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 (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion

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Exocet77
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PostSubject: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 1:51 am

I am picking up a Tri-color burrowing scorpion in 2 weeks.

Just wondering if soil and peat moss would be ideal.


Last edited by Callum B on 3/18/2014, 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited titled so that thread appears on forum search more easily.)
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Shakudo
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 8:14 am

Yes I would go with peat moss, they can burrow quite a bit, I would mix it up a bit with some fine gravel and some sand to make it a bit more natural.


Take care,

Joey
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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 10:14 am

You may find that when dry the soil/peat will not hold burrows. This scorpion needs dry conditions so an ideal substrate is a mix of sand and excavator clay, with a little soil or coir added. It looks great and allows burrowing species to do what they like to do.

It's a while since I've actually properly measured the ratio of mix I use as I've done it so may times I just lob everything in a bucket and mix. A mix of 1 part excavator clay to 5 or 6 parts sand should do the trick. I also like to add coir to the mix to give it a more arid soil look rather than straight sand, plus I find the long strands of coconut fibre help hold the substrate together. So, all together the ratio will probably be something like this 1:2:4 (ex clay:coir:sand). Mix it all together, adding water so that it all becomes damp. Avoid making the mix extremely wet, as it will take eons to dry out properly. Damp enough so that it just about sticks together if you mould a ball of it in your hand should be ideal. The substrate can then be placed into the enclosure, pressing down on the surface to compact it, and left to dry. Depending on depth this can take anything from several days to a couple of weeks. Placing heat lamps above or leaving the enclosure in a warm sunny place will obviously help speed up the drying.

I'm assuming the scorpion you are getting is going to be adult, or not far off adulthood so you will need to provide it with a minimum of 4'' of substrate. The more the better.
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 11:58 am

It's only 2" in length right now and apparently wild caught. I had already planned on giving it the 4" of substrate.

I have read to keep humidity I could add about an inch of gravel on the bottom, and have a small tube running down and add water every so often? Is this not advised for my species?

Also, I would like to have a light on a timer. I would perfer not to use a heating lamp. I was going to use a small heating pad. Could a standard aquarium hood/light be ok?
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 1:50 pm

This species likes low humidity above ground, but yes you could use a false bottom to provide higher humidity underground. If you use this method you will need to make sure the enclosure is very well ventilated so that it doesn't become too humid everywhere. I keep Opistophthalmus spp. in enclosures that have false bottoms with good success. I believe it offers them a more natural humidity gradient.

Lighting a scorpions enclosure can be a funny subject, and it certainly isn't necessary. My opinion is that so long as the lighting provides a natural day/night cycle and the scorpion has areas where it can completely escape the light then it is perfectly acceptable to use it. Under no circumstances leave it on all night as this will severely stress the scorpion, plus night time i.e. when it is dark, is when you are most likely to observe your scorpion hunting, wandering about etc.

In regards to the aquarium hood, these can often be very light weight and/or have gaps in them enabling a scorpion to easily escape. If you are going to use one make sure it's escape proof. Never underestimate a scorpions ability to sneak out. I'm speaking from experience here and I no longer use fish tank hoods. I never found the sneaky bugger  Laughing 
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 4:13 pm

I guess using the false bottom and the info on the lower humidity on top, I shouldn't have to worry about misting the tank everyday then. I of course will have a fresh water dish available for it.

For the lid, I def. won't be using an aquarium canopy. It will be a screened enclosure/lid. I just meant using the aquarium light or something similar set on top of the screen. The light will be on a timer and will be used in conjunction with day/night.
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 5:52 pm

This species is from dry Southern Africa and so shouldn't be misted everyday anyway. A sporadic light misting of a corner of the enclosure every 2 weeks or so and/or offering them a water dish is all the drinking water this species will require.

I spotted your post over on Arachnoboards and thought I should mention this. False bottom enclosures do work well for Opistophthalmus spp. but they should not kept anywhere near as wet as you would for emperor scorpions. Very slightly damp substrate in the bottom inch should be more than enough moisture and give you the humidity gradient desired.

The lid and lighting sounds perfect  cheers
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/18/2014, 7:19 pm

Sounds like I'm pretty much set and have most the info I need. Thanks for all the great info, I had trouble actually finding specific info on it  Newb .

Cheers!
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/19/2014, 1:17 pm

I have a 10 gallon tank, is it possible to put a divider in and get a second small scorpion? Or is my guy going to need the full tank?
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/22/2014, 4:47 pm

Here's my setup.

30lbs sand, 10lbs excavator clay and 1/2 a brick of coir. Approx. 5" deep. Also will be adding one or two small cactus plants.  Might keep my deer in there Smile

Any other recommendations?

Just need my scorpion now.

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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/22/2014, 7:20 pm

nice im liking the buck i used to live in wisconsin. i'd add some more sand i heard scorpions burrow pretty deep but im no expert. you should call your scorpion mark walberg get it after wahlgerii
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Exocet77
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/28/2014, 12:03 pm

Right now my apt. is averaging 21celcius/70f. Is this to cold? Do I need a heating mat?

In the summer months in will average probably around 80f.



Another question. Since this is a burrowing scorpion, will he come out to hunt the crickets? Or am I always going to have to put the cricket in the burrow for him?
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PostSubject: Re: (Opistophthalmus wahlbergii - burrowing scorpion   3/28/2014, 2:39 pm

You need to be providing temperatures of 28c to 32c during the day. 21c is fine for night time temperatures.

You'll probably find that when it's hungry it will sit at the mouth of its burrow waiting for a passing cricket. However, they will also occasionally forage for food or capture insects that wander down their burrows.
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