Emperor scorpions: description of where they live, poisonous or not
Hardly anyone can say for sure how sympathy for animals arises. Someone loves cats or dogs, someone gets reptiles or rabbits. And someone is ready to open his heart to completely unexpected pets - imperial scorpions. But before you decide on such a purchase, you should examine in detail the way of life and the conditions of the content of the future pet.
Description of the species
Imperial scorpions are arthropods arachnid animals from the order of scorpions. The Latin name of the species is Pandinus imperator. This is one of the largest representatives of the squad on Earth. The size of an imperial scorpion can exceed 20 cm. It is believed that only giant individuals of the species Pandinus cavimanus are larger. An adult male weighs about 30 g. The females are larger, their weight is almost 50 g.
The body of an arthropod has a dark color. It can be black, cast in the sun green or blue. Many individuals have claw and telson reddish brown.Under ultraviolet light, emperor scorpions glow in a greenish-blue color. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of the species as a pet.
The body of the scorpion has a small cephalothorax (millet) and a long abdomen (opisthosome). The belly itself is divided into 2 sections:
- Front wide section, closely docked with the cephalothorax. Together they are called pre-domain.
- Behind the narrowed five-part division, which is called post-domain domain. This area of the body is similar to the tail.
An additional pear-shaped segment adjoins the fifth segment of the narrow abdomen. Its name is Telson. It is a tail spike with a needle bent upwards, on top of which are poison glands. As you know, this creature does not bite, but sting its prey. Immediately the question arises: "Is the imperial scorpion poisonous or not?" You should not worry. The poison of this species does not affect humans. Although it can cause a strong allergic reaction.
The body of a scorpion is "packed" in a chitinous shell, consisting of several shields and closed rings. Anterior pair of limbs, chelicera - horizontal claws, similar to mandibles. They are located above the oral opening.The next pair of limbs is called the pedipalps. They also have claws, but significantly larger ones, designed to hold and tear food. Scorpios have 8 walking legs.
Breathing emperor scorpion pulmonary bags. The animal has a good sense of touch, but poor eyesight. The eyes are located on the cephalothorax: a pair of large ones in the middle and 5 pairs of small ones on the lateral surfaces.
How to distinguish male from female
Not being a specialist, it is quite difficult to distinguish a male imperial scorpion from a female. The main difference is size. The female is larger. You can also try to distinguish between claws - in the male they are more massive and elongated. To distinguish between young individuals, it is necessary to observe the activity. Females are calmer.
Experts distinguish emperor scorpions by caps covering the sex hole. Its place is a gap between the bases of the cribriform organs. The males have two caps, with one covering the other. In females, they have grown together at the seam. With a careful attempt at movement in females, the lid is lifted entirely, in males - only the upper half. Beginners can view this element on molded skins of emperor scorpions.In this case, there is no risk of injuring arthropods or experiencing the aggression of a pet.
Where are found in nature
Unfortunately, this species of scorpions in nature is now on the verge of survival. Previously, its range spread to the western part of Africa. Black imperial scorpion met on the territory of the Congo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo and so on.
Pandinus imperator is adapted to terrestrial life. He digs holes in the loose soil of rain forest or shroud. Sometimes it can make habitual shelters, settles under large pieces of bark or in heaps of leaves.
Imperial scorpions hunt at night. In their diet, large and sedentary insects, cockroaches, and even newborn mice. Imperial scorpions are strangled and crushed by claws. Poison for killing is rarely used because it is weak. To kill a little mouse, he has to sting many times. This proves once again that the bite of the imperial scorpion is not dangerous to humans.
To make an unusual pet feel comfortable, it is necessary to equip a horizontal ventilated terrarium with a lid.One or two individuals feel good in the tank, whose height is about 15 cm, width - 30 cm, length - 50 cm. If there are more arthropods, then the terrarium is chosen more capacious.
The bottom of the tank is covered with a mixture of soil and peat, which is well moistened. First, the wet mixture is compacted, forming a layer of 10-12 cm. Then a layer of loose substrate with a height of 5-7 cm is poured from above. Thus, the pet will be able to dig holes, as in a natural environment.
You remember where the imperial scorpion lives in nature? Equatorial rain forests and savannas warm up above +30 ° C during the day, which means that in a terrarium you need to maintain a similar temperature. At night, scorpion is comfortable at +20 ° C. It is not recommended to lower the temperature below.
In the terrarium there should be a high level of humidity (about 80%). For this, the substrate is sprayed daily. Twice a week, pets should be cleaned of food and waste products.
Transparent tank, filled with soil-mixture, does not look very presentable. As a design, you can place stones, pieces of bark, branches or thick snags in it. This pet will use all this decor as shelter. To maintain the level of humidity, you can place live plants in containers.However, they should not be planted in the soil-mixture, because imperial scorpions dig minks and can damage the roots. Plants are exposed in pots attached to the bottom. By the way, the drinker is also fixed to the wall or bottom. The drinking bowl should be large and flat. The pet will sometimes crawl into it completely. For convenience and safety, lay a flat stone on the bottom so that the imperial scorpion can be placed on it without risking to sink.
Diet in captivity
Pandinus imperator is not picky about food. These arachnids have a very good appetite. They are happy to eat crickets, do not give up locust, meal worms and other large insects. Live food should be sprinkled with mineral additives. Once a month you can feed the newborn mice.
Sexual maturity in captivity in imperial scorpions occurs in 2-2.5 years, after 6-7 molts. In the wild, it happens earlier. The pregnancy of a female can last from 6 months to 1.5 years (depending on the conditions of detention). Up to 25 white cubs are born. Toddlers move to the back of the mother and for a long time (up to two weeks) are there. Scorpioners become independent after the first molt. With each new molt, their color becomes darker, and the chitinous cover is firmer.
Imperial scorpions are one of the most convenient species for home maintenance. They are unpretentious, not dangerous and very effective.