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 Buthidae vs. all the other families.

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Callum B
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PostSubject: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 8:31 am

Hello,

I've noticed a few times now that people seem to prefer to keep Buthidae scorpions over other families, or infer that Buthidae are somehow more interesting. Now I'm not saying that this is at all bad, people can keep and like whatever they want. I also like Buthidae scorpions and there are many species that I would like to keep.

However there is a definate bias towards keeping them; and other than the bread and butter, beginner species like emps and DH's, this group of scorpions are the most spoken about on here, suggesting that this is what most people keep.

Anyway, what do you prefer about Buthidae scorpions, if you do indeed prefer scorpions from this family? What do you dislike about them, or the other families?

Is the reason you keep more Buthidae because that is what is generally available in your area?

Are you all impatient buggers and like scorpions that mature quickly and have shorter gestation periods (generally speaking, compared to many other families)?

Is the 'thrill' of having something that could potentially kill you a deciding factor (in the case of the 'hots', obviously most Buthids aren't capable of this)?

There's loads more questions I could ask but lets here your opinions now bounce .
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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 8:38 am

Dolby made an interesting point on another thread about Buthidae being the largest family of scorpions (nearly half of all scorpions) which I'm taking as, because they make up a large proportion of all scorpions you are therefore more likely to own one. Am I right Dolby lol??
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 9:12 am

For me the answer is quite simply that Buthidae are the most easily acquired scorpions in my area coupled with the fact that they generally have a decent size and their offspring are generally quite large, making the rearing of them easier.
I do like other families of scorpion and have had a fair few of them but nowadays Buthidae are my prime interest although saying that i wouldn't pass over a breeding pair of S.mesaensis or a few more from the Vaejovidae family.

At the end of the day it's mostly about supply and demand. If more people want Buthidae then it's not surprising if Buthidae make up the bulk of available scorpions. Plus, not many people have the opportunity to visit far away places and collect their own scorpions which means you're basically restricted to what you can have by what's available.
A quick look through, for example, scorpion files species index shows that there's hundreds of scorpions that are simply never available to hobbiests. If some of these species became suddenly abundant to hobbiests then i would imagine that we would witness a decline in Buthidae interest.

There's also the fact that we most all like to have something thats not generally common. when i first started my interest in scorpions the only Rhopalurus specie that was available was junceus and laticauda. Now that i've returned i can see there's come a few more onto the market and for me that just wetted my appetite to acquire some of them. I can say the same for H.jayakari and P.schlecteri which were also scorpions i had never heard of before.
So, in my opinion, demand and supply plus the rarity factor all play in, in deciding what we get...and for a few of us it's got to be the local laws that also are a deciding (or restricting) factor...I'd be willing to lay a months wages on the fact that if the UK's DWA was suddenly abolished you'd witness an influx of Buthidae into the country..Wink


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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 9:31 am

There's some good points there Den. It actually reminded me of when I had a conversation with a large invert dealer over here about what scorpions he was able to get hold of.

He basically said that there were often quite a few scorpion species on collectors/importers lists but in general most of them come under the DWA act here so he could not bring them over, which equals less scorpions for us Brits, but lots of Buthidae for most other countries.

The size issue is something that I thought would come up. Raising the young of small, slow growing species like Euscorpius, Iomachus and Chaerilus is pretty fiddly, and sourcing appropriately sized prey can be a pain.
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 10:14 am


Quote :
The size issue is something that I thought would come up. Raising the young of small, slow growing species like Euscorpius, Iomachus and Chaerilus is pretty fiddly, and sourcing appropriately sized prey can be a pain.

Absolutely..It's maybe easy enough to find appropriate sized prey items for small scorpions during the summer if you can find them from an uncontaminated source but during the winter thats an entirely different kettle of fish. A challenge is fine but if that challenge results in the death of small scorpions because sourcing small prey items is near impossible then thats something totally different. I personally breed my own crickets and roaches so that wouldn't really be a problem for me but not everyone has the opportunity to do that or even wants to do that.

I've spoken a few times with a chap that only has uroplectus sp and likes to paint himself as some kind of intrepid die hard because of it...But...he to breeds his own feeders which makes rearing the young no harder or easier than larger scorpion species once the environmental factors are accounted for.

The real challenges in rearing scorpions comes from scorpions that MUST have environmental factors within a very narrow range over many years...That's what i call die hard....specie size is irrelevant.....For example, rearing H.arizonensis from instar 2 up to adult, breeding them and getting viable offspring from them to restart the cycle can be very challenging (or at least i think so).

But it all comes down to what we want as individual scorpion keepers...some want the challenge, some want to simply look at them, some want to study their behaviour and some simply want to have something cool they can show to their friends....Horses for courses..Wink

Ok, i'm getting a little off topic so i'll stop now and wait and read what others have say to the question of Buthidae Vs The rest.



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shadowfoot
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 10:44 am

I have to agree with Den. I grew up with Parabuthus spp. around me and they are the most sold scorpion in my country and Uroplectes spp. so I cant really comment on the bigger is better as some Uroplectes are minute.

In defense to the other scorpion families I have to say that they are much easier to work with as you dont have that nagging voice in the back of your head telling you that they could potentially kill you. In my experience though Buthidae is a lot easier to keep alive than the other scorpions I have kept and are keeping at the moment. My Parabuthus are also much more active than my Opistophthalmus and Opistacanthus was.

I know most people wont admit to this, but Buthidae also gives you a bit of a ego trip as they give a bit of bragging rights where as other scorpion families dont.

This is just my opinion though.
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 10:49 am

Den, imo some Uroplectes spp such as olivaceus and triangulifer has a very narrow environmental range and are much more difficult to raise from 2nd instar to adult hood than say Parabuthus and Androctonus.
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 11:19 am

Quote :
Den, imo some Uroplectes spp such as olivaceus and triangulifer has a very narrow environmental range and are much more difficult to raise from 2nd instar to adult hood than say Parabuthus and Androctonus.

I've never really bothered with uroplectus species so i can't really comment apart from to say "i'll have to take your word for it" Wink although i'm sure you're right..

My example with H.arizonensis was partly based on my own experiences and partly from what i have heard others say....I'm sure there are many more species that fall into the "challenging" category with regards to environmental factors...But i agree totally with you that at least the 2 parabuthus and androctonus species i have seem to be quite easy to care for......there's so many other things in life that are hard so taking the easy road is gotta be ok sometimes Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 11:39 am

Quote :
there's so many other things in life that are hard so taking the easy road is gotta be ok sometimes Wink



So true. I have kept a few Uroplectes, such as olivaceus, triangulifer and carinatus and I can confidently say that they are much harder to raise. Some of my U. carinatus died for no apparent reason.

Some scorpions are really difficult to raise so there is no problem with keeping some that wont die on you if you make the smallest mistake and most of those scorps that wont die on you easily are from the Buthidae family.

Callum, a bit off topic, but how much does the DWA permit thingies cost per year or however it works in the UK?
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 2:11 pm

OK so, so far it seems that availability and ease of care are the two major factors as to why a lot of people keep Buthidae.

The 'bragging rights' thing is also a good one. There's definately and, hopefully, a minority of people that like to own species such as A. australis and L. quinquestriatus for the 'I'm hard, and so is my scorpion' kind of stuff. Plus, even if your not an egotistical nutter, owning something dangerous is also appealing to most, even if they won't openly admit it lol. It's pretty strange this fascination we have with a creature that can kill us. Isn't something like scorpions are second only to venomous snakes in terms of how many people they kill every year?

Once people really get into the hobby though I guess bragging rights change to who can breed a species new to the hobby first, or manage to raise a brood of a species considered to be difficult to maintain in captivity.

Another big plus with Buthidae are that there are quite a number of species, in particular the 'bark scorpions', that can be kept communally.

Licence fee in my area is £178 per year, plus a visit from a vet that could cost the same, plus insurance at around £100 per year, plus initial set up costs which have to include locked enclosures inside a locked room just for the purpose of scorpions, plus meeting all the crap the council will state you need to do to try and put you off getting a licence, plus the fact that at the end of it all the council could still say no, it becomes very expensive, time consuming and potentially disappointing. There's no wonder a lot of people here keep stuff away from prying eyes lol...
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shadowfoot
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 5:33 pm

That is a crap load of money.
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 8:00 pm

The DWA licence is completely stupid. (At least when it comes to scorps.) As previously stated, the Buthidae family is the largest family of scorpions, (over 800 species) and I'm guessing that there's around 25 species that could kill a person. (Androctonus, Parabuthus, Leiurus, Tityus, Centruroides.) The DWA licence should at least be easier to obtain, and it is way too expensive.


As for preferring Buthids over other families , I don't really prefer one family other the other.

I really like the "bark scorpions". The next time I get some scorps, I'll probably get a Tityus sp.

But on the other hand, I also like the genus Heterometrus quite a bit. It's probably my favorite genus.

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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/29/2012, 9:32 pm

Its just because the "higher" people are too lazy to forbid SOME buthids, so they ban them all. It's the same way here in Norway regarding reptiles. Ban them all because some can damage our natural fauna...

On the other hand, no inverts are illegal in Norway, lol..


Last edited by DolbyR on 5/31/2012, 2:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Swearing deleted (See rules))
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/30/2012, 9:24 am


Quote :
Ban them all because some can damage our natural fauna...

That surprises me. I would have thought your cold winters would kill off any escaped herps..
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/30/2012, 11:46 am

Theres always some exceptions. Theres alot of hardy reptiles out there. Like trachemys turtles. They have proven to be very harmful for the natural fauna in several countries. They are thought to be able to reproduse in Norway too if they get the chance.

Just last year there were found a trachemys who had laid eggs on an island called Sotra right outside Bergen.
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PostSubject: Re: Buthidae vs. all the other families.   5/30/2012, 12:07 pm

Quote :
Just last year there were found a trachemys who had laid eggs on an island called Sotra right outside Bergen.

There you go....we live and learn Wink
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