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 Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions

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LqhII
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Number of posts : 3
Age : 28
Registration date : 2014-08-26

PostSubject: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   8/26/2014, 10:41 am

Hello, two months ago I bought my first pair of A.australis, and I am posting here a couple of pics of them:

Female:




Male:




The male was already fatter than the female when i bought them.

My first two questions:

1) Do you like their environments? I tried my best to make them as good as possible, but you know, this is my first pair, so maybe i made some mistakes [humidity 60%, temperature from 20 to 35C).
2) Could you help me identifying the instar at which they are? I know a couple of pictures can not be enough, and if so, ask me questions to help me understand their instar. Their body is roughly 5 cm long, if this can help.

Moreover, I think the male is going to molt, he has refused to eat for more than 1 week, and he is always hidden under a piece of wood i put there and he moved in the position you are going to see in the following pictures, and I would like to ask you if you think I have to remove that piece of wood in case he decide to molt under it and had problems since there is not enough space.





Thanks in advance for your help" />" />
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Patcho
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Registration date : 2013-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   8/26/2014, 11:21 am

What I would do is take that coconut hide bury half of it under the dirt. The hide itself offers too much open space so if you bury it the scorpion will more comfortable. Yeah, it totally looks like a premolt scorpion so keep your temperatures where it's at and all should be good.

Secondly, is that reptisand/calcisand I see? I keep telling people not to buy that overpriced crap. If you want to get good sand for real cheap, hit up your local hardware store and pick up a 50lb bag of play sand for $4.

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LqhII
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Number of posts : 3
Age : 28
Registration date : 2014-08-26

PostSubject: Re: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   8/26/2014, 12:09 pm

First off, thanks a lot for your answer Smile
I'm going to post a couple of pictures of what I did, let me know what you think of it Smile

As for the play sand, actually where I live it is not so used and available (it's not even common to have sandboxes here), but you are totally right in what you say and I'm going to look at it on the net to buy some Smile







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Den
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Registration date : 2011-10-27

PostSubject: Re: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   8/30/2014, 4:06 am

Ok, first of your questions.
No, i'm not that keen on your setups. Size wise both enclosures are good but the furniture and layout seems half hearted. There's plenty of room to have more varied furniture than a half coconut shell, a bit of cork and a stone.....all of which are just laying on the surface. Your scorps won't get a lot of joy out of those.
Patcho's remark about burying most of the coconut shell was good but i'm afraid you've implemented it wrong. Patcho meant for that coconut to be much lower so that there was just a small gap under it...not a dome as you have there. You would probably have to break the coconut up into a smaller rounded section to get it right.
And then there's the sand....Absolutely. Not only is that sand rubbish for scorps, they can't burrow in it...(and your androctonus WILL burrow if you create an environment for them to do that,....ie, consolidated sand/clay sand/excavator sand..call it what you will. Look it up if you don't know what i'm talking about.), it looks false and plastic and it's so fine it almost looks like powder...I'm not sure such a fine substrate is good for an animal that has it's lungs under it's abdomen at ground level.
I would introduce, dried grasses, larger gnarly stones that reach the bottom yet also give the scorp the possibility of burrowing under, dried wood and above all, consolidated sand...All enclosure furniture would be buried in the damp consolidated sand and allowed to remain there while the sand dries (no scorps in enclosure at this time)..The damp sand allows you to mould the landscape.
Next,.....you're right. Those 2 small pics are not really good enough to be accurate about much but if you say they have a body length of approx 5 cm's then they are certainly close to adult. Maybe they're both sub adult with the male being further along meaning both scorps will have to moult one more time before they are adult.....although the general look of the female in the 1st picture with her darkened caudal section, does look as if she could be adult...You'll have to wait until the male has moulted (it does look to be in pre-moult..males don't usually eat themselves so fat!), give him a few weeks to harden up and get a few meals before placing him in with the female..He'll probably go straight to it but if the female isn't adult she'll either be aggressive, pull away or won't take the spermatophore up.
It's hard to determine instar when there are no size comparison clues and even then, it's still just a guess if you haven't followed the scorps development.......the best that can usually be achieved is plus/minus one instar.
Lastly, if you can't find any other sand than that (what planet are you on!?) then mix at least 50% dried organic material with it. It'll have to be fine or your sand will just sink to the bottom. You could also try dampening it once you had mixed organic with it, compressing it slightly and allowing it to dry..It might allow your scorps to behave more naturally although again...no scorps in the enclosures while substrate is drying.

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LqhII
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PostSubject: Re: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   9/1/2014, 4:21 am

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer. As soon as I can I will try to make new set-ups for them, following your guidelines. I think I may have found the kind of sand you are suggesting and I will post pictures of it soon.

I have a question for now, as for the male scorpion going to molt, should I wait until he is done with it before changing is set-up?

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Den
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PostSubject: Re: Androctonus australis: instar and molting questions   9/3/2014, 5:42 am

If the conditions are unacceptable for him he may never moult and simply die instead. As i look at your setup for him i see a scorp that's just looking for somewhere quiet, (and for a scorpion that means vibration free) warm and dark that he an crawl into and feel safe and secure....He's not got that in any of your pics.
Don't assume that scorpions automatically moult at a finite time from one instar to the next until they are adult...incorrect conditions and stress can cause huge amounts of problems for scorps with especially stress being greatly underrated.
Young lads that have a scorpion or 2 in an enclosure in their bedroom or other room that experiences a fair degree of human traffic/beaty music/opening and closing of doors/vibrations from vehicle traffic outside or any other movement that causes vibrations/air fluctuations on a regular basis, rarely consider the detrimental affect it has on their scorps. Constant messing about with enclosures, furniture, scorpions, taking pictures and bright lights fall into the same category as do incorrect conditions.
If you don't change that setup it's not guaranteed he will moult so best get it done and then leave him alone.
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