How to Set Up a Scorpion Enclosure

One of the first things to consider when purchasing a non-traditional pet of any sort is where the animal will live. What type of cage or enclosure does it require to stay happy and healthy? How can you make sure your pet’s housing needs are met?

Because scorpions are pretty popular in the reptile hobbyist world (despite the fact that they’re obviously not reptiles!), we get asked a lot about scorpion care, housing, and husbandry. In this blog article we’ll answer the following questions:

Do scorpions make good pets?
What do you need to set up a scorpion enclosure?
How do I set up a scorpion enclosure?
What types of scorpions is this set up appropriate for?
Where can I buy a scorpion enclosure kit?

How to set up a scorpion enclosure

Do scorpions make good pets?

We certainly think that scorpions make great pets! However, they are certainly not for everyone.

Keep in mind that scorpions obviously have venomous, stinging tails and pinchers, so they can be dangerous if you don’t know how to handle one. Most people report that the sting of a scorpion feels similar to a bee sting and the effects of the venom vary from species to species, but usually, they don’t cause too much harm unless you happen to be allergic.

So, because scorpions require careful handling and a knowledge of how to handle a venomous invertebrate, we’d say make sure that you are not squeamish, afraid, or allergic before you decide to purchase a pet scorpion.

We’d also like to mention that scorpions are not meant to be interactive, social pets. They thrive when left alone to their own devices, so please don’t purchase a pet scorpion with the intent of handling it all the time. Scorpions are relatively secretive and will get stressed with too much human interaction.

So, the bottom line is if you are not allergic to scorpion venom, if you are okay with a mostly “look don’t touch” pet, and you aren’t squeamish around invertebrates, then a scorpion would make a great pet!

What will I need to set up a scorpion enclosure?

Believe it or not, scorpions cages are very simple. You don’t need a lot of room, decorations, or other accessories in order for your pet scorpion to thrive.

Listed below are the items needed to set up your pet scorpion’s home:

Cage/Enclosure/Home – This is a pretty obvious requirement. Clearly your scorpion will need an enclosed space of some sort to call its home. We recommend a clear plastic or glass box or tank so that you are able to view your scorpion when it emerges from hiding.

Ideally, your enclosure will be longer rather than it is taller and possess more horizontal space than it does vertical as scorpions are not arboreal invertebrates and won’t be doing any climbing.

We also highly recommend that your tank or cage have a lid. While it’s true that scorpions can’t really climb, especially up the walls of a glass tank, we do recommend it for safety purposes. A lid can help prevent many types of accidents and will also prevent your scorpion from getting out of its tank on the off chance that it is an escape artist.

Substrate – All scorpion cages should be lined with some sort of substrate. Scorpions can be burrowers, so make sure to choose a substrate that supports this habit. At Backwater Reptiles, we usually use coconut husk mixed with sand because it holds tunnels well and is very safe for the scorpion. However, depending on the species, you can use other types of substrates too. Forest species will require some moisture, so substrates such as peat moss, coconut husk, and even orchid bark mixed with organic potting soil are all good options. Desert species such as the desert hairy scorpion, will require a much drier substrate. Sand is generally the best option for a desert species.

scorpion kit
Pictured is the Backwater Reptiles scorpion kit. It includes all that you see – a plastic faunarium complete with lid, a brick of plantation soil substrate, a faux plant, a water dish, and a rock hide space. This set up works great with nearly all species of scorpions.

Hide Space – Scorpions are by nature pretty shy and secretive, so a hide space is essential. They require an area where they can feel secure and invisible from predators.

There are any number of hides you can make or purchase. We prefer something simple with a bit of weight to it so that the scorpion can’t accidentally displace or dislodge it.

Water Dish – Although you’ll likely never ever see your pet scorpion drinking water, it is still in the best interests of your scorpion to provide a sturdy water dish.

A water dish helps maintain proper humidity levels and is also important for hydration should your scorpion become thirsty.

We highly recommend a dish that is heavy enough to stay put. You don’t want a light weight dish that will tip over or spill water everywhere within the scorpion’s cage as this could lead to the growth of mold or fungus.

Foliage/Plant – Scorpions don’t need a lot of cage accessories to do well in captivity. Because they usually do best in relatively small enclosures, we recommend a small plastic plant that doesn’t spread out or stick up too high. This gives a natural look to the cage and also provides a bit of decoration.

Heating Pad/Heating Mat – If you maintain decent temperatures and don’t allow your room to grow too cold or too warm, most scorpions don’t absolutely require a heating element, although we do recommend it to at least give them the option to thermoregulate.

If you do choose to provide a heating element, we don’t recommend heat lights or lamps as scorpions tend to avoid light and will simply hide from it all day. Rather, we recommend investing in a heat mat that you secure to the side of the enclosure. Because scorpions are known for burrowing, sticking the mat to the bottom of the tank might actually create temperatures that are too warm and you could inadvertently “cook” your scorpion!

Springtails – Believe it or not, springtails are actually something living that you can add to your scorpion’s set up in order to promote a healthy cage ecosystem. They are however not a necessary addition to your scorpion’s set up and are completely optional.

Springtails are actually tiny little bugs that are helpful in breaking down waste elements in the scorpion’s environment. This is beneficial to all parties because this means you have to clean your scorpion’s enclosure less frequently and your scorpion is not walking around in its own waste.

Remember how we mentioned that you want to be careful when choosing a water dish as you don’t want to create excess moisture that could lead to fungus and mold growing within the scorpion’s enclosure? Well, springtails can actually help alleviate mold and fungus, so they are also beneficial when it comes to keeping harmful and invasive elements out of your scorpion’s environment.

How do I set up a scorpion enclosure?

Once you’ve obtained the items on the list above (read more on where to purchase these items later on in this article), it’s a very straight forward, simple process to prepare your scorpion’s enclosure.

The first step is to line your enclosure with your chosen substrate. Make sure that it is at the proper moisture level. Desert scorpions should have dry substrate, while tropical species should have more moisture. Usually you want the substrate to be damp but certainly not dripping.

arizona bark scorpion
Pictured is a young Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus). This species is actually the most venomous in the entire United States, so be wary when purchasing one. You can follow the set up we describe in this blog article when keeping an Arizona bark scorpion, just make sure to choose an appropriate substrate. As its name suggests, this particular species prefers dry bark, wood, or leaf litter.

If you have a heating pad, secure it to one side of the enclosure, preferably on a side wall and not on the bottom of the tank.

All of the other elements of the set up – the water dish, the hide space, and the  faux foliage – can be placed however you desire within the cage. We usually like to keep the water dish on the same side as the heat because the evaporation helps to maintain moisture levels. Just be aware that if you choose this option, you’ll likely need to refill the water dish more frequently.

As you can see, setting up the enclosure for a scorpion is really not rocket science. You basically just place the objects listed above in the cage as you choose and – voila – your scorpion’s home is ready to go!

What types of scorpions is this set up appropriate for?

This type of set up will work excellent for just about every type of scorpion available to keep as a pet.

We’d like to point out that the only real difference in cage set ups to be aware of is that desert scorpion species will require a dry substrate, whereas tropical species will require a moist substrate.

Otherwise, you can follow our instructions for setting up this type of scorpion enclosure for any species!

Where can I buy a scorpion enclosure kit?

If you’re wondering where to get all of the items listed above, it’s really actually very simple. Backwater Reptiles not only sells pet scorpions, we also sell scorpion kits!

Contained within the kit is the actual cage/terrarium itself, substrate, a plastic plant, and a water dish. The only items not included would be a heating pad and the springtails, although as we’ve mentioned, both are optional.

burrowing scorpion
Pictured is a burrowing scorpion which is a species known for being able to dig burrows nearly five feet deep in the wild. In captivity, you’ll want to be sure to provide as much burrowing area as possible, which means securing a substrate that can hold tunnels and burrows. Coconut husk mixed with sand is great option.

All you need to do to find our scorpion kits is visit any “scorpion for sale” page and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will find listed two different sized scorpion kits. You can select from small/medium and medium/large depending on the size of your pet scorpion.

If you do wish to buy a heating element, you can go to any commercial pet store and obtain a reptile heating mat for relatively low cost.

You can also go to a commercial pet store to purchase all the elements included in the Backwater Reptiles scorpion kit, however it does save you time, energy, effort, and money to purchase a kit/bundle.

Unfortunately, springtails are not sold by Backwater Reptiles. They are also not commercially available in pet stores. If you wish to add springtails to your scorpion’s little ecosystem, then your best bet is to purchase them online.

Springtails make great additions to your scorpion’s cage, although they are not necessary. They’ll simply help maintain cleanliness by breaking down waste and harmful organisms like mold and fungi.

How to set up a scorpion enclosure video tutorial

Although we’ve written out how to set up a scorpion’s enclosure and detailed the supplies needed to do so, we’ve also included a brief video tutorial that walks you through the same process. You can view it below.


We hope this article has shown you how simple and easy it is to set up a scorpion’s enclosure.

Scorpions can make awesome pets for the right owner. If you want a very low maintenance pet that is mostly “for looks,” then a scorpion would be a good fit.

Although they’re not a very hands on or interactive pet, they can be very rewarding to keep and show off to friends and family.

But please, be smart when buying a scorpion. Make sure that if you do handle it, you do so with extreme caution. Although scorpions are not lethal (unless you have an allergy), their sting is still painful.


How to Care for Baby Scorpions

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.

caring for baby scorpions
Luckily, mother scorpions do most of the work when it comes to caring for newborn scorplings. Here’s one of our Dictator scorpions (Pandinus dictator) with her babies.

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.

baby pandinus dictator
Pictured is a baby Dictator scorpion (Pandinus dictator).

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.

dictator scorpion babies
Baby scorpions will cluster on their mother’s back until they have undergone their first molt.

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.



Florida Bark Scorpion Care (Centruroides gracilis)

Although they’re not necessarily the most hands-on kind of pet, scorpions are most certainly growing in popularity. Florida Bark scorpion care doesn’t have to be complex–it’s actually fairly simple.

This blog article will spot-light the Florida bark scorpion (Centruroides gracilis), which is also commonly called the brown bark scorpion, and the slender brown scorpion. We’ll go into detail about how we care for them at Backwater Reptiles.

Florida Bark Scorpion Care

Florida Bark Scorpion Description

Considered a medium to large-sized scorpion, the Florida bark scorpion will reach lengths of approximately four inches. Males will usually have slightly longer tails than females and therefore be slightly longer, although females tend to have bulkier bodies.

Florida bark scorpion care
Florida bark scorpions can be found in southern Florida, explaining the origin of this scorpion’s common name. We will explain their care requirements in this article.

A typical Florida bark scorpion has a dark brown body, which appears nearly black in dim lighting, although sometimes they appear dusky brownish red as well. Its legs are typically lighter in tone and it will usually have faint yellowish markings on its back.

Florida Bark Scorpion Care: Habitat

Florida bark scorpions prefer warm, humid climates and can be found throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and southern Florida.

Unlike many species of scorpions, the Florida bark scorpion can be housed communally with other scorpions. Just be sure they are of comparable size as smaller scorpions will be considered food!

This species requires very little space to thrive. In fact, a five gallon tank is sufficient room for an entire colony. However, if you do keep multiple animals together, we do recommend keeping an eye out for gravid females as you don’t want any babies to get eaten once they are birthed.

slender brown scorpion
Florida bark scorpions are dark brown with lighter brown extremities.

Make sure your tank has a secure lid. Even though it might not seem true, Florida bark scorpions are known for their propensity to escape and they will slip through screen lids that are not tightly fitted. We’ve heard of owners who actually put a one inch band of petroleum jelly or other lubricating agent around the inside rim of the enclosure to make it too slippery for the scorpion to escape.

The appropriate temperature range for the Florida bark scorpion is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend a heating pad to achieve this temperature as scorpions avoid light and heat lamps could cause undue stress to them.

Provide a substrate that retains moisture well as these scorpions enjoy humid environments. We recommend chemical-free, organic potting soil or coconut husk mulch. A few light-weight decorations that provide crevices and hiding places such as cork bark will also make good cage accessories.

Florida Bark Scorpion Care: Feeding

Florida bark scorpions are carnivores and will eat pretty much any insect they can grab in the wild.

At Backwater Reptiles, we offer our Florida bark scorpions a variety of feeder insects. Gut-loaded crickets, small roaches, and meal worms are all acceptable options.

florida bark scorpion
Florida bark scorpions are carnivores and will eat virtually any insect they stumble upon.

We suggest offering a variety so that your scorpion’s nutritional needs are met.

Florida Bark Scorpion Care: Handling

Like all scorpion species, the Florida bark scorpion is venomous. Therefore, unless you are extremely confident in your abilities, we do not recommend picking up or holding any species of pet scorpion unless it’s necessary.

Florida bark scorpions are known to be speedy, feisty, and somewhat more aggressive. If you do handle this species, be sure that you are prepared to potentially be stung. While they are not known to be particularly venomous or toxic, their sting is reputed to be more painful than most.

You can also handle the Florida bark scorpion with tongs/tweezers by gripping it near the tip of the tail. We’ve actually written a comprehensive article all about how to handle your pet scorpion if you need more tips.

brown bark scorpion
We don’t recommend handling a Florida bark scorpion unless you are very experienced because they can be feisty.

Florida Bark Scorpion Care: Conclusion

Florida bark scorpions can make exciting and stimulating pet invertebrates if you are not in the market for a pet you can cuddle with on the couch.

This species might be inclined to sting and rather feisty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to love one. We just recommend that you have some experience keeping scorpions before investing in a pet Florida bark scorpion.

If you think you have what it takes to care for a Florida bark scorpion of your own, Backwater Reptiles sells these beautiful invertebrates. We hope you’ve gleaned some helpful information from our Florida Bark scorpion care sheet.

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.

What to Do If Your Pet Scorpion is Gravid

Even if you haven’t taken steps to breed your pet scorpion, it’s possible to receive a new pet scorpion and – lo and behold – it’s a girl and she’s gravid. By the way, when a scorpion female is going to have babies, we don’t call her “pregnant.” The appropriate term is gravid.

If you plan to keep mating pairs of scorpions in the same enclosure or you happened to discover your female scorpion is gravid, then read on to have these frequently asked questions addressed:

-How can I tell which gender my scorpion is?
-How do I know if my pet scorpion is gravid?
-How do I care for my gravid scorpion?
-What happens when my scorpion gives birth?

How can I tell which gender my scorpion is?

First of all, if you have a juvenile or very young scorpion, odds are it will be nearly impossible to distinguish the gender of the animal. Until they are fully mature, scorpions species of both genders tend to look nearly identical.

gravid pet scorpion
Pictured is a gravid Pandinus dictator scorpion.

If you are dealing with a fully mature scorpion, there are several tricks used to determine the animal’s gender. You can assess the animal based on its physical traits. Females are generally larger than males with thicker, heftier bodies. Males tend to appear longer and skinnier with longer, thicker, or fuller pincers (AKA pedipalps).

You can also take a look at the underside of your scorpion at what are called pectines. These are a series of comb-like sensory organs that are visible on the last pair of legs closest to the tail. Males will have very long, defined pectines, whereas the female’s will be shorter. Place the scorpion on a see-through surface to look at the pectines. It’s not wise to try to flip the scorpion on its back as this could stress the animal and incite it to sting.

How do I know if my pet scorpion is gravid?

You can assume your female scorpion is gravid by witnessing actual mating behavior between two animals.

If you happen to see two scorpions whose pincers are locked together doing a sort of dance, you have just witnessed scorpions breeding. When scorpions mate, the male deposits a sperm packet on the ground and then drags the female over it. Hooks on the sperm packet latch onto the female’s genital opening and fertilization occurs internally.

If you haven’t actually seen your scorpions mating, you will probably notice a change in your scorpion’s physique. Like any pregnant animal, gravid scorpions will swell up due to carrying the babies internally.

A gravid female’s abdomen will enlarge, stretch, and even become semi-transparent. It’s not uncommon to be able to see the outlines of baby scorpions through her skin!

gravid pandinus dictator
This side view of a gravid Pandinus dictator scorpion shows how the female’s abdomen is stretched and swollen. The babies are even visible!

How do I care for my gravid scorpion?

Not a lot should change when caring for a gravid scorpion. Obviously, your scorpion will be very hungry, so don’t neglect to feed her regularly.

She might also be shier or more aggressive, so we recommend providing plenty of places for her to hide out if she doesn’t feel social. Keep the handling of her to a minimum as you don’t want to stress her out or risk being stung due to an unpredictable temperament.

Gestation can range from seven months to a year, so watch her closely as care requirements will need to adjust slightly once the scorplings are born.

What happens when my scorpion gives birth?

Most females will bear anywhere from eight to thirty babies. The scorplings are born alive as scorpions do not lay eggs.

The babies will be white or nearly transparent and will stay attached to the mother’s back until their first molt.

If you keep multiple scorpions in the same enclosure, be sure to remove all other scorpions once the babies are born. Don’t move the mother as this will stress her out unnecessarily. She will get aggressive, defensive, and stressed if other scorpions are present. Not to mention you don’t want any cannibalism to occur.

Baby scorpions (AKA scorplings) ride on their mother’s back until their first molt.

Never attempt to dislodge the scorplings from the female’s back. There is a high chance she will eat them if you attempt this. Plus scorplings that are raised by the mother fare much better and are healthier overall.

The baby scorpions will eat small insects. Pinhead crickets, small waxworms, and freshly molted small mealworms are all acceptable food for scorplings.

Conclusion – Gravid pet scorpions

Scorpion breeding will occur naturally if you house a mating pair together. Keep an eye out for swollen, stretched abdomens as this is the best way to tell if your scorpion is expecting.

Think you want to start a scorpion family of your own? Backwater Reptiles has quite a selection of scorpions for sale. You may end up with a gravid pet scorpion of your own!

Whip Spider Care (Amblypygi sp.)

Wondering how to care for a Whip spider? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Whip spiders are arachnids also known by the name tailless whip scorpions. They belong to an order of arthropods named Amblypygi and are not to be confused with whip scorpions and vinegaroons, which are similar invertebrates that belong to a different order.

Although these arachnids are commonly known as tailless whip scorpions, they do earn their name, as they are indeed tailless. In fact, the word Amblypygi actually means “blunt rump” and refers to the fact that these animals don’t actually possess stinging scorpion tails or silk saks.

They do, however, have pinching pedipalps (AKA pinchers) that can grab your fingers if the scorpion feels threatened. But they aren’t venomous, nor are they usually aggressive, so they aren’t considered dangerous pets.

tailless whip spider care
Whip spiders are harmless, even though they might look rather intimidating. Caring for them as pets is very easy.

Tailless whip scorpions are flat, wide invertebrates with eight legs. Only six of these legs are actually used for walking and the scorpion has a somewhat sideways gait similar to that of a crab. The front appendages are modified into long, thin segmented feelers, which the scorpion uses to orient itself and find prey. These feelers, which just happen to resemble whips, are also what gives these arachnids their common name.

When their legs are not stretched out, most whip spiders will average around two to three inches in length. However, it has been reported that these scorpions can stretch out to make their leg span as long as twenty three inches.

Tailless Whip Spider Care

When it comes to feeding, tailless whip scorpions are sit and wait predators. They will patiently wait and feel around with their long “antennae” until they sense that prey is nearby. Once the scorpion detects that prey is close enough, it will pounce and grab the prey using its pinchers and immediately begin chewing.

In the wild, whip spiders are insectivores primarily. In captivity, we give ours meals of crickets, roaches, and occasional wax worms. Sometimes, if your whip spider isn’t too shy, you can even get it to accept an insect from tongs.

A close up of the whip spider shows its pincers that it uses to snatch prey.

Like all arachnids, whip spiders molt as they grow. However, unlike most spiders and scorpions, they require a place to hang from while molting. Most arachnids will molt on the ground, but whip spiders need a vertical space to hang from while they wriggle out of their old exoskeleton. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that owners provide a surface that the scorpion can cling to in order to perform this behavior.

Directly following a molt, your whip spider will be a white or green color and will be far more vulnerable. This means that prey items such as crickets or roaches that can bite your whip spider need to be removed immediately from the cage if they are not eaten.

Believe it or not, prey can actually injure the whip spider while it is green or white. But not to worry – after a few days, your whip spider’s new exoskeleton will harden and you can resume feeding as normal.

Whip spiders are fairly active arachnids, so we recommend a decent sized enclosure. A ten gallon tank should suffice for a single scorpion, but if you add additional house mates, a larger home will obviously be required.

As previously mentioned when molting was discussed, be sure to have multiple angled surface with various textures that your scorpion can cling to and hang from while molting. And as far as substrate is concerned, anything that holds moisture will do just fine. We recommend coconut fiber, peat moss, or organic potting soil.

Be sure to maintain high humidity levels in your whip spider’s enclosure. These are animals that are naturally found in wet caves with naturally collecting water. They need humidity to thrive and go through proper molting.

A good way to maintain humidity is to mist your whip scorpion’s enclosure. This is also helpful because the scorpions won’t drink from a standing water dish, but they will drink water that has naturally collected on cage décor.

tailless whip scorpion
Notice the long “feelers” on the tailless whip scorpion that help it detect prey.

Caring for Tailless Whip Spiders – Conclusion

We think that whip spiders make excellent pets and are simple to care for, especially for people who want an arachnid but don’t want to be bitten by a spider or stung by a scorpion.

Do Scorpions Glow in the Dark?

Did you know that scorpions can glow in the dark underneath a black light?

It’s true! Nearly all scorpions will glow a purple, blue, green, or white-ish color when exposed to an ultraviolet or black light in the dark. Below we’ll use one of our our scorpions as an example.

Do scorpions glow in the dark?
This Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus) fluoresces a purplish white color.

Juvenile and freshly-molted scorpions don’t glow in the dark however. This is because their exoskeletons have not yet had time to develop enough to produce the unknown substance that causes the glowing.

Heterometrus longimanus
Here is a photo of the same Asian Forest Scorpion pictured above without the blacklight.

Interestingly enough, scientists are not 100% sure what causes scorpions to glow or what the purpose or advantage the glowing gives to the scorpion. All that is known is that the substance is found in a very thin layer of the scorpion’s cuticle known as the hyaline layer and that as the exoskeleton hardens, the fluorescence is brighter.

It has been hypothesized that scorpions glow under blacklight for multiple reasons. Some believe it’s so that they can find other scorpions – scorpions have pretty poor eyesight plus they already blend in very well with their desert surroundings.

Others have said it’s to protect the scorpion from the sun – i.e. it’s a form of sunscreen. However, this doesn’t hold up as scorpions tend to come out at night. It’s even been suggested that the glowing is just a fluke of nature and actually serves no purpose at all.

Scorpion under blacklight
Here’s one of our scorpions under a blacklight.

The most recent research that has been done on the subject comes from California State University archeologist Carl Kloock. He believes that because scorpions dislike the light, they use the UV levels as a way to know whether or not they want to come out to hunt. Apparently, when there are more UV rays present, scorpions tend to stay in hiding and be less active than if it’s darker.

Backwater Reptiles has all kinds of scorpions for sale if you are interested in checking out this neat trait for yourself! We also sell blacklights specially designed for getting your pet scorpion to glow in the dark! Just use the drop-down menu on any of our scorpion pages to purchase one.

What’s the Longest Scorpion in the World?

Have you ever wondered what the longest scorpion in the world is? If so, you’ve come to the right place because we’re not only going to unveil which species is the largest scorpion in the world, but we’ll also touch on some interesting facts about it, including how to care for it in captivity.

What's the longest scorpion in the world?
Meet the Flat Rock Scorpion (Hadogenes troglodytes), the longest scorpion in the world.

The Flat Rock Scorpion (Hadogenes troglodytes) is in fact the longest scorpion in the world. It might not qualify as the biggest in terms of overall body and limb size, but from pincer to tail tip, it is the longest. While it’s very common for the Flat Rock scorpion to be five to six inches long, it can actually can reach a length of up to eight inches!

Found only in Africa, this species of scorpion got its name from its body shape, which is long, flat, and segmented. This makes it ideal for squeezing into tiny crevices between rocks where it likes to make its home.

Large Flat-rock scorpion
Here is a top view of the flat rock scorpion showing how flat and long its body shape really is.

Like all scorpions, the flat rock eats insects. In captivity, they should be fed crickets, roaches, and other appropriately-sized invertebrates. A small water dish should also be provided.

Because flat rock scorpions are ground-dwellers, their cage should have more horizontal space over vertical space. A substrate that mimics that of their natural environment, such as sand, is ideal, coupled with some rocks and hiding crevices.

These scorpions make good pets for both novices and experienced hobbyists due to the fact that they are overall fairly docile with a sting that is very low in toxicity. Although they can sting, they are slow (at least for a scorpion) and would generally rather hide than sting their handler.

Flat Rock Scorpion Pincers
Even the pincer claws on the flat rock scorpion are flatter than the average scorpion’s claws.

Backwater Reptiles has flat rock scorpions for sale. If you’re lucky, maybe yours will grow to hold the next record for longest scorpion in the world!

How to Pick Up a Scorpion

Ever wondered how to pick up a scorpion? Any pet that lives in a contained environment, whether it’s a traditional glass tank, a specialty vivarium, or even a wire or mesh cage, will need its enclosure cleaned from time to time. Because this is also true of venomous pet scorpions, this blog entry will demonstrate how to pick up and handle your scorpion when the time comes to remove it from its enclosure.

First of all, most people who keep scorpions as pets are aware that these invertebrates are not domesticated animals and are generally best left to their own devices. Scorpions are not pets that should be handled, petted, or otherwise coddled like traditional pets. They do best when observed and not disturbed. In other words, Backwater Reptiles does not recommend taking your scorpion out of its enclosure unless it’s necessary for the animal’s health.

When you pick up your scorpion, grab it at the tip of the tail just beneath the stinger using your index finger and thumb. This will prevent the animal from whipping its tail and injecting you with venom.

how to pick up a scorpion
Use two fingers to firmly yet gently grip the tip of the scorpion’s tail when attempting to move the animal. We squeeze on either side, just below the stinger.

Once you have a firm but not too tight grasp on the tip of the scorpion’s tail, gently but efficiently lift the animal up and transfer it to your desired destination. Be aware that the animal will more than likely wriggle, so it’s wise to move quickly for your own safety and to eliminate stressing the scorpion.

Bulky and hefty scorpions such as the Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus) or the Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus imperator) are easiest to move using the two finger grab method because in general they are slower and less feisty than other species.

If you’re dealing with a species such as the Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis) that tend to be rather aggressive, we advise using tongs or tweezers. This is because when the scorpion species is more agile, it can reach around with its front pedipalps or pincer claws and pinch your fingers, which is not a pleasant experience.

Handling a scorpion
Use tongs or tweezers when picking up feisty scorpion species such as this Desert Hairy Scorpion. Their claws can reach back above them.

If you’re interested in a pet scorpion of your own, Backwater Reptiles offers a variety of scorpion species for sale.

Have you developed any tricks for picking up your pet scorpion that we didn’t mention? Let us know your experiences in the comments!

How Do Scorpions Reproduce?

Are you wondering how scorpions reproduce? Believe it or not, baby scorpions are birthed live and do not hatch from eggs! They develop within the female scorpion until they’re ready to emerge.

The easiest sign of a pregnant scorpion is a heavily swollen mid-section. The area will look taught, and the exoskeleton sections will be stretched. Breeding scorpions isn’t considered difficult, but at the same time, rarely occurs in captivity because not many people are attempting it.

Newborn scorpions hitch a ride on their mother’s back until their exoskeletons harden, which generally takes 1-3 weeks. After they have sturdy exoskeletons to protect them, they scuttle off and live individual lives.

How scorpions reproduce
A mother scorpion defending her babies. Reproduction full-cycle.

Scorpion Reproduction Isn’t Always Pretty

These baby Asian Forest scorpions (Heterometrus spinifer) will grow up to be between three and a half to five inches long and they will live an average of six to ten years, making them long-lived pet companions.

The babies are ready to head to new homes after approximately one month–after they have undergone several molts. The mother will sometimes consume the babies if you’re not careful, so check on them often–scorpion reproduction isn’t always cute and cuddly.

Because they primarily eat insects and don’t get very large, Asian Forest Scorpions (and scorpions in general) are very easy to keep and maintain.

Their habitats can be fairly small and several can even be housed together, although it’s not highly recommended. If you are keeping more than one per enclosure, please ensure that each scorpion has its own hide, and plenty of food (crickets, waxworms, mealworms).

scorpion after reproduction
Here’s a close-up picture of some new scorpion babies

Due to their venomous nature, it’s not recommended to handle your scorpion without proper protective gear and the right equipment, although in general, scorpions are fairly docile.

It’s been said (although we haven’t tested this statement ourselves!) that at worst, a scorpion’s sting is just a little more painful than a bee sting. Their venom is one of the most valuable liquids on planet earth, valued at $38,858,507 per gallon according to a recent Wall Street journal article!

We’ve heard that if you’re allergic to a bee sting, a scorpion sting is just as dangerous, but this is hotly debated.

Hopefully we’ve been able to thoroughly answer the question, “How do scorpions reproduce?” If not, please drop us a line.

Although these particular little guys won’t be ready to be sold to new homes for around a month, you can still get your very own scorpions from Backwater Reptiles for only $12.99. Check out our selection of Asian Forest Scorpions for sale today!