top of page



     With many species in the scorpion family, it is fair to say that there are over 1500 different types. It seems no one online can agree with the actual number because it ranges from 1200 to over 2000 depending on the website. It is however unanimous that there is only one type of scorpion in North America that is deadly to humans and that is the Arizona Bark Scorpion. Worldwide there are 30-40 different types that can kill a human being. None of these should be attempted to be captured as a pet. 

   Scorpions do not drink much water as all their food must be consumed in a semi-liquid/liquid form and they get most of their water intake from prey and from the air but a small amount of fresh water in a shallow dish is required. Scorpions have been known to go into burrows and take down rats, opossums and other smaller rodents, as well as snakes and lizards and they, can be found on every continent except Iceland and Antarctica.

Choosing a Scorpion

    The most common starter pet scorpion is the Emporer Scorpion. It is the biggest scorpion on the planet but not necessarily the longest. That title goes to the Flat Rock Scorpion which can reach a length of up to 8".  The choice between scorpions comes down to two basic types. A desert scorpion or a jungle scorpion. Both have totally different needs and tanks need to be set up accordingly to the species. Some are docile and can be safe to handle while others are deadly and very aggressive. Since scorpions have specific needs for their type of species, you should research your type of scorpion individually.

Feeding Scorpions

    All scorpions are carnivores. Crickets, grasshoppers, and mealworms are the food of choice for scorpion enthusiasts and young scorpions will eat more than their full-grown counterparts. They will not eat fruit or vegetables and only survive off protein. The ingest their food in a semi-liquid state much as a spider does. If a scorpion grows to fast it risks outgrowing its exoskeleton and causing usually fatal damage. Scorpions only need to eat once every 2 days. If you notice your scorpion leaving some food, cut back your feeding a bit. If you notice your scorpion getting a bit aggressive and seeming agitated before feedings and pounces quickly, you may have to increase the size of the feedings. You may need to monitor when they leave food because it could also be getting close to molting time.

    Since scorpions are nocturnal, which means they hunt and live at night, it is best to feed scorpions sometime after dusk or once it starts getting dark. Make sure the live feed you are giving is fresh and healthy, preferably with freshly consumed meals. To prevent the chance of a sting it is recommended you drop the food in away from the scorpion or set it in with a pair of tongs. If you do get stung scroll down to "Stung By Scorpion"

Scorpion Health

     It is hard to tell if a scorpion is sick. They can go for a long time without eating and will typically stop eating days before molting and it is usually at this time people become worried. Aside from visual inspections and seeing things such as a missing leg, cracked shell, fungus appearing on the scorpion or seeing small white specks (mites) it is very hard to tell if your scorpion is indeed sick. The best thing to do is try to keep it as healthy as possible in the right environment for your species using gut loaded food. (Food that has eaten well before being put before scorpion)  

     Light is not necessary since they are nocturnal animals and just nondirect sunlight is fine during the day hours. A heating pad is preferred as a heating method but not under the entire tank. Off-set the heat mat so it is only under 1/4 or 1/2 the tank. This allows the scorpion(s) to go between zones in the tank to regulate its own body temperature. Make sure the substrate is the proper medium and depth to help facilitate heat dispersion.

    Make sure there is enough room in the terrarium for the scorpion to move about freely. It may not be much but it is what constitutes as an exercise for scorpions aside from when they hunt prey. 

     Keep the tank clean and dry as scorpions get most of their water from their prey or directly from the air. The only time any added moisture needs to be introduced over what the are acclimated to is when they are molting and only then if you notice they are not molting correctly. To retain humidity in the tank during this time, you can cover the tank with saran wrap after misting heavily.

    Too much humidity can usually be noticed by either a whitish fuzz starting to appear on the scorpion's exoskeleton or by little white spots that are actually mites. These conditions can appear when conditions are too humid. Lower the humidity and this should resolve the issue.

Image by Егор Камелев

     If at any time you notice your scorpion has a wound or crack on its exoskeleton, you can apply petroleum jelly and cover it with a gauze. If the scorpion removes the gauze, the jelly alone should help seal the wound. In some cases contact cement has worked. 


    Just like tarantulas, scorpions go through a molting process as well. At this time they are very vulnerable and there should be no food in the tank. The whole process itself can take up to 12 hours and during this time they basically replace their entire exoskeleton. Humidity levels play a factor during this time and if the scorpion is getting stuck in his molt than the humidity level is too low and some misting may be in order to help assist in the molt. 

Stung by Scorpion

     In most cases, if you get stung while feeding the pain should recede in a few hours or days. It depends on the size of your scorpion. A fully grown Emperor Scorpion sting may hurt a few days due to the size of the bard. There is venom in all scorpions and so some precautions should be taken. Like a tarantula, the venom from a non-deadly scorpion will not kill you unless you get a severe allergic reaction to the venom and go into anaphylactic shock. This would occur on a second sting once you have been exposed to the antigen at a previous time. The antigen would need to be present in the body for the shock to occur. 


     If you start having issues breathing, suddenly increased heart rate, swelling of throat or mouth, difficulty swallowing, pain and or vomiting or a sudden feeling of weakness contact emergency services right away as a precaution.


     Tarantulas have long been the product of nightmares but these arachnids can be docile and very calm and have unfortunately received a bad rap by many. There has never been a recorded human death known to have occurred from a Tarantula bite. With a variety of species, these spiders can come in multiple colors and from many different locations. 

    Tarantula Bite - Is it fatal? 

    A Tarantula's venom is very weak. Similar to a wasp sting. There have never been any cases of recorded tarantula bite related deaths. A simple wash of soap and water will alleviate some pain. You may also take a mild pain medication to help. There is a small chance of an allergic reaction in which case medical help may be necessary.

tarantula, poison, death

Click the above image

             Should I Get a Tarantula?

     If you are thinking about getting a pet Tarantula, the following links should help you keep it happy and healthy. Chilean rose and Mexican Redleg Tarantulas' are the spiders of choice but there is a variety to choose from.

  What Type of Tarantula Should I Get?

   There are over 800 species of tarantula world-wide and some of these giant spiders can live up to 30 years. Not all are suitable as pets but some very good choices and information have been given in the images below.


   When it comes to feeding a tarantula,  the age and size of the spider play an important role. You do not want to underfeed your pet.                    How often and how large of feedings do you give are common questions.

     What Do I Feed?

How Much Do I Feed?

How Often Do I Feed?

tarantula, pet, feed

Information regarding feeding very small (slings), juvenille and adult tarantulas.

tarantula, feed

A tarantula can go a very long time without eating. For how long, click the image.


   There are some signs your tarantula is about to begin its' molting process. Color may seem duller, some hair may be disappearing, etc. Your pet is vulnerable at this time and it is best if no food is in the housing. Proper humidity and temperature are very important in aiding the molting process.

Spider Care & Habitat

   Tarantula housing can be set up as nice as any aquarium. Proper use of substrates and decor can make your enclosure look more attractive however, ALWAYS make sure any decorations or rocks you use are solid and stable before adding your pet into its home.

tarantula, pet, heat

Click the above image

tarantula, pet, habitat

Click the above image

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button



bottom of page