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African Emperor Scorpion Babies!

Tortoise Tom

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A friend told me his wife's African Emperor female has 25 babies on her back. I'll try to get pics tomorrow. She said I could have them! I'll also try to verify the species. I asked him if he was sure it wasn't and Asian forest scorpion, or something else and he says no.

In the old days I housed lots of these guys, but I never bred them or raised them from tiny babies. How long do I leave them on the mom? Can they live communally? I never even tried keeping more than one in an enclosure before and always kept them housed individually.

Tips and advice welcome.
 

Whitelightning777

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Wait until they aren't being carried around anymore. Raising them communally is the most practical way to go. I had surprise scorplings from my H spinifer scorpion.
 

Dave Jay

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I can't give you advice pertaining to this species in particular, but with scorpions they will stay on the mother until they moult, they don't eat during this time, then once moulted they will start to wander but come back to the mother, once they set up house somewhere in the enclosure and don't come back to the mother it's time to move them out. It's thought that they derive nourishment or at least moisture from the mother somehow , likely via osmosis, which is why first instars rarely survive without the mother and why second instars come back to the mother when first exploring.
My recommendation is to add clumps of sphagnum moss here and there around the enclosure so that the babies find shelter easily when the time comes, and so you can easily find them as slightly damp sphagnum moss will likely be their first choice when looking for shelter.
Most baby scorpions will co-inhabit while 2nd instar, but after that there is always a risk of cannibalism, especially as some will have moulted before others and be larger, most people I know remove 3rd instars when they are spotted and raise them separately.
Some species are more suitable to house communally than others, but there is always some risk.
Males tend to be easier going than females but gravid females of any species are likely to attack and/or kill tank mates if they feel they don't have enough private territory.
Another question is should the mother be fed while babies are on her back? Some say yes, some say only offer dead or crippled prey, some say not at all. To me, she'd have to be absolutely starving to eat her babies so I just feed at the same rate as usual, which is every two weeks usually, sometimes a month between feeding depending on the weather.
There's really not anything special to do until it's time to remove the young from the enclosure, just stick to the normal routine and the scorps will know what to do! :)
 

Tortoise Tom

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I'm a little sad to admit that they are not African Emperors. Asian Forest Scorpions, which is still cool, but not quite the nostalgia that I have for the Africans. She bought them from BackWater Reptiles and they were sold to her as "Emperor Scorpions". Those guys deserve to be tarred and feathered and run out of the animal business. What a despicable lot they are. As bad as they are with the inverts, you should hear the turtle and tortoise stories. Bad people doing bad business.

In any case, it still a cool thing and I'm still thrilled to be getting some new scorpions in a couple of weeks or so. Here is the pic she sent me:
Asian Forest Scorpion.jpeg
 

MassExodus

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3 Year Member
Still a great score. I've learned not to keep most scorps communally. The only ones Ive had success with were Centroides sp.(gracilis and vittatus)and, unbelievably, Rh. junceus siblings. My C. margaritata colony murdered each other..
 

Tortoise Tom

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Babies finally got off their mom and started doing their own thing! She gave me 10 of them. Apparently, everybody else they know wanted them too. I've got them set up together temporally. How soon should I separate them? I put a couple of roaches cut in half for them to feast on.
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Somebody please correct me if I've got the scientific name wrong, or if the set up needs to be different. I thought about laying down some flat bark for them, or a layer of dried up oak leaves.
 

Dave Jay

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Babies finally got off their mom and started doing their own thing! She gave me 10 of them. Apparently, everybody else they know wanted them too. I've got them set up together temporally. How soon should I separate them? I put a couple of roaches cut in half for them to feast on.
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Somebody please correct me if I've got the scientific name wrong, or if the set up needs to be different. I thought about laying down some flat bark for them, or a layer of dried up oak leaves.
I think flat bark would be a good idea, as far as I'm aware these are scrape dwellers, most species will hide under bark regardless of their permanent dwelling style anyway.
Fights are most likely to occur if enough 'private accommodation' isn't available, particularly as they near ecdysis.
For the most part people keep 2nd instars together purely to save space then remove 3rd instars to separate enclosures as they appear.
Being that you only have 10 it would be safer to separate them now and not have any risk of cannibalism at all. It also allows you to monitor who's eating and who's not, with an enclosure full of babies you don't really know if they are all feeding or not. Also fights over food can happen too, some try to steal food from others instead of getting their own.
Sorry if this post is somewhat disjointed, I have been writing it over about 3 hrs, I'm having a busy day but to summarise, giving them separate quarters now is the safest option but it is not an uncommon practice to remove them one by one as they become 3rd instars.
 

Tortoise Tom

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I think flat bark would be a good idea, as far as I'm aware these are scrape dwellers, most species will hide under bark regardless of their permanent dwelling style anyway.
Fights are most likely to occur if enough 'private accommodation' isn't available, particularly as they near ecdysis.
For the most part people keep 2nd instars together purely to save space then remove 3rd instars to separate enclosures as they appear.
Being that you only have 10 it would be safer to separate them now and not have any risk of cannibalism at all. It also allows you to monitor who's eating and who's not, with an enclosure full of babies you don't really know if they are all feeding or not. Also fights over food can happen too, some try to steal food from others instead of getting their own.
Sorry if this post is somewhat disjointed, I have been writing it over about 3 hrs, I'm having a busy day but to summarise, giving them separate quarters now is the safest option but it is not an uncommon practice to remove them one by one as they become 3rd instars.
Thanks a bunch Dave. I was thinking about this while driving today. My concerns was that once these guys start their next molt, whoever molts first might get eaten by the rest. I was planning on separating them tomorrow, unless one of you guys told me not to for some reason. They are eating good. I've been leaving about 6 large half roaches in there and changing them out daily. They've been eating up most of it.

You make a great point about being able to monitor what each one is eating once they are housed alone. It will be done tomorrow. I ventilated the enclosures and built a new shelf for them tonight. I'll have a dedicated scorpion shelf!

One more question: Water bowls are safe for scorplings too, right? Size appropriate, of course.
 

Dave Jay

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Thanks a bunch Dave. I was thinking about this while driving today. My concerns was that once these guys start their next molt, whoever molts first might get eaten by the rest. I was planning on separating them tomorrow, unless one of you guys told me not to for some reason. They are eating good. I've been leaving about 6 large half roaches in there and changing them out daily. They've been eating up most of it.

You make a great point about being able to monitor what each one is eating once they are housed alone. It will be done tomorrow. I ventilated the enclosures and built a new shelf for them tonight. I'll have a dedicated scorpion shelf!

One more question: Water bowls are safe for scorplings too, right? Size appropriate, of course.
Sorry, I've been a bit busy of late.
I usually just spray a patch of the side of their housing , but I think a shallow dish would be OK. I know it's not popular on these forums, but I usually add clean aquarium gravel or stones to scorpion water dishes as they seem to like standing on the wet rocks more than actually drinking from the bowl.
After careful observation I started adding a half buried polished stone to some enclosures, they always have droplets of condensation on them even when the surface of the substrate is dry and I found that the scorpions will often drink from them or sit on them almost daily. The arid species in particular look for the condensation but in enclosures where the moisture levels are higher I find that dripping water onto a stone is a good way to provide surface water.
 

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