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What Happened to the Scorpion Trade?

Discussion in 'Scorpions' started by signinsimple, May 18, 2012.

  1. Billabong

    Billabong Arachnopeon

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    I've definitely noticed a downwards trend in term of availability over the last several years. I think a lot of it has to do with people specializing in one kind of arachnid. Some people keep purely tarantulas, while others keep purely scorpions. Not a lot of crossover in interest, which is unfortunate, as they are both beautiful animals(I myself keep both, and other animals). Tarantulas are the big ticket item right now so you will see a lot more availability and captive breeding going on. Give it a few years though and I'm sure you'll see more scorps come back on the market. With beautiful species like Rhopalurus junceus and Tityus asthenes on the market scorpions as a whole are bound to see a resurgence in popularity.
     
  2. Them

    Them Arachnopeon

    I think to some extent that it's always been that way. Also, scorpions just aren't as glamorous as tarantulas. Scorpions look cool but they just don't have the colors of some tarantulas. You can't find scorpions that have the colors or patterns of a Green Bottle Blue, B. Smithi, A. versicolor, or P. regalis, and you can't hold them either.

    I have a group of ten P. transvaalicus that are just now mature enough to breed. I bought them a year and a half ago and kept their temperatures up really hot, kept track of what they ate and basically wet-nursed them all this time. It's a lot longer process for scorpions.

    I want to buy the same amount of Androctonus mauretanicus but I just can't find any young ones. Michiel is right though, in Europe they don't seem to have a problem getting scorpions.
     
  3. The tarantula hobby seems much more established than the scorpion hobby. In Europe, there are better import laws and more keepers work to take care of the scorpions, breed, establish, trade, and give information--it seems much more well organized and is much more secure.

    As with aesthetics (i.e. coloration) of tarantulas compared to scorpions, it seems as though there are, as has been said, more species of tarantula in the hobby. But there are some scorpions that are quite pretty, and many have variegated color patterns or vibrant colors...not trying to argue here, because I do not keep tarantulas, but still. And now I am rambling.;)
     
  4. Them

    Them Arachnopeon

    You don't have to convince me. I mostly keep scorpions, mostly...I don't have a lot of the more exotic species and I've stopped keeping bark scorpions altogether because they are too prolific, and it's hard for me to sell them. I prefer the desert species that come from extremely hot and arrid environments.

    My holy grail right now is the H. swammerdami but I'm just not ready to spend the $100.00 plus for it.

    I also hate to say this but there a stigma about the scorpion, even with knowledgeable pet owners; in their minds it's a scary animal and is considered dangerous and to be avoided.

    Going back to the original subject of this thread - I think the reason that we're not seeing a lot of scorpions on the market is that right now there probably isn't a big demand for them. That's what I think.
     
  5. Envyizm

    Envyizm Arachnoknight

    I think a lot of the problem is a good number of people who are part of the scorpion hobby become self proclaimed business men or women. Unfortunately, this greedy breeder mentality only enables other individuals to purchase small numbers of a certain species, thus thinning the initial group so much that they eventually collapse from lack of established colonies. Equally as detrimental is where a certain species becomes over-established and anyone breeding cashes out on their stock due to the fact that they're no longer making adequate money from their breeding. I believe in Europe there are many more individuals breeding species based on a kind of scientific foundation. In short: Europeans tend to collect due to a love of biodiversity whereas the typical American will acquire a specific species to breed and attempt to make a quick buck. We may whine about it but we've done it to ourselves, the bad economy is hardly the culprit.
     
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  6. Michiel

    Michiel Arachnoking Old Timer

    If you really would want to make money (or even a living) from breeding scorpions, you would have to have a stock of not only bread-and-butter species like H.arizonensis and P.imperator, but also quickly establish breeding groups of all the new species that come onto the market every year....You would need hundreds of scorpions, to be able to reproduce enough slings, to able to keep up with demand and also with "the trends". You would need the space for all those containers, food for all the scorpions, energy costs etc etc......A lot of keepers change species every now and then, i.e. they stop keeping Parabuthus transvaalicus and buy Parabuthus raudus, when a lot of people do this, P.transvaalicus may dissappear from the hobby. Everyone has a different approach and ideas about their scorpionhobby....
    That's why forums may be handy for networking: connecting the Tityus breeder to the hobbyist who likes Parabuthus and the Rhopalurus breeder etc etc etc and together you can keep all those nice species in the hobby and still do "your own thing"...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. signinsimple

    signinsimple Arachnobaron

    NYC
    Yeah, anyway you slice it, the pickings are slim anywhere I've looked and it's kinda lame. Less than 2 years ago there were plenty of scorps to choose from from multiple dealers all over the US. Take a look at the classfieds now, you see barely anything. It really blows. If anyone knows of any importers or something in the US that can get their hands on some decent scorps, please let me know via reply here or PM. I just got a new tank for a sweet dessert set up with flourescent rocks and everything, and I barely see any decent dessert scorps out there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Beardo

    Beardo Arachnoprince Old Timer

    This might be one of the more ridiculous things I have seen on these boards in a long time......its a responsibility to breed? Inconsiderate?

    I don't know about anybody else, but I am not in this hobby to placate other people. I am in this hobby because I enjoy the animals for what they are. Just because someone chooses not to breed whatever animals they have, most certainly does not make them inconsiderate and irresponsible.
     
  9. AzJohn

    AzJohn Arachnoking Old Timer

    We are talking about rare and hard to find animals that are not being imported into the country on a regular basis. If you get one out of maybe five animals in the country and don't breed it you have wasted that animal and have hurt the US hobby in general by not producing a future generation to be enjoyed by other hobbiest. If you just want to enjoy your scorpions go ahead and get the real common stuff. No one will have a problem with that. But the species that are not really available n the US hobby should go to breeders. This isn't the tarantula hobby were dealers are doing legal imports all the time. If a species enters the country in very limited numbers I hope they all go to people that will breed them, not to the pokemon collectors.
     
  10. Beardo

    Beardo Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Then the breeders need to cough up the $ and buy them instead of complaining & whining like butt-hurt little girls.

    This self-entitled arrogant mentality is super annoying.....some of you guys need to get off your high horses.

    If you don't like the species that are available, then buy what YOU like and breed them. Leaving things up to other people and then whining about the selection is a cop-out. Spreading sour grapes won't get you anywhere.
     
  11. AzJohn

    AzJohn Arachnoking Old Timer


    Do you know any of the people you are talking to? Their are at least 6 people on this thread that are dedicated breeders. You fail to understand the scorpion hobby. No one imports scorpions. When something new comes into the country it is very important that breeders get them because we don't know when the species is going to be imported again, if ever. In short, it doesn't matter how much money you have, their are no new species in the US at this time. I check all of the major US dealers on a regular basis. I can say in all honesty, their is nothing they have that I would be interested in. We had a much better selection a few years ago. To many people took it for granted and never bred a thing. Now those species are not in the US hobby. If everyone had your attitude the only inverts you could get would be wild caught ones. Can you imagine if no one bred P metalica. They would be wiped out and no longer availabe to any one.

    PS why so mad? This isn't the tarantual chat section. No one wants to argue.
     
  12. Beardo

    Beardo Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I'm not mad, trust me lol. I am just commenting on what I feel is a pretty ridiculous mentality being perpetuated throughout this thread.

    I have bred plenty of scorpions myself, some rare, some not......not once did I complain when I couldn't find the species I wanted, I just waited and eventually they would pop up. The reason fewer scorpions are imported as opposed to tarantulas is simple supply and demand economics.....there is more of a demand for tarantulas, they bring in more money for the people collecting them overseas, and they are more abundant.

    Its all part of dealing with live exotic animals......some species are simply harder to come by. Placing blame on fellow hobbyists and getting all uppity because people don't breed is certainly not going to solve the "problem."
     
  13. Galapoheros

    Galapoheros ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Maybe things got off track a little. I agree with John on encouraging the breeding of rare scorpions, but only the encouragement of it. I think his point is more like a branch of the main thread. But I agree that we shouldn't condemn people for not doing what we think they should do with their property. I think the true topic of the thread was the scorpion market/interest in general. I still think it has to do with the bad economy. Some posts eluded to it, ..people moving, in school, these things are associated with the economy. It's MO BAD than we are told it is imo. People are moving in with relatives more than we know...imo. I drive through typical hoods around here and see cars all along the curbs in front of houses with 2 or 3 cars in the driveway, that's a clue. It might make a good news story if somebody jumped on it.
     
  14. Michiel

    Michiel Arachnoking Old Timer

    I know a couple of european breeders that ship worldwide, so getting certain species might cost money, but it is not impossible....

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-I9001 met Tapatalk
     
  15. @Beardo, I never meant to place blame, I just felt that if an uncommon species comes into the hobby, it cannot be bought and then not bred, as John stated. I was seriously not meaning to judge those who, as you said, enjoy the hobby, because that is why the hobby exists at all. I was not trying to separate breeders from anyone else either. When breeders see these rare scorpions, they do get them and breed them. What mentality exactly did you see throughout the thread? An idea of superiority from those who breed the scorpions?

    As with the reason for all of this, I agree with Galapoheros, that it seems that situations do change. As an example, Martin (the toe cutter) had an importer get some very nice species, species not present in the hobby very commonly anywhere, from all over the world into the United States. When they came in, not many seemed to be sold...it makes sense that it is changes in situations, such as moving, having to choose between species and only getting the rarest, etc. There are many examples to support this. Oh, and I'm not trying to argue with anyone, just proposing what I feel is happening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  16. signinsimple

    signinsimple Arachnobaron

    NYC
    I agree with AzJohn. There used to be way more to choose from. I tried breeding a few of the more uncommon ones with limited success, but I was rather new to the whole breeding thing when species were plentiful, so I wasn't much help (I did manage to get a few Longimanus and P Cavi's out there though, for all the help that did).

    @ Beardo: It would be kind of you to not derail my thread. It's fine for you to point out that it's not the responsibility for others to breed (agreed), but I cannot find any species I want, and I AM complaining about it. That's what this whole thread is about. I've already waited far too long for them to "pop up". I've been looking for monster sized forest morph emps for at least 2 years now and probably longer (available ~ 4-6 years ago) and a whole host of other species that "pop up" but are gone before I can contact the dealer. And they never come back.

    It did not used to be like this and I have a stong feeling that the reason lies somewhere between your supply and demand point and 2nscrorpx's point: since most dealers are wage slaves to supply and demand, dealing mainly with tarantulas because that is their cash cow, scorp enthusiasts should allow serious breeders first access to some of the rarer species to keep them in the hobby and proliferate them outward. It's a fair point.

    @ Michiel: I might be interested in some of these contacts, but I dont have an import license and really dont want to break import laws even though I think they are rather silly in this case. Do these dealers in Europe have US counterparts who could import for me? At this point I'd be willing to pay a stupidly unfair amount of money for a starter group of 8 - 9 inch long EMPs to bring them back into the US hobby, and I've had my heart set on a particular Scorpio maurus ssp (from Morocco) since I started keeping scorps. Please PM me, if you do not mind and think they can help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  17. gromgrom

    gromgrom Arachnoprince

    people only breed what is "cool". 2-3 years ago, it was LQ's. This year, it's Rhopalurus.
     
  18. BAM1082

    BAM1082 Arachnoknight

    As it has been said above the economy is hurting every industry and marketplace. The exotic pet trade is no different.
    I'm sure there are people on this board who would love to be able to invest and breed species that interest them, but simply can't afford to dump money into a venture that will likely lose money or break even.

    However I'm confident that the trade will grow.... Even if only a few breeders are at work.

    Getting new species isn't impossible. A license to import and a few of the right contacts and your in business.
    Just from the local contacts I have here I know I can import anything from the USA for the right price.

    But again, it's break even at best... Slings sell for cheap, the cost and time investment to raise them leaves you selling at a loss in the end.

    So really we need people who are willing to dump money into breeding just for the sake of it.... Just because they enjoy it.

    And really I think many on here and venomlist fit that mold and these people will keep breeding spp just for the hell of it.

    I know I sure will.
     
  19. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    USA
    To me it seems like there isn't very much money to be made breeding or importing scorpions.It seems a good portion of the rare/uncommon species you see available in the US hobby are brown boxed in and sold at cheap prices so whats the point of big importers doing serious scorpion imports if they can't even charge much for them or make a profit?I'm not trying to point any fingers but some members of this forum will even leave reviews for people in other countries they illegally get scorpions from!:rolleyes:
    Anyways I don't think the economy has much to do with the lack of lots of specific species of scorpions available here in the US but just like tarantulas if they aren't bred commonly its easy for species to disappear from the hobby!
    -Chris
     

  20. Everyone, my scorpions are, now, where my fingers are typing. I only had 2 species of scorpion when I first posted, just need a little more time before changes are seen in the trade :)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
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