There are a little over 1,500 species of scorpion which have been recorded. Most are nocturnal and the majority come from tropical or desert areas. Throughout the day, most remain in self dug burrows and only venture out during darkness. There are some species that rest above ground, hanging from rocks and branches or under loose bark, e.g. the Bark Scorpion. Most species of scorpions live between 6-7 years, and can thrive in captivity with proper care.
Most scorpions can be housed together e.g. Salt Lake Scorpions, but depending on the species they may prefer to live alone. The most common scorpions we see at Northside Pets are, Flinders Rangers, Coastal Burrowing, Desert and Spider Eating Scorpions. These species should be housed separately.
Like most invertebrate their enclosure needs to be well secured, as some species are excellent climbers. We normally recommend glass enclosures, as heat and humidity can easily be managed. Glass Enclosures measuring 30-45cm, are most suitable. Decorating the terrarium with wood, bark, or ornaments, allowing the scorpion to forge, climb and hide under things.
Substrate needed will be selected based on the type of scorpion you are keeping. The scorpion will either be from a Forrest or a desert climate.
Forrest species (belonging to the genera Pandinus and Heterometrus) require warm or humid conditions. A deep layer of peat free compost, wood shavings, coconut fibre or aspen bedding would be appropriate, at least 6-7cm deep. Daily spraying with water should be applied, as helps hold moisture. It is important not to over spray as you don't want wet substrate. Care should be taken that the substrate does not become moldy or covered in fungus.
Desert species (belonging to the genera Centruoides, Buthus and Androctonus, plus many others) require considerably drier conditions. There terrarium should be filled with a coarse sand and should be approximately 10cm thick. They require little moisture and don't need spraying.
Scorpions are generally a nocturnal specie and require little lighting, it is still recommended to equip your tank with a low level UVB light. The best method for heating your scorpions tank is to use a heat mat, which should cover one third of the terrarium, ensuring a temperature gradient is met. A temperature gradient allows the scorpion to move from warmer and cooler areas within the tank, regulating their own body temperature. A good heat mat should maintain the temperature at 25C. If the temperature is to hot, it is the scorpions natural instinct to burrow trying to avoid the heat. In a captive setting, this unfortunately brings them closer to heat mat, and there is a possibility of over heating. To avoid over heating heat mats can be attached to the side of the terrarium ad thermostats can be used to control heating.
All Scorpions are carnivores, eating insects, spiders and even small lizards and snakes. The amount of food that your scorpion will require is dependent on the size and specie o scorpion you are keeping. A large scorpion will eat two or three adult crickets a week.It is best to feed your scorpion at at night so their behavior pattern will resemble that of a wild scorpion. Scorpions will net feed properly if they are being kept in unsuitable conditions, left over food may be a indication that something is not right.
The best rule is to never handle you scorpion. Species belonging to the Genus Pandinus or Heterometrus are generally considered docile and relatively harmless however other species are potentially lethal. If you must handle your scorpions it is best to do so very gently with a long pair of foam tipped forceps.