Dictator Scorpion Care (Pandinus dictator)

The dictator scorpion (Pandinus dictator) is elusive in the exotic pet world. They are highly sought after, very rare, and some people even argue that this species doesn’t exist! Well, we’re here to assure you that the dictator scorpion is real and what’s more, we care for them and sell them to happy customers at Backwater Reptiles. Read on to learn about Dictator scorpion care in captivity.

In this blog article, we’ll cover topics ranging from physical attributes of the dictator scorpion to its basic care requirements. Continue reading to learn more about this illusory scorpion.

Dictator Scorpion Care

Dictator scorpions are very often confused with their close relative the Emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator). Both are very similar in appearance with the main difference being the size of the animal. Emperor scorpions will rarely grow to be eight inches in length, whereas the dictator scorpion can easily get this big.

dictator scorpion care
Pictured is a gravid female dictator scorpion. She is not all too happy to have her photograph taken, as you can deduce from her stance.

Another more concrete way to distinguish between species of the Pandinus family is to count the number of trichobothria, or small sensitive hairs on the scorpion’s pincers. Each species possesses a different number than its brethren.

Overall, dictator scorpions are a very dark brown or black color. They have stocky, hefty bodies and broad, powerful pincers. Their appendages (i.e. legs and tail) are more substantial than most scorpion species and are known for being rather thick.

Dictators hail from Africa, but they do have a limited range. They can be found in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.

Dictator Scorpion Care Information

Like most scorpion species, the dictator is a shy animal that will spend most of its time hiding in a burrow or crawl space. They usually only come out to eat or mate, so be prepared not to see a whole lot of your dictator unless you go searching for it.

Although many species of scorpion are solitary animals, the dictator actually shows signs of being gregarious. In captivity, it is usually safe to house several scorpions of the same size in a single enclosure, provided you give enough space and don’t put multiple males together.

pandinus dicator female
Dictator scorpions are very large, stocky scorpions with dark bodies. This female has lighter sides showing on her abdomen because she is gravid and like a pregnant human, her “tummy” is stretching to accommodate the baby scorpions.

Your dictator scorpion’s home should have a nice substrate suitable for burrowing. We also recommend a few above ground hide spaces if you want to be able to view your scorpion without digging it out of its substrate.

Although dictators are large invertebrates, they actually don’t need a large enclosure to roam around in. A ten gallon size horizontal glass tank is ideal for one or two dictators, but if you keep more than two together, get a slightly larger tank.

Temperatures should be kept in the mid-80s throughout the day. A slight drop in temperature at night is fine. Because scorpions don’t like bright light, avoid heat lights to keep the temperature at the desired range. Instead, we recommend using heat tape or a commercially constructed heat pad that you can purchase from any commercial pet store.

Dictator Scorpion Feeding

Dictator scorpions are not shy eaters. They are ambush predators and will gladly eat virtually any type of insect.

The dictators at Backwater Reptiles are given gut-loaded crickets, roaches, mealworms, and wax worms as an occasional treat. Usually a few insects per animal every other day is an acceptable amount of food.

Dictator Scorpion Temperament

Although dictator scorpions are certainly large, they are not necessarily overly aggressive. Like any scorpion species, if you are calm when dealing with the animal, it will usually respond to you calmly as well.

Keep in mind though that we do not recommend a dictator scorpion (or any other scorpion for that matter) as a pet that you coddle or hold frequently. Although you can handle your dictator, copious amounts of human interaction can stress the animal and also result in aggression in the form of stinging.

Conclusion – Dictator scorpion care

Dictator scorpions are highly sought after and we understand why. These large scorpions are impressive specimens to show off to friends and family. We keep them successfully in captivity, and rear babies as well.

If you are interested in a rare dictator scorpion of your own, Backwater Reptiles can help you out.