or more, I needn't worry because I know they have ample substrate moisture. Even if the top dries out, they're able to burrow down to the level they're comfortable with.

Wade
 

Godzilla2000

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Mar 14, 2003
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Originally posted by Bjorgly
Hi all,

I came home from work today and was very dissapointed to find my little 2" emperor dead. I saw his clear shed skin in his burrow, so he must of just molted, and then his body (no larger than before the molt and completely black still) was out on the substrate where he never usually goes and it looked totally limp and perhaps dried out. I lightly misted the cage making sure a bit of water hit the scorpion to see if it was alive and no movement what so ever - I am certain it is dead. It had 2 water dishes and I generously misted the cage daily wetting the substrate in and around it's burrow because I know they are a rainforest species. It appeared dried out and sort of flat so perhaps I did not mist quite enough. I guess I will just have to learn from this experience...it does not appear to be any kind of molt complication so I guess I kept it to dry? I dunno. I could get a pic of it by tomorrow if anyone want's to see and help determine cause of death perhaps.

EDIT: It was always fed well and it was nice and plump with it's scales seperated on it's back. Because it was fed well I would assume it got lots of moisture from it's food.

Mark
Awe! :( I kind of know how you feel about losing your Emperor Scorpion. Mine died of old age and I was so sad when she died. I haven't ruled out buying another Scorpion in the near future, but I think it best I stick to adult Scorpions rather than babies.
 

XOskeletonRED

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Jan 6, 2003
Messages
707
Definitely sux. Just keep a close eye on the tank's humidity levels and temp during the approx hours you were gone and the scorp died (if you were at work, do this on a day off and try to recreate the exact situation as you know it was [thermostat in the house, mist the tank the same while substrate is about the same moisture level, etc.), minus the scorp. If you notice no temp rises or humidity drops, you should be safe to reuse the area for another scorp. Just keep in mind, it is a risk. What type of heating do you use on the tank/ container? Is there a solid top on it that can hold in humidity?

adios,
edw. :?
 

Kugellager

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Jul 24, 2002
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I believe Wades theory is probably very close to reality.

John
];')
 

Bjorgly

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729
I think if i get another scorpion it will be much closer to adulthood. There was a screen top on the cage which i kept a moist towel on.

Mark
 

Kugellager

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Try covering most of the top with plexiglas...if fits nicely on the groove in the lip of the top edge or use plastic wrap. Both of these methods really help retaine the humidity.

John
];')
 
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