Do scorpions need heat? Most species do need heat – but a heat lamp isn’t the best solution. Keep reading to learn more…
The scorpions might just be the oldest land animal still alive today. They came on land almost 200 million years before dinosaurs. The scorpions fall under the broader group of arthropods, known as chelicerates.
Approximately 450 million years ago the sea scorpions could grow up to 3 feet. Today the largest scorpion, namely Asia’s giant forest scorpion is about 9 inches long.
And the most popular species of pet scorpion called the emperor scorpion can be as large as 8 inches.
It is sensible to be fearful of scorpions. The scorpions most distinctive features are a stinging tail and pedipalps that look like pincers.
Although learning more about the different scorpion species will reveal them to be mostly much less dangerous. Out of over 2000 species of scorpions discovered, sting from less than 35 of them can be lethal to human adults.
Do scorpions need light?
All scorpion species are nocturnal creatures and come out to hunt only at night. That is why scorpions do not necessarily need light.
It is recommended that pet scorpions should not be kept in a brightly lit room. During the day most of the scorpion hide under leaf litter or self-dug burrows. You can tell if the scorpion requires more light, if it is not burrowing or climbing.
Some rare species like bark scorpions and desert scorpions remain above ground through out the day. They are found hanging from branches, rocks and lose barks.
Most scorpion species prefer warm and humid climate, so they are mostly found in the tropical regions.
Most scorpion stings only feels like bee sting and is not life threatening for human adults. Scorpions are considered to be good pets that are easy to maintain and care for.
In order to be a scorpion keeper, it is necessary to build the perfect enclosure for the scorpion. It does not require much space to keep a pet scorpion. A ten-gallon tank is enough for a single scorpion.
Following are certain fact that you should keep in mind before curating the scorpion enclosure:
- Substrate: All scorpion cage needs to have substrate lining at the bottom of the tank, which should be at least 2 inches. The tropical species of scorpions need moister substrate, whereas desert species need a drier substrate. Peat moss and coconut husk make for a great top soil for rainforest species like the dictator scorpions. The first thing you need to do is clear the side of the enclosure of any debris, then prepare the substrate.
- Water Bowl: The Scorpion enclosure should always have a shallow water dish. A scorpion can drown in a deeper one as they are not great climbers. It is not a good idea to use a deep bowl.
- Plants and foliage: Greenery enhances the aesthetics of the tank and gives the tank a natural look. And live plants are great camouflage spots for scorpions.
- Hiding Spot: Scorpions are shy and nocturnal creatures. A flat rock, cork bark, or a ceramic accessory is greatly suitable for their shelter. Do not add any tall decorations that gets close to the lid.
- Heat Source: Heating pad or heating lamp help to maintain the optimum temperature in the scorpion enclosure. It is recommended that the heat meat be placed at the side of the scorpion age, as they are known to dig burrows in the substrate.
- Control Humidity: Daily misting is important to prevent the scorpion’s dehydration. Specially for tropical species that are native to high humid conditions.
Do scorpions need a heat lamp?
Heating lamps are not necessary for most species of scorpion. Even in captivity scorpions are greatly capable of controlling their body temperature to survive. In fact, heat lamps can dry them out and kill them.
Although by observing the scorpion you can determine if the scorpion needs more heat. If the scorpion is relatively less active and holds its tail and claws closer to the body then it may need more light and heat.
The heat lamp is not particularly necessary for its survival but they need some source of heat to maintain its body temperature. Without that a scorpion might eventually lie.
Do scorpions need a heating pad?
Using a heating pad for your pet scorpion can be considered an added benefit or a necessity. The heating pad in a scorpion enclosure provides thermoregulation for the pet scorpion.
The natural habitat of a scorpion is the tropical forest or desert. In these places the ground can het extremely hot at daytime, so the scorpions burrow to stay cool underground.
Scorpions are resilient creatures and can survive without heat lamps. However, if your house is in a place with cooler climate, it is better to provide the scorpion a heating pad for greater comfort.
Most scorpions need a dry and warm habitat to thrive in captivity. If you notice the pet scorpion is seeking out warmer areas, it’s a sign that the temperature is too low.
On the other hand, if your scorpion excessively sheds its skin and pants then it’s a sign that the temperature is too high.
Making a temperature gradient
Caring for any species of pet scorpions is comparatively easy if proper attention is paid to crucial aspects of their care. One of those aspects is the temperature gradient, which must be maintained to be similar to its natural habitat.
The natural habitat of a scorpion is subtropical or tropical climate, but it can still survive in colder regions if they have proper shelter. The scorpions hide in crevices, burrows or under rocks through out the day, only to come out at night to hunt for food.
In captivity scorpions should be kept with a heat lamp or heat pad to maintain the temperature gradient of the terrarium.
At day time them temperature should be maintained between 70 degree and 85 degree Fahrenheit. During night there is no need of using any source if the tank is kept in normal room temperature.
Do scorpions need UV light?
Most scorpion species glow an unnatural neon blue under black light or UV light. The scorpion’s cuticle or outer layer absorbs the light and reflects it back as visible light.
The scientists have not figured out exactly why it happens. Although many researchers now believe that they use UV light to determine whether it’s right time to come out to hunt.
Based on the UV light levels scorpions know if it’s dark enough for them to start hunting for food. Also, some believe it is a way that scorpions communicate with each other.
Till now no hypothesis has been proved to be correct. There is also no evidence to show that UV light is important for survival of any scorpion species.
Asian forest scorpion temperature
Asian forest scorpion are the largest species of scorpion found on the planet. They do great in glass terrariums where the heat easily escapes. The Asian Forest scorpions need a constant temperature of 70 to 75 degree Fahrenheit.
In glass cages where heat pads are placed on one side of the tank an optimal temperature gradient is created. Which allows the scorpion to move closer or further away from the heat source.
Emperor scorpion temperature
The temperature gradient of a scorpion enclosure should be between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The heating pad should not cover not more than 30% of the tank.
This allows the emperor scorpions to move from warm to colder corners as it desires.
FAQ relating to if scorpions need heat
How hot is too hot for a scorpion?
The temperature of a glass terrarium should be between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything more than 90 degree Fahrenheit will be considered too hot for a scorpion.
The temperature gradient of the glass enclosures should always be maintained for large scorpions and small scorpion species. Very high humidity level is also not ideal for a scorpion.
You can use heat lights if needed.
What do scorpions need to survive?
The scorpions have very low food and water needs. They can survive in the harshest conditions.
Like the horseshoe crabs they have book lungs and can live under water for about two whole days. They do not drink water separately and survives only on the moisture in their foods.
When the situation gets worse and prey is not readily available, they slow down their metabolism and can live without any food for almost a year.
How do you keep scorpions warm?
Scorpions require heat from an external source as they are cold blooded or ectothermic. A heat pad or heating light can be very helpful for the scorpion’s comfort.
Heating light is a source of heat and also light in the scorpion’s tank and is preferred by most pet owners.
Do scorpions need heat at night?
The temperature of the scorpion enclosure should be between 70F and 85F for most species. Heating at night is not always necessary if the outside temperature is the normal room temperature.
If at night the temperature of the place you live in goes below 70F then it’s better to keep the heat pad on at night as well.