Emperor scorpions (pandinus emperator) are the most popular species of pet scorpions for many reasons. They are eerily beautiful with their ebony carapace, they are quiet and they are not fussy eaters. But they do have some dietary quirks that their caretakers need to be aware of. However, they are becoming rare in the wild partially because of the pet trade. If possible, please consider adopting a pet scorpion rather than buying one.
Emperor scorpions are used to living in hot and humid conditions and tend to go into semi-hibernation when the temperature inside of their cage gets cold. This means that scorpions do not eat when they are hibernating or feeling particularly groggy because of a chill. Scorpions can die if it gets too cold. Try to keep their cages around 78 to 80 degrees F.
Many species of scorpions, including emperors, are nocturnal. There will always be individuals that seem to be unaware of this tendency and will be active anytime their feeders are in the room. But in order to keep a pet scorpion healthy, stress needs to be reduced to a minimum, so mimicking conditions in the wild will help.
If night isn’t convenient, try dusk. Many scorpions have low calorie needs and so often only need to eat every other day instead of every day. Unlike people or dogs, if a scorpion is not hungry, it usually will not bother eating. Scorpions usually pounce on their prey within a few minutes, unless your particular pet likes to take its time hunting. Always note what normal feeding behavior for your scorpion is. Any variances from the normal pattern may signal illness.
Scorpions tend to ignore prey that doesn’t move, although there are some that will pounce on canned crickets. Out in the wild, emperor scorpions feast on a wide variety of insects, tiny frogs, small lizards and even baby mice or “pinkies.” It is not necessary to offer frogs or pinkies to scorpions although they will have to eat insects. At least, if the scorpion suddenly decides not to eat the frog or baby mouse, you won’t have to worry about setting up another tank for another pet.
Insects suitable for emperor scorpions include crickets, waxworms, silkworms, butterworms and even cockroaches that are smaller than the scorpion. Be very careful giving a pet emperor scorpion wild-caught insects because you never know if that insect has come into contact with any sort of pesticide. Some people prefer to pick up the insect with tongs and present it to the scorpion while others just drop the prey in.
Misting water every day on the sides of the scorpion’s enclosure will help keep the enclosure humid, which is what an emperor scorpion likes. A scorpion’s need for water is very little, but it is still there. Some claim a scorpion prefers to drink from the misty droplets on the sides of the tank, but this is debatable. It’s best to keep a very shallow dish, similar to a jar lid, inside of the tank and fill with water.
Scorpions can drown in very little depths of water, so that is why they need such a very shallow dish.
HubPages. “What to Feed Your Pet Scorpion.” http://hubpages.com/hub/What-To-Feed-Your-Pet-Scorpion
That Pet Place. “Emperor Scorpion Care, Pt. 2” http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatreptileblog/2009/03/09/emperor-scorpion-pandinus-imperator-care-part-2/
ARKive. “Emperor Scorpion – Pandinus imperator.” http://www.arkive.org/emperor-scorpion/pandinus-imperator/#text=All