There are many unique and unusual animals that are enjoying an increase in popularity among pet owners. One such animal is the scorpion. There are many different types of scorpions that are gaining popularity as a household pet, but the emperor scorpion is the one most commonly found in homes. Although this pet certainly is not one that you will let rest in your lap while you watch television, they are very clean animals that are easy to care for. In order to help your emperor scorpion live to its full life expectancy of six to eight years, however, it is important to know how to properly care for this exotic pet.
Housing an Emperor Scorpion
Housing an emperor scorpion is not particularly difficult, but putting together the proper housing is the most important step in keeping your pet healthy. Since this particular type of scorpion is native to Africa, it requires a habitat that is both warm and humid.
If you are only planning to have one emperor scorpion, a 10-gallon glass tank should be sufficient. If you are keeping more than one scorpion, you shouldn’t go any larger than a 30-gallon tank. If you do, your pet may have a difficult time catching its prey at feeding time. Regardless of the size of the tank, make certain your tank has a tight lid so your pet can’t escape.
The temperature inside your tank should range from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Since scorpions are cold-blooded, you should keep one side of the tank cooler than the other. This way, your pet can move from one side of the tank to the other in order to regulate its body temperature. In order to achieve varying temperatures within the tank, place a heating mat on the underside of one side of the tank. You will also need to mist the tank on a daily basis in order to maintain the proper humidity levels. The substrate, which may be vermiculite, soil or peat, should be kept damp at all times, but it should never be completely wet.
You should also keep in mind that scorpions are nocturnal and that they like to hide and burrow. Therefore, your substrate should be 3 to 6 inches deep so your pet can dig as often as it likes. In addition, you should include plenty of hiding places in the tank for your scorpion to use as it pleases.
Feeding Your Emperor Scorpion
Emperor scorpions eat insects, arthropods and small lizards in the wild. Although they eat a variety of different creatures, your pet can live a happy and healthy life with a diet consisting primarily of crickets. It is a good idea, however, to occasionally supplement its diet with moths, mealworms and other insects.
Feeding is quite easy with emperor scorpions, as they only need to eat one cricket every other day or so. The most important part is to be certain the crickets are eating a nutritious diet. This way, they will be full of nutrients for your scorpion to absorb. To further increase the nutritional value of the crickets, it is a good idea to dust them with a mineral supplement before feeding. Although scorpions don’t drink a significant amount of water, you should also provide it with a shallow dish of water as well. Make certain to keep the dish shallow so your pet doesn’t accidentally drown in the water.