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The scorpion that became my queen. Keeping a scorpion as a pet. Feeding a scorpion.
The Pet, the Prey, and the Family.
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
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.