Emperor Scorpion

Black Emperor Scorpion, African Emperor Scorpion

Family: Scorpionidae Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator, also called Black Emperor Scorpion and African Emperor ScorpionPandinus imperatorPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Russ Gurley
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Im from pakistan ... I have 4000 gram black scorpian ....range from 5gram to 60 gram.as wel as i have 5 Leopard Jecko more then 100 gram each......i want to sell... (more)  rana sannan

The Black Emperor Scorpion is the ideal starter pet for a scorpion enthusiast!

The Emperor Scorpion Pandinus imperator is one of the most docile of all the scorpions kept in captivity. Despite their formidable appearance and large size, these black scorpions are hardy, quiet, and easy to care for. They are impressive to look at and are much more handleable than most of their relatives. This black scorpion also has a long lifespan, it can live for up to 8 years. This is an ideal scorpion species for a beginner.

The Emperor Scorpion, also called the Black Emperor Scorpion and African Emperor Scorpion, is probably the most recognizable scorpion species. It is possibly the most commonly kept invertebrate in the world as well. Thousands have been imported from Togo and Ghana. They have flooded the pet trade and have become very popular.

Television shows play on the fierce appearance of this large, black scorpion. They are a large, shiny black scorpion with massive pincers and a thick robust body and tail. Despite their gruesome look, the sting of the Emperor Scorpion is mild, causing only localized pain which disappears after a few minutes.

For more Information on keeping scorpions, see:
Keeping Arachnids and Other Arthropods as Pets

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Scorpiones
  • Family: Scorpionidae
  • Genus: Pandinus
  • Species: imperator
Emperor Scorpion

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Exotic Pets - Emperor Scorpion

Exotic Pets - Emperor Scorpion - as part of the series on pets and animals by GeoBeats.

Scientific NamePandinus imperator

Habitat: Distribution/BackgroundThe Emperor Scorpion Pandinus imperator was first described by C. L. Koch in 1842.The Pandinus genus was originally recognized as its own genus by Tamerlan Thorell in 1876. Later the genus was subdivided into five subgenera, but the subgenera now are in question. Emperor Scorpions are widely distributed through West Africa in Guinea, Liberia, Togo, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and in the Congo region. Other common names it is known by are Black Emperor Scorpion and African Emperor Scorpion.

StatusThe Pandinus imperator is not on the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species as Threatened (TH).

The Emperor Scorpion was placed on the CITES II species list as threatened, in February 1995. They are the only scorpions listed by the CITES Appendix II since 1995. Their numbers had been greatly reduced by over collection, especially in Togo and Ghana. Importing and exporting countries must issue a permit for international sale.

Description The Emperor Scorpion is a large, black scorpion species. They are quite bulky and impressive and have a shiny, black granulated exoskeleton. The average size of a mature adult is between 5 to 8" (13 - 20 cm). They reach sexual maturity at about four years in the wild, though in captivity it can be closer to one year. They have an average lifespan of about 8 years.

Food and FeedingFeed large scorpions a diverse diet consisting of adult crickets, grasshoppers, Tenebrio larvae, and only occasional feedings (once or twice a month) of mice. There is a tendency by keepers to feed their large, aggressive species lots of live mice. But this variety more closely mirrors the diet of this scorpion nature and will keep them healthy.

HousingEmperor Scorpions live in burrows in moist forest areas. They can be kept in a 2 1/2 to 15-gallon terrarium depending on the number of scorpions. They do well under humid conditions. A substrate of damp sand and peat moss with a top layer of cypress mulch, at least 3" deep (4 - 6" is even better). Also provide a shallow, wide water dish. They will dig deep burrows if the substrate is suitable.

Temperature and humidity requirements:

This species like it warm and humid. Keep the temperature maintained at about at 75° - 82 °F with the humidity level at 75 to 80%.

Cage CareA good habit to get into is cleaning up any uneaten prey items the day after feeding your scorpion as decaying organic matter commonly attracts mites, fungus, mold and other potentially harmful organisms into the enclosure. If your pet has recently molted, remove uneaten prey items immediately. Newly molted scorpions are vulnerable until their exoskeletons hardens.

Behavior Typically scorpions are loners, but the Emperor Scorpion is a bit of an exception. The young will stay with their mothers and even as adults they can be kept in groups of three or more. They can get into occasional scraps, and it is usually over a cricket. So be sure they are given enough food. It also helps to provide more hiding places than you have scorpions.

Handling The Emperor Scorpion is perhaps the most docile and easily handled of all the scorpions kept in captivity. Its large size and strong claws have obviously instilled in it less of a need for "fight or flight". It can be cupped in the palm of a your hand without mishap. If "tailed" they will often rear back and try to pinch. Their pinch is very strong and can be quite painful. Their sting is mild and they are usually unwilling to sting until they are pinned or grabbed carelessly.

Reproduction As long as Emperor Scorpions are not overly obese and are kept in a well-suited vivarium, they will often breed and produce offspring in captivity. The pectines on the underside of scorpions can be inspected to give you an idea of your scorpion's sex. Place the scorpion in a clear plastic tub and hold it up to inspect the underside of the scorpion. Typically, males have longer combs on their pectines and females have shorter and often fewer combs on their pectines.

The male quickly grasps the pincers of the female and begins a shaking action known as "juddering". Then, after a short shoving match, the male deposits a spermatophore onto the substrate and positions the female over the packet of sperm. The female lowers her abdomen and picks up the spermatophore into her genital opening. The two separate and often beat a hasty retreat in opposite directions.

After a gestation period of seven months, a litter ranging in size from 15 to 40 young scorpions is produced. The young grow in the mother, are born live, and then will climb onto the mothers back. They are white at first, becoming darker when they molt. The mother scorpion will feed her young by killing an insect and leaving it on the floor of their enclosure. The baby scorpions will then descend from the mother's back and feed on the dead insect.

Even with a multitude of captive breedings, very few young Emperor Scorpions reach adulthood, many die from molting difficulties. Inability to exit their old skins from too dry conditions is proving to be the most commonly encountered problem. Large vivaria with a deep, damp substrate of sand and peat with multiple shelters and live plants have proven best for raising these large but delicate babies to maturity.

Diseases: Ailments/Treatments Scorpions are generally quite hardy and adaptable if they are provided with the right environment. A few signs that may indicate that your pet is not acting or feeling normal are a loss of appetite, acting listless or sluggish, having an overly swollen stomach, and missing or deformed limbs. Another problem can be an infestation of mites.

  • Molting
    One of the most common reasons for the death in scorpions is the molt. The scorpion has a tough outer covering, a cuticle, that forms a rigid exoskeleton. All scorpions must shed their old exoskeleton and secrete a new one in order to grow, this is called the molt. Scorpions will molt from 6 to 10 times during their lifetime. This molting process takes a lot of energy and they are very vulnerable for a couple of days after the molt until their new skin hardens

    For about 24 hours prior to molting it is not unusual for a scorpion to get quite sluggish.

    A difficult molt can result in lost or deformed limbs, or death. This is thought to be related to humidity levels. There can be either too much humidity or too little, depending on the species. In captivity a lot of immature scorpions die during the molting process.

  • Other Problems
    Though many scorpions can go for long periods of time without eating, overfeeding can cause an overly swollen stomach as well as the loss of appetite, and even death. The stomach can be slightly swollen from regular eating, and this is not a problem.

    Another problem can be an infestation of Mites. Uneaten food can attract mites, which are very dangerous and stressful to scorpions. Be sure to remove old food.

Availability: These scorpions are commonly available from invertebrate dealers, reptile dealers, and most pet stores.
Emperor Scorpions are imported into the U.S. by the thousands each year. Captive breedings have also occurred but keepers have a difficult time keeping scorpions alive. They require humid conditions, a deep mulch substrate (which makes humidity difficult to monitor), and should not be overfed.


Author: Russ Gurley, Clarice Brough CRS
Lastest Animal Stories on Emperor Scorpion

rana sannan - 2014-09-03
Im from pakistan ... I have 4000 gram black scorpian ....range from 5gram to 60 gram.as wel as i have 5 Leopard Jecko more then 100 gram each......i want to sell them at good price .. Cntect me if u r intrested 03008622888

  • aamir - 2014-09-19
    w have 12 scorpion in 10 to 35 gm call me 03422900099
  • shahid - 2014-09-20
    plz tell me what is the price of these scorpion tell me with weights and contact me munir abbasi 03455001515
jeff - 2006-06-21
Everything about these magnificent living creatures is amazing, i highly recomend them as pets. I have a male and a female. Fortunately my female is such a sweetheart, shes actually mellow enough to chill out and walk around on your hand. ill walk around with her on my shoulder. The male on the other hand wont let you get even the slightest, close to him. The stings feel like taps, the pincers on the other...OUCH! In other words you'll know exactly how each ones individual personality is. i started with her on a table and without stressing her walked her back on to my hand, slow and steady is key, twitch and theyll get ya. can ya blame em. DONT GET A SCORPION IF YOUR ALERGIC TO BEE STINGS! Another bit of advise, dont start aggressive. The flatrock scorpion is similar to the emperor but different in appearence. the desert hair is also similar just dont recommend handling them and they are slightly more toxic, but usually only results in a small area with strong pain that goes away in a couple minutes. look em up...you'll like them

  • Bryce - 2010-12-17
    Hey jeff my gf got me an emperor scorpion do you recommend a towel or a leather glove when handling my female scorpion?
  • joseph - 2011-03-21
    You don't need gloves or towels just hold him.
  • muteeb - 2014-06-20
    i have a scorpion. i want make her weight above the 200 gram. How can i do it
  • junaid - 2014-07-04
    I want to buy your scorpion.... I will pay you 5 back.... contact me 03207654100
  • CH Zain Naveed Yousaf - 2014-07-13
    hi i can pay u 10 000 usd for that scorp kindy send me the pics on zain_naveed16@hotmail.com or call me 00923229926864
Big Daddy - 2013-12-16
I have an emporer scorpion his name is Boba and he has quite the personality. He likes to crawl around on my hand and go to sleep on my hand. For some reason he loves tv lol, and I'm so serious I turn a movie on and he's either watching it with me on my hand or watching it through his cage. He also plays a game where I cup my hands and I make a way for him to get out, he either crawls through it or thinks he can't get through it or can't find it and he lightly pinches my skin to open up and let him out :) He doesn't have much of a temper. I got him right after he was at the stage of being able to feed himself so he is still a baby and I get to raise him :)

cassandra h from tucson - 2008-01-31
I bought an emperor scorpion today an I really wanna handle it but I know I should let it adjust to its home first. I really wanna sex it and find out what it is. I'm super nervous and am afraid its going to starve or something bad will happen to it. I'm glad i found this page because it has given me ALOT of information that the worker at the pet store didn't. I definitely need a bigger tank. I need to know how should I keep the tank nice and humid, just mist the moss?... Well if you have any pointers, (please add them). Thanks alot

  • anon - 2011-01-15
    Well P. emp's are the biggest species of scorpion so a 10g tank is big enough for 1-2 (pending, if hostile remove). They won't starve, however they will die very easily when stressed by LOUD NOISES SUCH AS RADIOS, provide a very quiet environment :). Adults eat every 3-5days. Most houses are around 70-80degrees F so shouldn't need an under tank heater, 78F is suggested, get yourself a humidity gauge/temp from online and spray the tank accordingly, humidity should be around 70-80 as well as temp. As far as handling if you put your hand down in the tank and it shows aggressive behanvior such as open pincers and fast movements then leave it be, if it's calm should walk on your hand, if it's hidden don't put your hand in front of the hide, most likely it will zap you. Overfeeding will cause death* temp also is a factor in behavior.
phil - 2009-11-12
I've been noticing my scorpion getting bigger around the mid section but thought nothing of it. It is alone in its cage and has been for up to a year, then one day outta the blue I find it with about 5 little white babies on its back, and about 5 dead in the cage. I guess they don't need a mate to spawn?

  • Rob - 2010-03-11
    No, they do need a mate to spawn, but depending on the cage conditions and humidity and temperature it can take longer for the female scorpion to give birth. The female scorpion can remain pregnant for a year or longer if not properly kept this is usually uncommon.
  • joe simth - 2010-05-13
    Well that stinks too bad.
  • tristan - 2010-09-12
    Scorpions can stay pregnant up to 12 months.
  • AJ Fisher - 2010-12-16
    Before Emperor scorpions are sold, they are usually housed in large bins. Males are not separated from females. Thus, whenever you buy a female Emperor, chances are, she is already pregnant.
  • nathan boddy - 2011-03-30
    How old is it as she may have been pregnant already as they can carry scorplings for 9-18 months
  • Samantha - 2013-12-05
    I'm studying about scorpions can you help?
  • Ahsan Ishfaq - 2014-09-14
    dear all, we have scorpion available in 40 gram,1280 gram, 1010 gram ,460 gram .only bank to bank transfer .note the offer will be in billion in million .m.ishfaq  0321-4188499
Sankar Prasad Biswas - 2014-06-01
I have a scorpion. I have caught it from a jungle at the evening time. Hopefully it's an emperor. Daniel is a male scorpio. I'm indian. I love him. I give him lizards once in a week. Plz rpl me in facebook. I'll send his picture. Hope you people can help me.

  • Qasim - 2014-06-11
    dear how are you. dear I want scorpion please contact with me. qasimshahzadgt@yahoo.com
  • Syed Amir Hussain - 2014-06-27
    If you have Scorpio black and his weight is 100gm so tell me and give me thats my contact number call me as soon as possible 00923002300189 with country or city code! And that is my email address is hhussain47@yahoo.com thank you I am waiting for your answer!
  • CH Zain Naveed Yousaf - 2014-07-13
    hi u can send the pictures of your emperor scorp at zain_naveed16@hotmail.com   can i buy it?
  • Akash Jadhav - 2014-07-30
    i want your email id fb ok you sent and i will see your emperor scorpion
  • John peter - 2014-08-23
    Hi, I offer the best rate for black Scorpion, 50gm plus , tell me m if anyone have.
  • abdul sami madni - 2014-08-25
    dear sir i want big and black scorpions above to 40grams
    you can help me?i want to buy it i want 100pcs.
    please contact me 00966-500129255 or my e mail. sewakulmuslimeen@yahoo.com

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