The scorpion that became my queen. Keeping a scorpion as a pet. Feeding a scorpion.

The Pet, the Prey, and the Family.

Black scorpions make good pets.
Black scorpions make good pets.
Black crickets. These I did not like.
Black crickets. These I did not like.
Proud mother with her brood.
Proud mother with her brood.

How my pet scorpion got her name.

In my life, I have come across a large variety of exotic pets, from scorpions to pythons. I had a friend whose bedroom was full of snakes and reptiles. Indeed I often wondered how he managed to sleep there. I would have had to have on eye open all the time in case a python or a poisonous lizard might escape.

I once had an exotic pet myself. The same friend, that had all the snakes gave it to me. I think it was meant as a joke, but I became quite fond of it, and derived many hours of pleasure in watching it, especially when it came to feeding time.

The pet in question was a Malaysian Black Scorpion. The first night that I brought her home she gave me the most frightening two days of my entire life.
You see, the little vivarium that I had her in was not as secure as it should have been. It had two sliding glass doors, which I jammed with cardboard, imagining that no scorpion would be strong enough to open them.

Little did I know the strength of my new lodger. When I woke up on the Saturday morning to go to work, the doors were open, and there was no sign of my new pet.

To say that this was frightening would be an understatement. I had been brought up on tales of scorpions finding their way into people's shoes, stinging them, and then the unfortunate victim being dead in about ten minutes. The notion that one of these killers was loose in my flat terrified me. I was not aware, then, that my kind of scorpion only gave you a very slight sting. The worse thing about it was that I had to work two twelve hour shifts that weekend, so I was left with very little time to search for the elusive escapee.

On the Sunday night I found her hiding under the bedside cabinet, so she quickly got put back into her box, and I got a properly secure one the following day.

What happened when my pet scorpion had twenty babies.

I now had a chance to observe, and get to know my exotic house guest. She had a heat pad underneath her vivarium, and I needed to spray her peat bed with water every so often to keep the air in her home sufficiently humid.
I also put in an ultra violet light, which made her glow with a lovely greenish tint.

But the one thing I did not like about her were the crickets that I had to feed her with. Crickets are horrible little things. They are also quite noisy. The constant chirping used to keep me awake at night. I had to put their container in a cupboard so I could get some peace and quiet.
Before feeding "Houdini", for that was the name I had given my escapologist scorpion, I had to put the cricket container in the fridge for about ten minutes, to quiet the crickets, and then had to grab a few of them with a tweezers and put them into the vivarium for "Houdini" to eat.

Once the cricket container got knocked over and all the crickets escaped. Thank Heaven they all hopped out the window into the garden. It was a very warm summer that year, and they all obeyed the "divine instructions" to "increase and multiply". So anyone, approaching my street for the rest of the summer, would be greeted by the rather exotic sound of hundreds of black crickets chirrping in all the back gardens. Their decendants are probably still infesting all the houses in that area. I never told any of the neighbours where they came from.

One day "Houdini" really did give me a great surprise. When I looked into her home she had about twenty baby scorpions on her back. She must have been pregnant when I got her. This presented me with a problem, as from having one exotic pet, I now found myself with several dozen of them.

I had to keep them though. About half their number died in the first few weeks. I separated the survivors into three groups of five, and put them into little purpose built vivariums.
The babies did not eat crickets however. They existed off dead baby mice. I was able to buy them from a pet shop, and then the little carnivores used to gather round the corpse, like lions round an antelope, and eat the unfortunate rodent from the inside out.

As with all happy families, the time eventually came when the baby scorpions had to leave the family home. I tried offering them to various friends. I even offered to throw in a few dead baby mice to sweeten the deal, but there were no takers.
Eventually I had to give them to an exotic pet shop. I hope they all got good homes.

Not mine, but the same species

Possibly the weirdest book ever. Readers love it though

Source

Rest in peace "Houdini", my precious pet scorpion.

Houdini, herself came to a sad end. I decided to change her peat bedding, but the replacement bedding must have been treated with a chemical weedkiller. The morning after I made the change, I found her dead in her vivarium.

I gave her the most ceremonial funeral that I could at the time, by sliding her through a grating into the drain outside my house.

That was my one and only foray into the world of exotic pets. I would recommend that everyone should have at least one during their lifetime. I never stroked "Houdini", and I never heard her purr. Her eating habits were a bit bizarre, and the unexpected increase in her family was a bit of a shock. But while she lived she did give me a lot of pleasure, and while she would be unlikely to chase away intruders, if you wanted to keep some valuable jewelry safe, without the expense of a safe, there are few better places to put it than into a scorpion's enclosure.
It would be a brave burglar that put his hand in to take it out.

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Comments 16 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Well, Christopher, some people have dogs

And some people keep cats.

Some like to raise pet mice.

And some want to harbor rats.

But scorpions are where I draw the line,

Any other pet for me is fine.

I will defend to the death your right to a pet scorpion bu I definitely will never visit it. It is what it is.

Great hub though and very scorpion-friendly.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi drbj.

I would never have got her, only she was a present, but once you start looking after an animal, it is hard not to get attached to them; and "Houdini" did have a certain charm.

Oh well! She is dead now, and I dont think I will ever be getting another one.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Some friend! If someone gave me a scorpion for a gift, I would seriously question their motives.

Here in the Hill Country of Texas there are perhaps billions of scorpions of the "Bark" family and they do a lot more than sting. Did you know that they can carry and transmit the tetanus organism? That more people die of scorpion stings each year than bee stings? That they eat ant larvae?

I suppose they have a purpose in the world, but they need to stay out of my house!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Austinstar.

You probably get the white scorpions, which are the really dangerous ones. The black ones are not really so bad, although I wouldn't let one crawl all over me , like some people do.

It as the crickets that I didn't really like.

They could jump down your neck. Horrible!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Nope, we have the brown Arizona Bark scorpions. They are quite dangerous to young people and old people, and can cause allergic reactions in anyone. Mostly the sting is like having a lit cigarette put out on your skin, and it affects your adrenaline levels too. They are 2 inches long or less and they are so ugly. I hate them. I have been stung twice in my bed at night. That will get you up in a hurry I can tell you!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

I should think so.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, Oh you got to be kidding me! lol I wouldn't sleep at night! great story! cheers nell


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi Nell. Thanks for reading.

She didn't really have dangerous sting. It was about the equivalent of a beesting.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California

We have had a lot of common. I, too, had (2) pet Emperor scorpions that were pretty entertaining to watch.I washed their rocks with some soap they were sensitive to and they, sadly, died. I have had (3) Harmless Tarantulas--one a Mexican Flame Knee lived to be 18 yrs. old./I had to keep the crickets in another part of the house due to their chirping. I really enjoyed and related to this Hub!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

GarnetBird.

Thanks for dropping in.

I am sad to hear that your scorpions died. I think they were poisoned like mine was.

Exotic pets can be just as rewarding as cats and dogs.

They just look a bit different really.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

This is a very interesting hub. I cannot picture myself having a pet scorpion, but I was fascinated by a huge spider that spun a web outside of my dining room window. She fed herself, and she never attempted to enter the house. I was sorry when the wind blew her and her web away.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

hi mysterylady89

One of the things I love about Autumn here is the first mists, when all the garden spider webs get outlined by the moisture in the morning. I think it is one of the most beautiful sights in nature.

I would never kill a spider. Spiders are our friends. They kill all the flies.

Thanks for dropping in, and for your interesting comment.


anonymous 3 years ago

Scorpions are impressive for several reasons. Some are impressive in a scary way such as having powerful venoms. Venomous animals is an unpleasant subject but Scorpions have a deeper significance than this. Scorpions show amazing physical resilience and adaptability being able to live in nearly all climates and environments from equatorial and tropical rainforests to deserts to cold climates in Europe to latitude 50 degrees! They can survive temperature extremes and can go long periods without food and water. Most impressive to me is the great ancientness of Scorpions. The earliest Scorpions appeared some 440 million years ago in the Silurian period Paleozoic era. That's five and a half times more ancient than the 80 million year old Tyrannosaurus and that's roughly one tenth as ancient as planet earth which is 4.6 billion years old. The Silurian period was vastly differed than today. Very few and very primitive land plants. This was long before the Dinosaurs when Trilobites ruled and when giant arthropods ruled. The extinct Eurypterids or Sea Scorpions such as Pterygotus were huge predatory monsters related to true Scorpions which thrived during the Silurian period. Its believed that the early true Scorpions were aquatic and had gills. The one metre long Brontoscorpio from the Devonian period 410 million years ago is extinct. Scorpions became or evolved to be fully terrestrial during the Carboniferous period some 350 million years ago. Along with Tarantulas Trapdoor spiders Camel spiders Centipedes and Millipedes true Scorpions are the most ancient living land animals. One of the earliest known Scorpions is the Silurian Paleophonus Scorpion which appeared 430 million years ago or earlier. Some sources claim Scorpions appeared 450 million years ago in the Ordovician period. The recent estimates for Scorpion palentology is that they appeared 430 million to 440 million years ago in the Silurian period. Scorpions provide a window to how life looked like before the Dinosaurs during the Paleozoic era when giant arthropods ruled the water and land. Scorpions are living fossils and some of them are docile enough to be held.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 3 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks for all that additional info anonymous. You should join HubPages. You have a lot to contribute, (if your stuff is original).


Zach 3 years ago

Hey I'm sorry about your pets I'm really thinking about getting one I haven't said anything to my mom but my dad dosent find a problem as long as I wear a glove when I handle/hold them (which I hope to do.) I read about them and the local petco girl had 10 of the Emperor scorpions so i have a good source but I don't know how to convince my mom if you know what I should or could say to her to maybe think that they aren't so bad, she is a little over protective, I'm 14 and I've only had a chameleon and two dogs but that is it, if you could give me some pointers or some positives I can tell my mom that would be great. Nice story too well written


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 3 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

This video should reassure her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t_Fv8FilxE

There are plenty more on YouTube as well.

The scorpion wasn't a problem. I didn't really like the crickets though. After putting them to sleep in the fridge, I used to cut off their back legs. Otherwise they will hop all over the vivarium and your scorpion won't be able to catch them. It might be simpler to feed it mealworms.

Good luck with your mother and good luck with the scorpion.

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