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 How is the scorpion trade in your country?

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lazydonut
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Number of posts : 81
Age : 21
Location : Manila, PH
Registration date : 2014-03-18

PostSubject: How is the scorpion trade in your country?   6/27/2014, 2:14 pm

Hello everyone!

I'd like to talk about the scorpions available in our respective countries: the common ones that sell for low prices, or the super rare ones that are worth their weight in gold, stereotypical collections of hobbyists as per the supply/demand there, special mentions of species that are high in demand, any laws pertaining to the acquisition and keeping of certain highly venomous species, and even wish lists of species to be available soon.

I'll start off with mine.
I live in the Philippines, a tropical country that has only been introduced to the scorpion hobby for only a few years now. In the early 2000s, scorpion keeping was still making it's name in the pet trade here. The tarantula hobby, however, is now booming with myriad species available and more species being imported from neighboring Asian markets, all in high demand.
I do imagine that the scorpion hobby, which is still an emerging presence, will catch up to the T hobby in the coming years in the Ph.

The Scorpion hobby in the Philippines
Since I started in this hobby early this year, I checked out advertisements online, and asked about sellers and breeders everywhere (in short, did my fair share of research). And I noticed a couple of things.

There are only around 25-30 species readily available in the trade.
The most abundant species of which are
H. hottentotta, R. junceus, P. transvaalicus, L. quinquestriatus, H. longimanus

In my humble personal opinion, this is the Top Five, if you will, scorpions in the hobby because of their unreasonably high supply.
Probably because of their initial rarity that hobbyists vowed to never again have such high prices.
Kidding aside, of those top five, only 1 is really the recommended beginner's species, the infamous AFS.

Most people who decide to enter the hobby are drawn to the irresistibly low prices and decide to get one of these top 5. A dangerous catastrophe waiting to happen especially for those individuals who impulsively decide to get into the hobby without prior or enough experience and research on the care of such creatures.

While most decide to get the AFSs, others will go straight to what I like to call the hot, high-risk, Buthid category of the hobby and get one of the remaining four. Which I consider an economical hazard to safety of entry-level hobbyists who cant judge the responsibility of owning a venomous animal, and god forbid, the improper handling of such. Which, in our modern society, is deemed "cool" or "awesome" when holding/petting scorpions. (Probably the number 1 reason they get into the hobby in the first place)
Many a YouTube video by Ph hobbyists have sounds of children in the background.

While I pray for the safety of the increasing number of hobbyists, I'm also optimistic that the scorpion trade in the Ph will also catch up to leading scorpion hobbies around the world.
I think, because many people are now willing to start caring for invertebrates,
the upkeep of which is made *slightly* easier by the climate our country has,
and that we have no specific laws (none that I know of) prohibiting the care of high level species (trust me on this, our politicians have better things to pay attention to), which just makes it one factor less for foreign importers to provide new species for the hobby.

I'd also like to mention that slings of H. hottentotta goes for 15-50 Philippine pesos, translated to around a quarter to 1.50 USD  lol! 

Other species that are increasingly becoming a favorite include P. villosus with its multiple color morphs, Hadrurus sp., and of course Androctonus spp. (which is just impossible for the scorpion hobby to live without.)

Personally I would like to breed some of these species, especially Androctonus spp., should my resources allow me to, which isnt going to happen anytime soon, as I'm still pushing my way through college (I'm in veterinary school Very Happy ) And I'd like to have some Centruroides sp., Iomachus sp., Euscopius sp., and Tityus sp. in the near future.

You may have noticed by now the lack of mentions for the all famous Pandinus imperator.
Well, demand is at an all-time high here and the supply just isnt cutting it. Which let Heterometrus longimanus wiggle its way past it.
If only i had a bit more volume to the dimensions of my wallet I would have liked to start out with emps, but sometimes things dont turn out the way you want.

Having said that, I am still 100% happy with my very first scorpion, a 0.1 4i Parabuthus transvaalicus, Gypsy! I love her and she's so feisty.
You may notice that I am a living example of the "top 5 phenomenon" which is almost ironic.

To close, the diversity of species available in the Philippines is not yet much, but the demand is enough to initiate some new changes to the progress of the hobby. I believe that with just a little time and a lot more money (LOL), scorpion keeping would be quite competitive with other countries soon. Scorpions are amazingly unique and wonderful creatures that are very misunderstood in modern society. And I believe that we hobbyists are to change their bad image.

Anyways, I hope everyone finds this rather interesting (or interesting enough to spark a reply ;D)
and informative.
Take care and keep scorpin' on!

-lazydonut
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