What if your pet scorpions have mated and now you’ve got a bunch of scorpion babies to care for? Or perhaps you recently acquired a gravid mother scorpion who just gave birth? No matter the scenario, you now have scorplings to care for.
You’re probably wondering what to do with all the tiny, delicate babies? How do you care for them? What does such a tiny invertebrate eat? Is it safe to handle them?
In this blog article, we will answer commonly asked questions such as the ones above and discuss in detail how we care for our scorplings.
How to care for baby scorpions
What do I do once my scorpion has given birth?
If you don’t handle your scorpion too frequently, you may not even be aware that your female is gravid, particularly if you’ve only recently acquired her. It’s very possible you might wake up one morning to discover a batch of scorplings riding around on her back.
If you just have a single female in a small enclosure, don’t move her. The less you disturb her, the better. Disturbances will stress her and could even cause her to eat her babies.
The babies will actually ride around on the mother scorpion’s back for a few weeks until they have undergone their first molt. During this time, the mother will make sure they are fed and cared for, so the best thing you can do to care for the babies is to ensure the mother is well-cared for.
Perhaps the most important aspect of baby scorpion care when the scorplings are still on the mother’s back is making sure that mama scorpion is well-fed. If she feels hungry or doesn’t get enough food, she will eat her children, so we recommend offering her food on a daily basis.
Watch the mother and babies closely for the first few weeks. You will want to remove the babies once they have molted as they will no longer ride around on their mother’s back. Allowing them to remain in the same enclosure as their mother once they are off her back is a bad idea as once more, the mother might see her babies as a food source rather than as her children.
What kind of care set up should I provide for my baby scorpions?
Not surprisingly, baby scorpions have the same care requirements as their adult counterparts. The only real difference in care is that obviously smaller invertebrates eat smaller food. We will go into what to feed your baby scorpion in the next section.
When creating a habitat for your baby scorpions, it is generally acceptable to place them all in a single container until they outgrow it.
Your scorpion tank should be well-ventilated with a screen lid or lid with holes in it. You should line the bottom of the tank with a substrate such as cocoa fiber, moss, or other similar material.
A UV light is not necessary as scorpions tend to avoid lighted areas. Instead, you should use a heat mat in order to maintain ambient temperatures in the 80s. We don’t recommend using a heat lamp unless you want to mist the enclosure regularly as heat lamps tend to dry out substrates.
Another essential element to a scorpion enclosure is plenty of places to hide. You can use something as simple as used toilet paper or paper towel rolls to fancy logs and pet store hide spaces.
What do I feed my baby scorpions?
Small, fragile baby scorpions means small prey items. What then, is small enough to feed baby scorpions?
At Backwater Reptiles, once our scorplings are not living on their mother’s back anymore, we feed them pinhead crickets and fruit flies. Both of these are appropriately-sized invertebrates that baby scorpions are quick to consume.
You can place one or two pinhead crickets per scorpion into the enclosure each day. We’ve even heard that squishing the crickets so that the soft insides come out is a useful trick to get baby scorpions to eat, but ours seem to eat living crickets just fine.
In addition to food, baby scorpions should have a water source. You can place a small container that the scorplings can’t drown in inside the cage, however, we think that soaking a cotton ball in water is actually a better way to hydrate your baby scorpions.
When are my baby scorpions old enough to be handled?
Technically, once the babies are off the mother’s back, they can be handled, but we don’t recommend it as they are still very fragile and still very small.
Once their exoskeletons have had time to harden, it should be safe to pick up and handle your baby scorpions. This could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month and a half depending on the species.
We personally recommend leaving handling to a minimum until the scorplings have darkened up or gotten close to reaching their adult coloration. Once this occurs, their exoskeletons are usually hard enough to protect them properly from any jostling that might unintentionally occur.
Conclusion – baby scorpion care
Overall, caring for baby scorpions is not really that much different than caring for adult scorpions. The main difference is in what size prey items you offer.
And luckily, mother scorpions are actually pretty good at taking care of their babies until they are strong enough to fend for themselves. Nature takes care of the hardest part for you. All you need to do is pick up where mama scorpion leaves off.
If you are interested in starting a scorpion family of your own, Backwater Reptiles has many different species of scorpion for sale.