Guide to Scorpion Care
Scorpions. Pets or Problems?
For many of us, insects have always been and will always be a source of discomfort, fear, and sometimes pain. Many different insects in the animal kingdom have their uses. Some of those uses are not benificial to mankind. Some of us have have found that there is a certain awe and intrigue to insects. Even to the point that we've taken to keeping them as pets. Among them, scorpions have made their way into our homes. There are plenty of reasons not to own such a creature, and we'll go over those first and foremost before anything else.
Scorpions, by definition, are arthropods and fall under the category of arachnids, right along side of spiders and other creatures of the eight-legged brand. This in and of itself is enough to frighten many people away. It only gets worse from there. Scorpions aren't all that large. Even the largest of their species are small, comparatively. Still, as the saying goes, it's not the size that matters. Scorpions possess a pair of pincers that they use to grab and incapacitate their prey and would-be attackers. They also care at the ends of their tail a poison sac with a very sharp stinger. In different species, the use between the two differentiate. Some species with larger pincers use those primarily, and other species with more potent poison or smaller pincers prefer the use of their tails. In all species, though, both are dangerous.
It is inadvisable to have a scorpion as a pet if you have small children that are not aware of the dangers or have means to reach into the container. Which brings us to another point. Scorpions are most often very good climbers. If you do not have adequate housing for the pet, do not get one. Safety is the name of the game with these small critters. They don't get used to you, they don't like to be messed with. They don't want you to pet them. If there might be anything they could possibly really want from you, it's decent housing, food, and water. Next, we'll talk about just what you need to own a scorpion and have it thrive.
Housing for Scorpions
Sorpions don't require any very special housing. You don't neccessarily have to spend tons and tons of money on housing for them. Essentially, all you need is a glass aquarium with a good secured and lockable lid. Aside from that, it is neccessary to find the special type of substrate for your particular scorpion species. It is highly advisable to look up the kind of scorpion you have to find out which type of substrate your scorpion needs, as using the wrong kind can cause an abundance of problems. Also, nearly, if not all scorpions need a place to hide. Without it, they can become greatly stressed, and again, this can cause a great, many problems. The next thing you need to be aware of is heating.
Scorpions depend on the heat around them to maintain their body temperature, but don't really require any light, as they are nocturnal creatures. It is recommended that you use a heatmat for their heat source. Many people place the heatmate on the underside of the tank, but the problem with this is that many species burrow and this could cause them to overheat and die. It's better to put the heatmat on the side of the tank, this way burrowing won't be a problem and they can move from one side of the tank to the other to regulate their temperature. The average temperature in the tank should be somewhere around 25C, and it might be required to place a towel or some other cover over the tank to keep this temperature regulated. Humidity is also something to be aware of in many species, and if your species requires a high humidity, spray the tank with water every day or so. It would make things much easier if you buy a thermometer and humidity guage for the enclosure to better keep track.
Scorpions are carnivores. Their diets consist of insects, spiders, and larger ones will even chow down on some small lizards and snakes. Crickets are the most readily available food for most scorpions, and the amount they eat will vary depending on their size. Larger scorpions in suitable conditions will eat somewhere around two to three crickets in a week's time. Sometimes more. If conditions aren't suitable, however, then the scorpions will not eat well. Whatever type of food you keep for them, provide them with decent living space, food, and water. With crickets it is a good idea to feed them some sort of vitamin supplements such as Gut Load and things of that nature. The nutrients that the crickets are given will be passed on to the scorpion.
For obvious reasons, it is best simply to leave your scorpion alone. They don't want to be touched, and the more you handle them the more they become stressed. If there is any way you can get around handling them, it would be for the best. A few species are relatively harmless, and quite docile, but they should never be taken lightly. If there is any reason that you must absolutely handle them, use a pair of foam-tipped forceps. This will limit the amount of stress to the animal as well as keep you safely from danger.