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TOPIC: Species Accounts

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by skinheaddave, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    This is a TOPIC post. As such, it is for the posting of serious information only. Any questions, comments or "me too"s will be deleted. If someone posts some information about which you have a question, please PM them or start a new thread. If you post information and it comes to your attention that the information is lacking or wrong, please edit your post to keep it up-to-date and relevent.

    This thread is for posting detailed accounts of species which you have kept in captivity. The idea is to post your own experiences -- what has worked and what hasn't -- rather than copying care sheets from the internet.

  2. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Paruoctonus gracilior


    Since there seems to be some demand, I will provide the following information based on my observations of P.gracilior on the field and in captivity, along with information I've scammed off various people (Kugellager, Troll) etc.

    In the wild they are found in flat, dry areas. While they are occasionaly found in the open at night, they are much more commonly found around the bases of the various small bushes that can be found in these environments. There seems to be a rough correspondence between the size of the bush and the size of the P.gracilior, but this has not been scientifically verified. It should be noted that there seems to be a significant spacing between specimens and you will not find them clumped together.

    In captivity, I keep mine in small containers (1-2 cups or so) with a mixture of peat/sand (50/50 or so) and some dried sphagnum moss on top for them to hide in. I spray one side of the container lightly when I feed them every 1-2 weeks. I do not house them communaly, as several people have suggested that they do not do well communally. The spacing in the field would also tend to suggest this. I feed them crickets. An account of their prey capture behaviour can be seen here.

    Their venom is not medically significant, though as Troll's sting report suggests, they are capable of producing some pain. I have found them quite docile at room temperature. They tend to hunker down and cling to the substrate with their chela over their chelicera moreso than either taking a defensive stance or fleeing. Once heated up to the mid 90s, however, they are quite a bit more active and prone to fleeing as well as lashing out with their metasoma. I have yet to see one take a classic defensive pose, though.
  3. Wolvie56X

    Wolvie56X Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Androctonus Australis

    Androctonus australis

    I'm currently housing 4 A. Australis, all females, in a 5 gallon 'short' tank, it's basically a 10 gallon tank cut in half the long way, with glass tops, each has a 50/50 mixture of 'reptile sand'(crushed walnuts) and 'eco dirt'(the dirt brick stuff), about 3"-4" mixture, pact down really tight for burrowing, then each has their water dish and half log house.

    Everything in my closet is heated against the back wall with a 3' by 18" heating tape strip(2 one for top row one for bottom), temperature stays around 80 constant, with spikes with the weather accordingly. I have yet to see any of them actually burrow, but one has made a scrape out under its water dish.

    I feed mine about once a week, a large cricket for each, since all 4 are gravid or had just had babies, they are not eating as of yet.

    From my own observations, they are a fairly skiddish scorpion, quick into the defensive posture and will run around their tank when disturbed, usually until they find their resting spot under their half log house. Don't spend too much time out from under it, unless they are looking for food or moving closer to their heat source. The 4 I own range from 1.5" to just over 3" in size, all female, seem defensive and quick to sting, always sting their prey and then proceed to hide under their log house and finish munching. I have one that has made a scrape under its water dish and it drags the cricket under the water dish, stings it with its Telson side ways and finishes its meal. Active at night, like the majority of scorpions, but will eat when food comes its direction at anytime of the day.

    With all 4 either gravid or just popped, they havn't eaten anything since March 2004, only one gave birth thus far, but may just be a big storm away from sending the rest into labor. I have no information on male behavior, other than personal observations at the pet shop I received mine at.

    Males seemed highly aggitated when startled, they would run around the enclosure, in and around objects and just seemed more like it wanted out of the light than away from the intruder. With 20 or so babies and 3 more gravid ones, I'm hoping to have a male soon so I can enjoy that experience.

    They have, what most reports say, one of the most potent venoms around within the scorpion world, as well as delivering a large amount, makes them the scorpion responsible for the most deaths in the world-- mostly children, the elderly or other individuals in poor health. Even among the populations commonly stung by this species, death is far from certain. The long and short of it is, a healthy adult is almost certainly going to survive and even a child or elderly person has a good shot.

    5/5 on a scale of 5, very very aggressive, fast and sting repeatedly. I never put my hand into their enclosures and it is not recomended AT ALL. With no known Anti-venom in the United States, this species is NOT for the novice.

    Some pics here:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2004
  4. G. Carnell

    G. Carnell Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Euscorpius Species

    Euscorpius sp.

    i have kept both Euscorpius flavicaudis and Euscorpius tergestinus corsicanus, i caught the E.flavicaudis in hilly areas in the north of Corsica near Bastia, and the E.tergestinus on the pathway up the mountain of Cagna.

    the E.flavicaudis were all found under slate (between sheets of slate) whereas the E.tergestinus were found under boulders and leaf litter, sometimes under the same rock as an ant/termite nest or other animals.
    E.flavicaudis is black/purple with yellow legs and a yellow telson, compared to E.tergestinus corsicanus which is light brown with fairly lighter legs.

    They can be kept at room temperature 20-25 degrees C and are quite aggressive, even taking on prey larger than themselves, which is especially funny to watch them using their minute mesosoma to sting prey (seems effective though)

    the sting is slightly less painful than that of a wasp and lasts 1/2 the time, this goes for both species.
    You can keep them well in a sand/peat/ecobar substrate, they do NOT burrow and do very well in wet and dry enclosures (i even had a juvenile moult perfectly when there was "no moisture"[-dry substrate] in the box)

    they can be fed crickets and pill bugs and anything including spiders and centipedes, that you find in your garden, feed them according to fatness, and give a little more to gravid females

    E.flavicaudis size goes to 4.5cm max
    E.tergestinus size goes to 3.5-4cm max

    1:Gravid female E.tergestinus corsicanus
    2:Gravid E.tergestinus female
    3: Juvenile E.flavicaudis (5-6th inst)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  5. skinheaddave

    skinheaddave SkorpionSkin Arachnosupporter

    Centruroides margaritatus


    These large Centruroides mirror C.gracilis in their size, care requirements and general habits, though they are not as widely available since they don't have a population in the U.S.A. I keep mine in various sized containers to correspond to their sizes. In general, I alot approximately 1 gallon per individually housed mature specimen. They are not as communal as C.gracilis and will tend to space themselves evenly instead of clumping together in the large "huddles" so familar to keepers of C.gracilis. Thus, I would not push the population densities in communal enclosures -- alotting 2 or 3 gallons per mature individual. C.margaritatus are definitely climbers and I always provide them with somewhere to climb and hide. I accomplish this in one of two ways, depending on the resources I have on hand, the size of the individual and their location in my house. The first way is what I deem the "sterile" method. I provide a thin layer of dry peat, a small deli cup of water with a piece of fake vine in it to allow crickets and scorpions alike to escape from the dish and one or more pieces of the cheap, relatively cohesive florist foam you can buy at the dollar stores around here. I avoid the proper florists foam, since it is prone to compressing and flaking when manipulated. The other method is to create a humid enclosure using an undergravel humidification layer but providing plenty of climbing oportunities instead of the burrowing oportunities you would provide for a Pandinus or Heterometrus. Such a setup can be made to appear relatively naturalistic if this is desired by using bark, branches, rocks or even live plants. Beyond that, care is relatively simple. I feed them every few days when they are 2nd-3rd instar and then progressively less often until I am feeding them every 1-2 weeks along with my other mature scorpions.

    This species has relatively mild venom for Centruroides but is still not to be taken lightly. Given this, as well as the ability of C.margaritatus to blend into its surrounding, move very quickly and climb well, it is not the best species for someone who has no experience with fast-moving arachnids. I find that they tend to try hiding when first approached but will quickly take flight if they feel they are in danger. Although they will assume a defensive stance if cornered, it is hard to convince this species that it has been cornered, as it will frantically try to climb pretty much any surface whether it can or not.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2004
  6. carpe scorpio

    carpe scorpio Arachnoking Old Timer

    Centruroides gracilis

    Centruroides gracilis

    This species can be found in the U.S. from Florida to Texas, and populations also exist in Central and South America. It has been introduced to regions of Africa as well as Mexico. The sting of North American individuals usually produces intense pain and transitory redness with minor swelling. These effects normally subside within several hours. Cuban specimens are reported to have an LD50 of 2.7mg/kg. They can be found under loose flaps of tree bark, as well as in woodpiles, fallen trees, garbage bin areas, or under any flat objects lying on the ground. C. gracilis can attain an adult length of 3 1/2-4 inches. The Florida specimens have a very dark body, almost blackish in color, with a reddish tint to the legs. Those found in other parts of the world may be uniformly dark or have very light coloration of the legs. In captivity they are very communal and may be kept in large numbers together, provided that there are lots of vertical hides and plenty of food. There is a tendancy for them to cling to horizontal surfaces of vertically arranged cork-bark. The substrate may be of peatmoss or potting soil and should be damp, but not wet. Adults will do well eating a full grown cricket once a week and I always provide them with a water dish. It is important to place stones or gravel in the dish to prevent drownings. Lighting is unnecessary as these scorpions prefer dimmer conditions. Heating may be provided with a heat pad adhered to the side of the tank. They do very well at temperatures of 75F-90F and at a humidity level of 80% and above. Special consideration must be given to the lid-design to prevent escape. Keeping vertical objects at least 5 inches below the top of the enclosure is advised. They are avid climbers and talented escape artists. This species is very fast but will ordinarily flee unless trapped and seems less likely to sting compared to other species. It can be difficult to determine if females are gravid as they can maintain a "well-fed" look most of the time. Clutch size may be between 40-50. The specimens that gave birth in my care had closer to 50 each, and very hot or stormy weather appeared to trigger the births. Adult life span seems to be 3-5 years in captivity. A weekly misting may be performed in addition to the damp substrate, they will drink droplets of water from the glass and perform intense cleaning following this. C. gracilis is very sensitive to vibrations and will react accordingly to heavy footsteps, vacuum cleaners, earthquakes etc. They will feed while on the substrate occasionally, but prefer to hang vertically after catching prey and dangle the food item below them. This process may take a few hours. They are known as "Florida bark scorpions" or "slenderbrown scorpions" in the pet-trade. These are great scorpions to keep after someone has some experience keeping other more docile species.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2004
  7. fusion121

    fusion121 Arachnoking Old Timer

    Hadrurus arizonensis

    Hadrurus arizonensis

    Hadrurus arizonensis is a member of the recently formed (Fet. 2000) Caraboctonidae family of scorpions, originally described in 1928 it is one of the largest scorpions in the world generally reaching sizes of 12-15cm. Its common name is the "Desert Hairy scorpion" due to the large number of trichobothria (sensory hairs) covering its prosomal region. It is a yellow scorpion generally with a darker brown colouration on the upper surface, the prosoma has a triangle of yellow/orange colouration, its is easily confused with H. spadix.
    It occurs naturally in central American desert areas (USA and Mexico). This is a very popular species in the hobby and is readily obtainable from dealers in the US or Europe. It is considered medically insignificant (LD50 = 0.168 g/kg), and although the sting is painful it will cause no lasting harm. Despite this the scorpion is aggressive, it will defend its self with multiple stings if it is suitable provoked and will occasionally race across the tank to attack if it detects a hand, normally however it will retreat to its burrow or hide if disturbed. This is not one of the faster scorpion species (when mature) but it is still capable of bursts of speed. I always use forceps when dealing with this species despite its innocuous nature, I'd always recommend others do likewise, this species in not for handling. This is a very long lived species with life spans up to 25 years.

    The hunting mechanism of H. arizonensis in captivity seems to vary depending on food available, I have noticed that if the scorpion is well fed it will be content to use the sit and wait approach to hunting even if this means not catching a cricket for a long time. If it is hungry it will actively hunt, and can be seen to chase crickets several times round the vivarium. H. arizonensis nearly always uses it sting in prey capture and as such is a great species to watch if you don?t want the danger of the buthids. I feed my specimens twice a week with 2/3 crickets depending on how fat they look, adults will take the largest crickets possible and will happily try to eat prey as large as they are, provided they have ample escape room. Its always good to put more crickets in then you think will be needed as they tend to hide in/on the decorations making them difficult for the scorpion to catch.

    I have never kept H. arizonensis together though apparently it has been done, it might be possible with a large enough enclosure, but this is a large species so a lot of space would be required to prevent the "there can be only one" cannibalism scenario. This species can be bred as with other scorpion species by introducing the male to the females enclosure with a suitable flat place for spermatophore deposition. Its worth noting that I've never had a successful breed as the only female I had was killed by the male. As to scorplings litters have been produced but they rarely (if ever) survive to maturity, due to issues with humidity levels in captivity, discussed later. Females of this species are, I have found, surprising hard to come by, most are wild caught and since it is mostly males who move around on the surface looking for mates, they are the predominant sex in the hobby. I have no idea as to how to treat scorplings of this species.

    This species is a relatively easy one to keep in captivity, although I have found that providing "ideal" conditions can be difficult.
    I keep my H. arizonensis species in an approximately 0.045 m^3 tank, a good height of glass is important with this species as they like to try to climb the walls, and they're also fairly strong and hence more then capable of taking off a lid if your not careful. The larger the vivarium the better for this species.

    The substrate I use is a mixture of reasonably fine sand/coconut fibers and gravel, I vary the ratios depending on the type of sand but approximately 60:35:5 seems good (on average, for a coarser sand 90:5:5 works fine) and holds well for burrowing (wetting the substrate slightly and allowing it to dry before use makes it more compact and better for burrows but the is species moves so much earth they'll break it up in no time, so it may not be worth the effort). This species is an avid burrower and will often move half the substrate from one side of the tank to the other over night, this tends to happen when they are put in a new enclosure after a while they will settle down after having dug a burrow to their satisfaction. Its also worth noting that while they sometimes dig very deep burrows they are often content merely with a scrape, I suspect it is all to do with moisture/temperature gradients. They are keen on things to burrow under, I have wood stones and some clay hides in with mine and they seem to like to burrow under these, though be careful their burrowing doesn't result in the decoration falling and harming them. Placing decoration in the middle or corners of the tank leads to better burrowing otherwise they will always dig in the corners of the vivarium leading to scrapes rather then burrows.
    As for substrate depth I would aim for as much as possible, I tend to go for 15-20cm (8 inches) if possible as it gives them plenty of room to burrow in.

    I keep my H. arizonensis at a temperature of about 30C and lower it in the winter to 26C, I've only done this over the last couple of years, they don't seem to mind not having a winter period but it more accurately mimics natural conditions so can't be bad. I use heating mats on the side of the vivarium, never below as this is a burrowing species (though a gentle heat can be used to discourage burrowing if you don't want deep substrate). I find two repti-therm heat mats are sufficient for the size of vivarium mentioned, I always use a thermostat to control the temperature it's the safest method.

    Moisture for H. arizonensis depends on how accurately you want the replicate the natural habitat. They do not require a water dish like other desert species (L.Q/ A.A etc.) Ideally H. arizonensis require a substrate moisture gradient, the absence of this gradient has little or no effect on the adults however its absence is likely responsible for the difficultly in raising scorplings of this species to maturity. The gradient is much more subtle then that used for moisture loving species such as C. margaritatus above though the mechanism used to create it is much the same. I've only done it once an couldn't be bothered to maintain it for any length of time(though if attempting breeding I'd recommend it, though some people have raised lots of scorplings in completely dry conditions) I used a under sand layer of vermiculite covered with fine chicken wire/mesh with a funnel feeding into it from above. The amount of water used must be regulated carefully; my personal preference was to make sure that only the sand directly above the mess would stick together due to moisture. Too much water will make the substrate too wet which this species really does not like, all heat sources should be well above the vermiculite layer to avoid huge increases in humidity. With this method in place the scorpion seems to find the ideal burrow depth with the moisture content it desires, I never observed any difference in behavior using this method and for keeping adult it is probably not worth the effort defintely don't do it if your not confident it will work.

    The general consensus on H. arizonensis is that it seriously dislikes humidity. I keep my H. arizonensis generally (when not experimenting, though some would say this is too large) at 40-50% humidity, if you feel the humidity is too high you can use a container of silica to dry the air in the enclosure (I steal mine from a lab, but its available over the web) though it will need to be replaced every now and again, good ventilation also helps.



    One of My setups:
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2005
  8. G. Carnell

    G. Carnell Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Heterometrus species

    Heterometrus sp.

    Heterometrus species (can also be used as rough guideline for pandinus spp)
    (I'll use Fusions setup, might be useful if everyone did this for ease of use)

    General: Heterometrus are the best scorpion to have in my opinion, they eat a lot, dig a lot (H.laoticus) and Juveniles nearly always sting prey.

    Heterometrus share the same body structure as ther cousins the Pandinus, but have generally smoother (compared to p,imperator) and “longer” more stretched out claws (less evident in some species- H.swammerdami H. wroughtoni)
    They also have ridges on the front of the claws called Carinae which are very useful for Heterometrus ID work. As well as this, they differ from pandinus because these guys get pissed off VERY quickly, especially the wild caught specimens, they just go mad at the slightest movement, and at night the enclosures are noisy with rustling and territorial disputes,
    Most Heterometrus species have a black or dark telson, and venom which is far more painful than P.imperator (I found this out the hard way)

    In my experiences with H.laoticus and H.spinifer, I find that H.laoticus NEED substrate to dig in; they will always dig, and are never content with just a scrape, compared to H.spinifer which is similar but to a lesser extent

    This genus ranges throughout the whole of Asia, from India through to southern China, passing by South East Asia, and then down into South Asia (Philippines etc.) (Basically “oriental Asia”)

    These scorpions eat anything; I feed them crickets, which they catch with ease and sometimes sting
    Very easy to breed, the hardest thing I think would be to keep the male alive, as the females get very aggressive,
    They yield batches of about 30-40 MAX and 15-25 being the normal (babies)
    They are a very communal genus between family members, apart from this many Heterometrus species are cannibalistic, so it goes from VERY SOCIABLE to KEEP SEPARATE

    Very large enclosure needed, as they are large scorpions, they will burrow and forage a lot, so lots of space means better viewing pleasure, plants are very welcome (they LOVE burying plants lol) water bowl is not essential, but still good, and at least 10-20cm substrate is a MUST HAVE
    Water bowl will leave you a cleaner and shinier scorp, as they clean themselves with the water.

    Peat, Soil, Ecobar (dehydrated coconut fibres) anything tropical goes (no sand.. IMO)(and no fancy bark chips)

    25-35 °C (77-95 F) they love heat, and often bask in the heat mats rays, at 30-35C they are very active and grow very fast
    At 25C they are nearly inactive, sluggish but still alive

    Moisture: soil shouldn’t be too dry, but not waterlogged either (in these two instances they cant construct stable burrows)

    Humidity: 80-100% (vital- MUST be within this limit)
    Dryer for H.swammerdami, H.xanthopus etc etc

    H.laoticus female(Thailand)
    H.swammerdami male (India)
    H.spinifer (Malaysia)

    Attached Files:

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    Last edited: May 7, 2005
  9. dotdman

    dotdman Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Leiurus quinquestriatus


    This species occurs naturally in the desert and scrubland areas of northern Africa and the Middle East. With LD50 sums ranging from 0.16 to 0.50 mg/kg, it is considered one of the most medically significant species of scorpion in the world. And while the venom is certainly nothing you'd want to screw around with, the most popular common name given to the species has insured that the public at large will see it as nothing but an ill-intentioned killing machine for years to come.

    But we, the keepers, know better than that. Leiurus quin's make some of the best display buthids around as they are generally more active and less skittish than other examples (Androctonus ssp. especially). And they're quite large for buthids as well, reaching a total length of around 3.5 to 4.5 inches (8-12 cm) at adulthood. While not particularly aggressive, they are extremely defensive and, in my experience, have no problem with putting themselves into a striking position at the slightest provocation. My advice is to simply not provoke them.

    Housing: Scorplings can be raised in usual deli-cup style, but the species is rather adept to squeezing through the unsqueezable so be sure that any ventilation holes are sufficiently small to prevent escape (read here for a reason why). Subadults can be kept in larger plastic or glass containers, again with special precautions taken to ensure that there are no means of escape. Adults seem to be content with enclosures of the 5 to 10 gallon range (with more space horizontally than vertically, the species is terrestrial after all), any space larger than that tends to go unused.

    Substrate: A 70%/30% sand/peat (or topsoil) mix works well for the species and provides ample support for the scrapes they create. Younger scorplings should probably be kept on straight peat moss or topsoil for the first three or so instars as the extra humidity (don't go overboard with it) should ease the stress of the first few moltings and prevent any dessication of the younger individuals.

    Decorations: A rock or piece of driftwood or corkbark to serve as a hide and some open space to roam seems to be all that this species requires. I should think it wouldn't mind if extra decorations were present.

    Temperature: A temperature range from around 75 to 85 degrees fahrenheit seems to be quite sufficient, but I try to stick within that range.

    Humidity: While a slightly elevated humidity level should be used for scorplings, jeuveniles, subadults, and adults can be kept quite comfortably in the 30 to 50 % humidity range. Just be sure that plenty of ventilation is provided to keep the air inside the tank from getting muggy.

    Feeding/Watering: Crickets are the staple of any healthy carnivorous invertebrate diet, ranging from pinheads to 3/4' or so depending on the size of the scorpion. They can be offered up once or twice a week, or to whatever extent it takes to keep your scorpion healthily plump (but not bloated). I like to occassionally offer small lizards and spiders to my adults, though this is undoubtedly more for my personal bemusement than my animal's health.

    Water can be provided either with a shallow water dish that's not large enough for the scorpion to drown in or with moistened sanitary tissue. I don't recommend sponges and the like since they tend to be breeding grounds for all sorts of yucky things that I'd rather my scorpions not ingest.

    Leiurus quin's are incredibly easy to care for, like most desert species. They feature attractive coloration and patterns and their maneurisms are amusing to watch. As long as proper care is taken to ensure that stings don't occur (locking cages, using tongs, etc) and you provide the right conditions, Leiurus quins will continue to make excellent desert display animals and excellent pets of the non-cuddly variety.
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