You might think that scorpions are deadly and aggressive animals that no one wants as a pet – but, the reality is that there are TONS of scorpion owners out there. And also, the scorpion community keeps growing… so what’s the deal with scorpions?
They look intimidating and scary, but if you take some time to really understand them (and can appreciate their appearance) you’ll find they make great pets.
Moreover, scorpions have an exhibit unusual behavior that will keep you glued to their terrariums for hours, making them exciting pets.
Looking for a very low maintenance, odd, and entertaining pet?
However, with scorpions, not everything is easy and straightforward. Keeping a pet scorpion requires some specific knowledge and care that other pets don’t need!
Read on to learn more.
Not All Scorpions are the Same
All scorpions look mostly the same, eight legs (yes, they’re from the arachnid family), two large pincers, and curved tail with a venomous stinger. However, a small difference in their color or form could either mean that the scorpion is highly dangerous or that their sting will ‘only’ hurt a lot.
There are over 1,500 species of scorpions in the wild, but only 25 are lethal to humans, so the chances that you’ll get a deadly scorpion on your first buy are relatively low.
Nevertheless, if you’re going to buy a scorpion, research online and follow the basic guidelines of this article on which scorpion species is best for beginners. Only purchase from reputable pet shops or online breeders, otherwise you run the risk of getting an unknown type of scorpion that could be harmful to you, your family, or other pets.
Is it Legal to Keep a Scorpion as a Pet?
Yes, it is. BUT… you might require special permits to keep or breed exotic animals (but it most countries you’re ok). Check with your local authorities before making your purchase to prevent any fines or worse.
What Scorpion Species to Keep as Pet
If you’re a beginner scorpion owner looking to get started, we recommend starting with the larger species. As weird and counter-intuitive as that may sound, most larger species are less aggressive, and their stings are, although painful, not dangerous to humans.
You might want to take a look at the Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator), the Thai Black Scorpions (Heterometrus spinifer) and the Javanese Jungle Scorpion (Heterometrus javanensis)
These huge scorpions are impressive to look at! Huge pincers and stingers, they love, burrowing in the dirt and finding places to hide, and plenty of other cool behaviour.
Black Emperor Scorpions can live up to 6 years, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to watch them grow to its full size.
Where to Keep Them
Glass aquariums tanks are the recommended choice for keeping scorpions as they have tight lids that will prevent them from escaping and are large enough to make space for them to feel comfortable.
You’ll need to replicate their natural environment in their little container, so use slightly moist soil, without any chemicals or insecticides, for the bedding. Also add pieces of rock, bark, and plenty of other natural hiding spots for your scorpion.
Make sure you keep a proper balance between humidity and heat inside their habitats to keep them healthy. Cold and dryness can kill your pet scorpion very quickly, so try using heating mats, like the ones reptiles use, to keep them warm.
What do They Eat?
Scorpions eat other smaller live insects and arthropods in the wild, so you’ll have to buy them crickets or cockroaches to keep them well fed.
Adult scorpions require about three to five small live crickets per week or fewer larger insects. If you notice that the scorpion isn’t interested in its food it might be a sign that it’s full or that it’s ill, so try giving it food again after a couple of days and see how the scorpion reacts.
Watching a scorpion catch its live food is an amazing display! So make sure you watch the chase and hunt.
Care and Maintenance
Besides the initial set up of their environment and providing food every other day, scorpions are very low maintenance pets.
You wont need to babysit them as much as other species and they can live happily for a couple of weeks without too much maintenance.
In the rare case that you might have to handle your scorpion, for example, moving him to another enclosure or taking him to a vet, it’s recommended that you get a pair of thongs with paddings so you can grab it without doing any harm to either the animal or yourself.
Keep in mind that there are very few vets that know how to treat pet scorpions so you might be in a tough spot if your scorpion starts to act weird.
Should You Get A Pet Scorpion?
Yes, you can have a pet scorpion and have a great time with the critters, but don’t get one without doing some research.
Articles like this one might convince you to buy a pet scorpion right now, but remember that like every pet, they demand attention and nurture to stay healthy and not become a hazard.
You can’t just release scorpions back into the wild if you get tired of them… they’ll become a pest that could harm the environment and other animals. This is reason some places require a license or permit to keep these exotic creatures (accountability).
Many people get pet scorpions because they look amazing and are fascinating, but end up releasing them in the wild after finding out how little they know about these cool critters.
Scorpions are aggressive creatures, they’re predatory, and you’ll almost never handle them or carry them without the chance of getting stung.
If you’re entirely sure you can handle the responsibility of keeping a pet you’ll never cuddle and will always attempt to sting you, then go ahead and buy a scorpion in your nearest pet store!
You’ll find that their intriguing behavior and amazing looks will keep you entertained for years to come.