The emperor scorpion is a relatively large invertebrate living in the forests and savannas of central Africa. They can make good pets for people who are willing to have a scorpion in their house (not loose of course). Although the emperor scorpion is the largest known scorpion, it is not the longest. This title belongs to the African scorpion. The coloring of emperor scorpions is normally a black or dark blue, but it can vary to a dark brown or greenish color. Like a lot of desert animals, the emperor scorpion is nocturnal, and during the day, they hide under rocks or logs. As do all scorpions, emperor scorpions have one pair of pincers in front of four pairs of legs. Behind the fourth pair of legs, both male and female scorpions have comb-like structures known as pectines. Males have longer pectines than female, and this fact can be used by humans to distinguish between male and female in this species. These growths also help the scorpions by feeling the texture of the ground.
Glow in the dark
Like quite a few other land invertebrates, emperor scorpions have a shiny body. Unlike most others, however, they can “change the color” of this glow. When placed under an ultraviolet light, these amazing animals glow a green or blue.
Although emperor scorpions can grow up to one foot (30 cm) long, they are normally a lot smaller. Most emperor scorpions only grow to around eight inches (20.3 cm.) They are very light and only weigh about one ounce (28 g.)
In the wild, emperor scorpions eat a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates. Sometimes these animals will actively hunt down their prey, but other times they will just wait in ambush. Because they hunt at night, emperor scorpions do not use their eyes to find prey. Instead they use sensory hairs (also called trichobothria) to find a suitable dinner. Some of their potential meals include but are not limited to: mice, lizards, other scorpions, and insects. Most of the time, the emperor scorpion uses only its claws to kill prey. If its next meal is large, fast, or strong, the emperor scorpion may decide to use its more powerful stinger to subdue its prey. Zoos normally feed emperor scorpions invertebrates such as crickets. Since they cannot chew, emperor scorpions must digest their food before eating it. In order to do this, they secrete a digestive juice into the body of their prey and then eat the liquefied animal.
Emperor scorpions do have another use for their stinger though: self-defense. Some animals that are prey to the emperor scorpion can also be their predators. Such animals include lizards, other scorpions, small mammals, large spiders, and centipedes. Other animals that the emperor scorpion does not prey upon may still choose the emperor scorpion as its next meal. These animals include birds and bats.
At around age three, emperor scorpions are ready to mate. At this point mating can occur throughout the year as long as temperatures are warm. Once a male finds a female, he will move her around to a suitable place to mate. After mating, the male will quickly leave the female in order to avoid becoming her next meal. After a gestation period of 7-9 months, up to 35 live babies are born.
These half inch (1 cm) long, milky-white baby scorpions live with the mother for a while and eat some of the prey she catches. Once the young are old enough to catch their own food, they use their stinger until their claws are large enough to kill animals. Although the life span of these animals is not known in the wild, they can live for up to 8 years in captivity.
Click here to see a video about the emperor scorpion.
Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom and leave your guess about what the next animal is!
- Emperor scorpion – “Mike” Michael L. Baird
- Glowing emperor scorpion – Ladyb695
- Mystery animal – Greg Hume