Latin Name: Pandinus imperator. Adult Size: 12cm to 17cm. Average Life Span: Longevity is unknown at this time, however wild caught animals have lived for over 8 years in captivity. Native Distribution: Western Africa, from Senegal to Congo and Gabon. Physical Description: Adults are purplish black and fluoresce green under ultraviolet light. See Emperor Scorpions in ultraviolet light photograph. Temperament: A moderately aggressive nocturnal insectivore / carnivore. Even though they have large pincers and a venomous stinger, if allowed to move about freely on the hand or arm, they rarely pinch or sting. Their behavior becomes more aggressive when defending their young. A sting from an Emperor Scorpion is similar to that of a honeybee. Status in the Wild: CITES II.
Native Habitat: Found in hot, humid areas, where they dig and live in a burrow under logs and stones. Ambient Temperature: 23C to 30C. Basking Temperature: Not applicable. Humidity Range: 60% to 80%. Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent. Terrarium Size: Adults are best kept singularly with at least 300sq.cm of floor space per animal. Terrarium Decor: Tropical rain forest motif. Terrarium Substrate: Moist earth, sphagnum moss or cypress mulch. Terrarium Containment: Emperor Scorpions can easily climb branches but not smooth surfaces. Terrarium tops are only necessary to contain food items and to regulate humidity.
Hygiene: Remove uneaten food items after 24 hours. Feeding: Emperor Scorpions catch and eat insects and small animals. They will also scavenge for food. Although Emperor Scorpions can go for months without food, feeding once every week or two is best. Handling: Although they rarely pinch or sting, frequent handling is not recommended. Persons with insect allergies should never handle Emperor Scorpions. Terrarium Compatibility: Should be kept on their own.
Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached between two and three years of age. Sexing: Adult males are slightly smaller than females and have more prominent pectines. See sexing Emperor Scorpions photograph. Conditioning: Keep adults well fed with a variety of foods. Cycling: Breeding may occur year round under warm humid conditions. The male deposits a spermatophore on the substrate and then positions the female over it. The female will then pick up the spermatophore and place it into her genital opening. Sex Ratio: Can be bred in pairs or groups. Egg Laying: Emperor Scorpions are viviparous. A mature female will give birth to 15 to 20 2cm to 3cm long babies. See female Emperor Scorpion giving birth photographs.
Incubation Temperature: Not applicable. Incubation / Gestation Time: Variable. Gestation may take as long as 15 months. Size at Birth: 2cm to 3cm total length. Hatchling Sex Ratio: Not temperature dependant. Feeding: Babies are carried about on the back of the mother for the first several weeks. During this time the mother will allow the young to feed from her prey. As the babies grow, they change color from snow white to brown and then begin to wander from the mothers back. At this time, the babies can be removed to their own container and fed chopped adult crickets. Housing: Housing young together seems to pose no problems as long as they are of similar size. Keep substrate moist with daily misting.