Guide To Keeping Forest Scorpions
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Guide To Keeping Forest Scorpions

Introduction

Buying any pet is a big decision but there are several things you may want to consider first to make sure that a Scorpion is the pet for you:

  • Are all of the people in your household happy with a scorpion coming to live there?
  • Can you guarantee that you will have a regular supply of live insects to feed to your Scorpion?
  • Are you happy to keep live insects in your home?
  • Are you prepared to look after an animal that could live up to and beyond 8 years?
  • Is there someone that you can ask to look after your pet if you are away?

Types of Forest Scorpion

Scorpions have been kept as pets for many years and if cared for correctly are wonderful animals to observe. Most Scorpions come from tropical places although there are a few exceptions.

This guide covers the care required for the most commonly kept types of Forest Scorpion. These Forest Scorpions fall under the genus Heterometrus, originating from Asia but are also know by many of the following common names: Asian Forest Scorpion, Black Forest Scorpion, Giant Black Scorpion, Asian Blue Scorpion, Giant Blue Scorpion, and Giant Forest Scorpion.

Buying a Forest Scorpion

We recommend buying a Forest Scorpion from a reputable pet shop. The shop will also be able to help you with a supply of good quality live food to feed your scorpion.

Check before purchasing:

The Scorpion is feeding well.
Any reputable pet shop should be able to provide answers on how often the scorpion is fed and what type and size of live food it enjoys most.
The Scorpion is healthy.
5 point animal health check:
  • Make sure that the animal is alert and responsive.
  • The legs should support the body effortlessly and be break free.
  • The underside of the scorpion should be clean and free from splits or ruptures.
  • The scorpion should have fully functioning pinchers (these are known as pedipals).
  • The sting on the scorpion should end with a sharp point (this is known as the aculeus).

Caring For Your Forest Scorpion

Overview

  • Ease of Care:Beginner
  • Size:10-20cm (4-8”)
  • Life Span:Up to 8 years
  • Diet:Insects
  • Temperament:Defensive
  • Background Temp:24-31⁰C (75-88⁰F)
  • HOT Spot:Not required but the enclosure should have a warm side and a cooler side

Equipment Needed

  • Housing:Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium
  • Heating:Heat Mat
  • Lighting:LED Lighting (Light Cycle: 12 hours of light)
  • Substrate:Coir, Bioactive, Peat/Sand Mix or Spider Substrate
  • Water:Shallow Water Dish

Top Tips

  • Provide a suitable background temperature of 24-31⁰C (75-88⁰F) to allow the Scorpion to function as normal.
  • You may not see your Scorpion drink but always provide a fresh water source for when it chooses to.
  • Place a piece of wet sponge or insect gel in the Scorpion’s water dish to make it easier for the Scorpion to rehydrate.
  • Ensure the enclosure is well ventilated.
  • Use 5-8cms of substrate to provide a humid place for resting and to allow the Scorpion to burrow.

Housing:

A relevant sized Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium will be perfect for the Scorpion’s whole life.

  • millipede

    Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, Small Low, L45 x D45 x H30cm (18 x 18 x 12") (DER1812)

  • millipede

    Exo Terra Flat Faunarium, Large, L46 x D30 x H17cm (DEFFL)

  • millipede

    Komodo Advanced Habitat, L45 x D45 x H45cm (18 x 18 x 18”) (DK82125)

Environment

Heating

Originating from a warm environment, Scorpions require a warm background temperature within their enclosure to help them to flourish.

A heat mat run on a thermostat is the ideal solution for providing heat. The heat mat should be located on the outside of the enclosure, either on the back or one of the sides.

The heat mat should be used in conjunction with a heat mat thermostat.

Heat mat thermostats are designed to regulate temperatures using a thermostat probe (also known as a sensor). Correct placement of the probe is critical to avoid overheating and injury to the Tropical Forest Scorpion. Insert the probe through the lid of the terrarium and tape directly to the inside of the enclosure adjacent to the heat mat. The probe cable should be taped 2-5cm (1-2”) back from the actual probe sensor to allow for a correct temperature reading and avoid it becoming dislodged.

Temperature and Monitoring

As a rough guide, daytime and night time temperatures should be between 24-31⁰C (75-88⁰F) with one side of the enclosure at 24⁰C (88⁰F) and the other side cooler at 24⁰C (75⁰F). Make sure temperatures are checked regularly to ensure that there are no extreme fluctuations.

Lighting

A LED Light should be used with these Scorpions to give them a day and night cycle. A nocturnal species, they should be provided with plenty of dark hiding areas to sleep away from the brightness of a LED Light.

Substrates and Decoration

Personal choice will dictate how you decorate your Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium but we recommend the following as a guide:

  • Substrates: Scorpions can be housed on Coir, Bioactive, Peat/Sand Mix or Spider Substrate with a depth of 5-8cms. These substrates will retain essential moisture, helping to maintain humidity levels. The scorpion will also be able to display its natural burrowing behaviour.
  • Wood and Corn Bark for climbing and hiding under.
  • Artificial or Live plants for decoration and to provide darker areas for the Tropical Forest Scorpion to hide away in if it chooses to.

Diet and Water

Babies through to adults should be offered appropriately sized insects.

A Scorpion uses its pinchers to capture, kill and then hold its prey; they will sometimes use their stinger to inject a paralyzing neurotoxic venom if they cannot kill the prey item with their claws. A Scorpion’s mouth is made up from small fanglike structures which are extremely sharp; these mouth parts are used to slice off tiny pieces from its prey item to eat. Any uneaten parts of the Scorpion’s prey should be removed from the enclosure to prevent mould.

A shallow source of fresh water must always be available for these Scorpions. You can also place a piece of wet sponge or insect gel in a shallow dish to allow the Scorpion to hydrate itself. The substrate in the Scorpion’s enclosure should be lightly misted every other day to ensure that the humidity is kept at around 75-85%; the substrate should be moist but not wet.

Supplementation

Forest Scorpions do not need to receive additional supplementation to their diet.

Health & Hygiene

Always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with warm water and disinfectant immediately before and after caring for your scorpion.

Additional Information

Forest Scorpions do not make the best pet for handling but provided with the correct care make a delightful species for viewing.

Forest Scorpions are nocturnal so are best viewed at night to see them when they are most active.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Forest Scorpions aggressive?

    Forest Scorpions are not a good species for handling as they are defensive and can pinch and sting. Whilst the sting of the most commonly kept Forest Scorpions is not known to be harmful to humans some people may have an allergic reaction if stung.

  • How long will my Forest Scorpion live for?

    A Forest Scorpion may live for up to 8 years in captivity if cared for correctly.

  • My Scorpion does not come out very much in the day, why is this?

    Forest Scorpions are nocturnal meaning that they are most active at night.

  • I have had my Forest Scorpion for a few months and have never seen him drink?

    Scorpions can go for long periods without a drink but ensure a fresh water source is available so the Scorpion can drink when it chooses to.

  • How often do I need to feed my Scorpion?

    Offer food twice a week to begin with, the Scorpion may require more or less than this as it grows. It is best to monitor how much the Scorpion is eating and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

  • A Scorpion looks a bit like a Tarantula, are they related?

    Yes, Scorpions and Tarantulas both belong to a group called arachnids, species in this group have eight legs and do not possess flying wings.

  • What should I do if my scorpion stings me?

    We advise not to handle your Scorpion but if you do get stung you should wash the area with soap and warm water and keep an eye on the area over the next few hours. The sting will not affect most people but there is a very small chance that the sting could cause an allergic reaction.

  • What other types of beginner scorpion are there?

    Gold Scorpion.

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