The imperial, or Emperor Scorpion is a large black species from West African regions of wet Savannah and rain forest from Mauritania to Zaire where it can be found under rotting logs and in leaf litter during the day. At night they come out to feed on various invertebrates, small lizards or frogs. They tolerate each other well and can often be found in small groups during the dry season to try and conserve water. Interestingly it is known that scorpions become fluorescent under UV light, showing up a bright glowing green colour.
Emperor Scorpion Vivarium
The vivarium should be at least 18 inches long and 12 inches wide for an individual, with a 3 foot vivarium able to contain around 4 adult individuals. The enclosure should be kept at around 70% to 80% humidity and never allowed to drop below 50% as that would rapidly become fatal. Various rock hides and pieces of driftwood or bark should be included to keep the occupants as stress free as possible. The substrate should be eco-earth mixed with sand or possibly orchid bark and be around 4 inches deep to allow burrowing. Light is not required but a bulb can be included to create a regular night and day cycle. The ambient temperature should be set to around 28 degrees for the day and 21 degrees during the night and be regulated using a thermostat. Silk or plastic plants can be added for decorative purposes, but don’t make it so over filled that the scorpions cant find their food. A water bowl should be added and kept constantly full, make sure its large enough for the Emperor Scorpion to soak itself completely but not so deep as the scorpion gets stuck.
Emperor Scorpion Feeding
Feed the Emperor Scorpion 2 or 3 times a week on 1 prey item, such as a cricket, or 1 large prey item a week. Emperor scorpions will eat regularly and will eat as much as they can, so if you have to feed them regularly then make sure it is on small items, for example if feeding an adult every day then only give it medium sized crickets or standard mealworms. They grow to around 6 inches in length, and are usually a fairly calm and potentially handleable species. The sting is only as bad as a bee sting, with some inflammation and localised pain although they rarely sting. On the other hand it is the claws that are the part to avoid as a fully grown adult can snap a pencil with 1 claw.
Scorpions ‘dance’ over a flat rock before mating, when the male deposits a spermatophore on the ground and guides the females onto it. After a 12 month pregnancy the female gives birth to between 10 and 25 live young which are white and helpless. She carries them on her back and provides a meal of finely shredded food for them. Finally they will disperse and will need to be removed immediately from the enclosure otherwise they may be mistook for prey.