, the emperor scorpion, and a number of Heterometrus
species are tropical forest scorpions that require very similar care. This care sheet should also be useful because Heterometrus
are often mistakenly IDed as emperors. This should cover anything that's big, black, and has large pinchers.
Substrate: damp coco fiber or peat, deep enough for burrows (four to six inches is recommend)
Humidity: high, between 80 and 90 percent (instructions for setting up a false-bottom to maintain humidity can be found here
). Provide a water dish deep enough for the scorpion to submerge itself in with climbable sides.
Temperature: 80s to 90s Fahrenheit -- can be kept cooler, but the scorpion may display more sluggish behavior
Decor: whatever is aesthetically pleasing to the keeper (see below)
Preferred hiding spot: burrows. These scorpions are generally known as "pet holes," meaning they prefer to stay in their burrows 90% of the time; as such, no decoration is necessary.
Communal: yes. Cannibalism, although rare, is more common when keepers attempt inter-species communites. Heterometrus
seem to be more prone to aggression than P. imperator
Temperament: these scorpions are known for being some of the more docile available in the pet trade (another reason they're so popular as a first scorpion). As stated above, Heterometrus
are generally more likely to show aggression.
Venom: mild. Sting reports I've read suggest Heterometrus
stings to be a little more painful than emps. Most that I've read say that it hurts like hell for about 30 minutes and then you're fine.
If an emperor is your first scorpion, I'll give a few extra "first-time" pointers here if you haven't read the emperor FAQ yet (I wish I had these when I got my
-- Don't worry if it stops eating. Scorps have slow metabolisms and sometimes go months without eating for no real reason. Males seem more prone to this than females. (Mine both ate right away when I got them, but this is not always the case.)
-- A new scorp likes to explore its habitat. My emperors wandered around lots at night when I first got them (they also took about a week to start a burrow). So, attempts to climb the glass are nothing to worry about.
-- "A scorp that stays in its burrow is a happy scorp." 'Nuff said. If you like seeing your scorpions, make a "starter burrow" against the side of the tank. They will most likely hang out there and you can see them while they feel secure and at home.
Example of an adult male:
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