So you want to know about Scorpions? You've come to the right place. Information can be found in the Care Sheets. Pictures can be found in the Gallery. Questions can find answers in the Forum. Please feel free to use all of them at your leisure. Galleries will be updated as more pictures are received. Care Sheets will be updated as they are written.
1. Make sure that the scorpion is active. If scorpion is not moving, see if it is quick to run away or assume a defensive posture if touched. (Not with your hands)
2. Ensure there a water source in the tank. Although many scorpions are from arid regions, they still need a source of water.
3. Verify that there are no dead prey items in the tank that were killed by the scorpion. A healthy scorpion will eat what it kills.
4. Look to see that the scorpion has all its appendages. Unlike a tarantula a scorpion will rarely regrow more than a small part of a missing leg.
5. Check if the scorpion appears emaciated or overly thin. If it is, ask to have it fed. If it's only underfed and not stressed out or too cool, it should eat immediately.
6. Make note of whether or not there is a hiding place for the scorpion. It may be stressed if there is nowhere for it to hide.
7. Most larger species of scorpions need to be kept at higher temperatures. If the scorpion is being kept at an appropriate temperature, it should not be sluggish or refuse food.
8. Ask if they know the scientific name of the scorpion. Common names vary from area to area and you want to be sure so as not to buy a scorpion that is more dangerous than you expect. All scorpions are dangerous, but some can KILL a full grown human.
You may feel the need to handle your scorpion, but your scorpion does not feel the need to be handled. If you handle your scorpion, you could very well be taking your own life in your hands. Many pet stores receive scorpions and have only the label on the container that the scorpion came in to let them know the species. Many scorpions can be easily misidentified. You may think you have a scorpion that has only a mildly toxic venom, but it may well be possible of killing you. One rule of thumb when dealing with scorpions is that the bigger the scorpion and it's pincers, the less potent the venom of the scorpion. (NOTE: There ARE exceptions to this rule. Do not rule out a scorpions venom due to it's size being large.) This is not to say that you do not have to worry about being stung by a larger scorpion. Besides being stung, you also have to worry about being attacked with the scorpions pincers. In the larger species, these pincers are easily capable of drawing blood. Aside from the danger to you, there is also the scorpion to consider. Surely you would not want to see your prized scorpions hemolymph leaking from it's mesosoma after a fall with no way to stop it.
Scorpions have exoskeletons and in growing, just like their cousins the tarantulas, need to undergo a process known as molting. Molting is the process wherein a scorpion grows it's new exoskeleton under the old one, partially absorbs the underlying layers of the old skin and then emerges from the old exoskeleton looking all shiny and new. It usually takes some time for the scorpion to recover from this molting process. The new exoskeleton is soft, and needs to harden (sclerotise) before the animal can resume eating, walking and other routine activities. Scorpions generally molt upright. Molting is a very strenuous and dangerous time for Scorpions. One sign of an impending molt is loss of appetite for a few days to as long as a few months before the molt. Others are your scorpion remaining completely motionless for as long as a day or going into hiding. If you see signs of an impending molt the best thing to do is make sure there are no crickets or other prey items in the tank as they can harm the scorpion while it is defenseless and to increase the humidity as excessive dryness can hinder a successful molt. Then just sit back and watch as your wonderful pet renews itself. Scorpions molt by increasing blood pressure to crack the exoskeleton along the side and front of the prosoma. They then remove their appendages from the old exoskeleton and pretty much walk out of it. Molting generally takes a few hours for an small scorpion to upwards of 12 hrs for a large adult. If your scorpion gets stuck in it's molt, the humidity may be too low, this may be rectified by misting the enclosure with water. Be sure NOT to mist the scorpion directly. If the molt takes longer than a day or so, emergency measures may be called for. You can try to take a pair of forceps and VERY GENTLY try to pull off the exoskeleton by pulling on the ends of the old stuck appendage. Trouble spots can also be loosened by applying a diluted solution of glycerin and water to the area that is 'stuck'. If a scorpion gets injured during a molt, the loss of hemolymph (blood) can be fatal, so any physical contact with the scorpion during a molt must be avoided if possible. Do not introduce prey into the enclosure for at least a week after a molt. It takes time for the scorpions new exoskeleton to sclerotise (harden) and during this time the scorpion is extremely vulnerable. One sign that your scorpion is ready to eat is if the scorpion is out and actively searching for prey. Another sign is that your scorpion has regained it's normal coloration. If your scorpion is still white, it is to early to introduce prey. Once your scorpion is ready to eat again it will probably be quite hungry and will eat heavily for a period of time. Very young scorpions are most prone to problems during molt as they need higher humidity and temperatures for a successful molt than their adult counterparts. Scorpions when full grown will no longer molt. Scorpions also do not regenerate broken or lost limbs as well as their cousins the spiders. All in all molting is one of the most fascinating things in the hobby and the process opens up many possibilities for the keeper to learn growth rates and other valuable information about each species.