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Comments: Handling an Emperor scorpion


The Emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator), is well known for being extremely docile, and easy to handle. Together with being huge, and looking tough, the reason why it's used in quite some movies. Don't be surprised to see this species walk in broad daylight in a Mexican desert while watching a movie even though this scorpion species is native to Africa. The specimen in the following photos was bought in a pet shop in Xalapa, and imported from Ghana, Africa.

Read the rest of Handling an Emperor scorpion.


That is hell sweet info. Do you know were the poison held for the stinger? Is it in the actual tail or in the abdomen

Posted by Corey Jackson at 13:13 GMT on 24 June 2008

The telson - not a proper tail segment - is divided into two parts: the vescile and the aculeus (sting). The former contains the, generally 2, venom glands.

Some scorpion species, noteable scorpions belonging to the genus Centruroides, have also a small bump or spine; the subaculear tubercle (SAT), of which (as far as I know) the function is unknown.

Posted by John Bokma at 01:23 GMT on 26 June 2008

Um I'm wondering, do you know how to sex tarantulas? Does the size of the tarantula have anything to do with it?

Posted by Tarantula_Queen at 05:17 GMT on 13 July 2008

@Tarantula_Queen - in some species the male have a hook (tibial spur) on both first legs. Those tibial spurs are used to immobilize the fangs of the female during courtship.

Tibial spur of a male Brachypelma vagans.

In the above photo you can see one tibial spur in the center of the image.

See also Brachypelma vagans creating a sperm web which shows an adult male Brachypelma vagans creating a sperm web, and has more information on sexing tarantulas.

Posted by John Bokma at 19:42 GMT on 18 July 2008

I bought my 6 year old an emperor scorpion for Christmas. He is active and acts like he is fine but he is not eating. I brought him home Christmas eve and he still has not eaten a cricket. I tried to use tongs and held the cricket in front of him and let him pinch it but when he does he just drops it. The lady at the pet store told me to put Calci-sand in his tank, which I did, then I see the video and I added some mulch to his tank. How long can he live without eating!? Is he eating the sand or something. I don't want to keep trying to force him to eat because I don't want to add stress to him also, his cage is just the right temp. Any suggestions?

Posted by Toni at 18:49 GMT on 2 January 2009

Tony, based on my experience and from what I've heard from other pet owners, a lot of pet shops have no clue about the housing of exotic pets. I recommend to check my site for information on Pandinus imperator, and/or become a member of Arachoboards.

For housing advice, I recommend to read Housing a Pandinus imperator which is based on quite some online research I've done and my own experience with keeping scorpion species with similar requirements.

Make sure that you buy a tank of the dimensions mentioned, and use the same substrate mentioned or similar. The height of the substrate, 6 inch (about 15 cm) is a recommended minimum. The emperor is a burrowing species, and due to its size, it needs quite some substrate.

Also, note that it's perfectly normal for a scorpion not to eat for quite some time A month is not a problem at all. Pregnant scorpions might not eat at all for prolonged times. Another reason for not eating is stress.

If your scorpion looks quite fat, it might be pregnant. I bought mine because I was quite sure she was a pregnant female, and I have now about 9 juvenile scorpions. I don't know the exact count because they are inside the burrow with the mother most of the time. See Emperor scorpion babies and Juvenile Emperors on the prowl. The latter has several nice photos of juvenile Emperor scorpions.

As for feeding, I feed most of the times "superworms": the larvae of Zophobas morio. I do remove the head of the larvae using scissors to prevent the larvae from disappearing into the substrate. Currently I feed to large "worms" once a week which seems to be sufficient for the mother and her offspring.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Posted by John Bokma at 01:57 GMT on 3 January 2009

ok every thing you know about emperor scorpions is wrong first just by looking at the picturei can tell that you are feeding it way too much younger scorpions need about 3 crickets a week and once they stop molting you should cut down to just one the scorpion in the picture is sickly overweight the plates on its back are streached way to far apart they should almost be touching also scorpions should ALWAYS be pickedc up by the tail it is less stressfull than sticking a brush in its face and you are not going to get stung how can it sting you if you are holding the telson

Posted by tyler at 04:35 GMT on 4 October 2010

@tyler: the scorpion in the photos is a gravid adult female. I have no idea if it has been feeding too much as well (I had just bought it). She gave birth the 1st of April (or earlier) to at least 19 scorplings. I will add this information to the page itself later today. As for feeding, I agree with you. I feed my scorpions very little. I have even the feeling that they live longer that way.

As for picking them up, I guess we have to agree to disagree on this. I've used both methods on the offspring of the female Emperor scorpion in the photos and I have the feeling that letting them walk on my hand causes the least stress.

As for stinging when holding the tail: might be true for Emperors that this wouldn't happen, but I wouldn't pick up some of the other species (Centruroides) I have that way. Yet I do have no problem to let those walk on my hand. However, note that I limit handling my scorpions to the minimum.

Posted by John Bokma at 19:01 GMT on 11 October 2010

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