Strange Acting

najig21

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Messages
43
Hi. I have an emperor scorpion that has had a pretty good life. Then I went to Costa Rica for 9 days, and when I came back, he was acting very strange. Everytime he stops moving, he extends his tail all the way behind him. Usually when I open the cage, he goes runing somewhere or gets defensive. He doesn't do either of this anymore. And speaking of defensive, he has not opened his pincers AT ALL. I fed him a cricket, and he just cornered it and scooped it into his mouth, no pincers opened. And lastly, he's a waterholic, everytime I put in there, it's gone within an hour. And this time I put water in, and he went to the water dish, got in like usual, and then moved completely to the side. Took two sips and walked away. Can someone tell me what's going on here? Thanks, guys.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Aug 15, 2002
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4,342
A couple questions for you.

- How old is your scorpion? Has it undergone its last moult?

- You say there is not always water available?

- How long have you had him?

- What is your setup like? Substrate? Heat? Humidity?

Cheers,
Dave
 

danread

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Dec 5, 2002
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You say that the water is usually gone within an hour. To me it sounds like you're not putting enough water in the tank. Emperor scorpions should have a relitively high humidity as they tend to live near riverbanks in the wild. I'd keep a continual supply of water in the tank, and put in a large enough supply that it will last for some time, i.e put the water in a larger container (I use a lid off a peanut butter jar or one of those plasic things you put under flower pots).
 

najig21

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Messages
43
Answers

To Dave:
- How old is your scorpion? Has it undergone its last moult?
I am not entirely sure. I bought him from a pet store that doesn't keep track of that kind of thing. I can say that it is an adult. 4 inches long.
- You say there is not always water available?
Yes. This is true. I will put water in the dish in the morning, then go to school and when I come back it's gone. I know about the hour time frame because I've seen it gone within an hour on the weekends.
- How long have you had him?
I have had him for about 5 or 6 months.
- What is your setup like? Substrate? Heat? Humidity?
He is in a 5 gallon glass aquarium (however it is very short (5 inches) and very long (12 inches) and the width (6 or 7 inches, I can't tell)), with 2 inches of potting soil as substrate. There is a spot to hide (half log) and a plastic plant the water usually stays on when I mist the cage. The water dish is relatively small. My room is always at about 70 F, but the cage is probably 75-80. As for humidity, I never understood this concept, but I do mist the cage about every other day.

To Danread:
Thanks for the suggestion about the bigger water dish. I will admit that the water dish is pretty small.

Thanks both for the suggestions about the water and stuff. But about the fact that it won't open it's pincers, even to eat, still seems pretty strange to me. Does anyone know anything about this?
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Aug 15, 2002
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4,342
My guess is dehydration. It would explain the lethargy as well as not being able to open the pincers (you can think of the pincers as being held closed by a strong elastic band -- it requires effort to open them, not close them).

Emps should always have water available to them. A shallow, broad water dish is best. Danread suggests the little trays for under plant pots, which is what I use for some of my scorpions.

It also sounds like your humidity is way off. Emperors need high humidity. Misting alone does nothing for humidity, as the water evaporates quickly and that is that. What do you have covering your tank? One way to raise humidity is to cover up most of the lid with something solid that the water can't get through. Then, if you mist a couple times a day it should probably keep the humidity up. The large shallow water dish also helps.

Cheers,
Dave
 

jwb121377

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
907
One thing I do for my emps is to always keep the substrate wet. I have four (one I just bought gravid) and dave is right they HATE it to be dry. I found that if its to dry they would sit in the water dish all day long. Keeping the substrate wet makes them happy and I don't need to mist that way.
 

najig21

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Messages
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More

Dave, I have a wire mesh top on the cage, so it's very airy and open. Are you suggesting like a square piece of glass or something to cover half of the lid? And that thing about the pincers makes sense. Thanks. And jwb, I didn't forget you, thanks.
 

skinheaddave

SkorpionSkin
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Even some saran wrap or something like that.

Cheers,
Dave
 

danread

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
1,717
My guess is that the problem is down to the wire mesh top, you definitley need something a lot less porous to keep the humidity in. As with most arachnids, it's a balance between alowing some ventilation to prevent mould and bacteria growing on the substrate, but keeping enough air in to allow the humidity to build up. As a general rule (this isn't very scientific) cover up 50% of the lid to get a 50 % humidity, 70 % of the lid to get 70 % humidity and so on. Emperor scorpions need a humidity somewhere in the range of 70 to 80 %, so cover up 70 or 80 % of the lid. This can be done with a sheet of glass, or even easier, just stick some duct tape or sellotape onto the mesh, preventing airflow. Hope this helps.
 
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