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Scorpion Care Sheet


pandinus imperator

Scorpions consist of both forest and desert species. The Emperor scorpion is a forest variety. A scorpion’s sting can vary from mild to severe, depending upon species.


Scorpion Facts

Scientific Name pandinus imperator
Average Adult Size 3 to 8 inches long
Average Life Span 2 to 6 years with proper care
Diet insectivore

Will reach adult size in 1-3 years, depending on species and under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your reptile grows.


A well-balanced scorpion diet consists of:

  • A variety of insects, including gut-loaded (recently fed) crickets, small mealworms and waxworms.


Things to remember when feeding your scorpion:

  • Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
  • Feed juveniles daily, adults every other day. Since they are nocturnal, feeding should occur at night.
  • Dust insects with calcium supplement daily and once or twice a week with a vitamin or mineral supplement.
  • Remove uneaten crickets as they may attack a resting scorpion. Do not feed a scorpion while it is molting—wait until its exoskeleton hardens.


  • Size - Appropriately sized habitat, to accommodate normal behaviors and exercise, with a secure lid.
  • Habitat - Provide hiding areas using non-toxic plants, branches or logs; keep hiding areas away from the heat source. Maintain 60 to 80% humidity by misting as needed every day.
  • Substrate - Mulch-type such as coconut fiber bedding, reptile bark or dampened sphagnum moss; avoid gravel and artificial turf (too harsh for skin).
  • Temperature - Temperature gradient (90°F for the warm end and 80°F for the cool end); recommend placing under-tank heater or incandescent bulb on warm end.
  • Lighting - Photoperiod lighting required for 8 to 12 hours a day; don’t leave white light on at all times; use a nocturnal or infrared light to view scorpion at night.
  • House adult scorpions separately and do not house different invertebrate species together.

Normal Behaviour

  • All scorpions are venomous and sting; depending on species, the sting can be mild to severe; although most people are not affected by Emperor scorpions, some humans may be allergic.
  • Most scorpions are nocturnal (active at night).
  • Scorpions may go into hiding for a few days and refuse food before they molt.
  • Do not handle scorpions after a molt until their exoskeleton hardens.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect the habitat at least once a week: place scorpion in a secure habitat using gloves and forceps to gently move the scorpion; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all traces of bleach smell; dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.

Grooming & Hygiene

  • Mist habitat daily to maintain high humidity and change water daily.
  • Remove the scorpion’s exoskeleton from the habitat after they molt.


Signs of a Healthy Animal

  • Eats regularly
  • Body and tail are rounded and full
  • Active and alert
  • Healthy exoskeleton

Red Flags

  • Swollen limbs
  • Lethargic
  • Bumps, sores or abrasions
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal feces
  • Discharge in mouth or eyes
  • Dull exoskeleton

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Dehydration Symptoms or Causes Lethargic, poor shedding, shriveled appearance. Suggested Action Consult your veterinarian.


Ask a store partner about Petco’s selection of books on scorpions and the variety of private brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All private brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all invertebrates are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your invertebrate or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for invertebrates and should consider not having an invertebrate as a pet.

Go to for more information about invertebrats and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, refer to the Sources on the back of this Care Sheet or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.