On A Pet Scorpion Named Ted

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Aztec Scorpion by Gwen
I don't know why my brother decided to keep a pet scorpion, but he is keeping one. The random choice was made on the day he was told by my mother of the unfortunate news that my pet red-eared slider has escaped his humble home and into the wild.

I am refering to Merlin, the turtle that I took into my care when he was just a tiny thing.

I was sad and resorted to calling out my turtle's name for a few days and while it might seem slightly mad, I thought he would hear me and crawl right in my general direction.

So anyway, back to the story of the scorpion. I didn't obviously know much about the emperor scorpion but I'd gobbled up as much info as I could back when my brother and his scorpion were here for the weekend. At first, I thought the nocturnal creature was going to give me nightmares but I got creeped out by its live food, which were the fat jumpy crickets more than I was of the shiny glow-metal-green-in-the-dark Pandinus imperator.

So say hello to Ted. He is a mature adult scorpion. Very single and available. Judging by the color of his telson, the rearmost of his segmented torso which is in the red to brown shade, Ted is positively considered a full-grown adult, though we're not sure of his exact age.

And how'd we know that he is a HE? Well, there's the funny-looking thing that sits on his abdomen. This you will not miss when you first witness your scorpion stretching and walking about with its underside exposed.

It looks like a small white butterfly to me. But they're called the pectines (see this in the video of Ted below). On males, these comb-like structures are larger and the pectinal teeth are higher in number compared to the female counterpart. Look at the length of your emperor's tail and pincers. Male scorpions have them longer.

Because the scorpion is nocturnal, you should expect it to sleep most of the time during the day and into the night. Ted's waking time is after midnight.

The first time I caught him rousing up erased preconceived notions I had about it. It seemed so very human and deliberate. Ted had stretched his two muscular pincers out like how you'd expect a human being to stretch in the morning. The switch from deep hibernation mode to hey-look-I'm-roaming-like-an-emperor walking mode was a sight.

I've yet to see him munch on his fatty crickets, though. But he sure liked to stretch his torso and circle around his habitat, finding tiny spaces to slide his shiny body into, looking for new terrains to discover. Every time he moved, the fatty crickets would jump to get away from him. And I'd jumped back because of the darn crickets.

Ted sleeps in his cave when it's cold but on days where it's blazing hot, he slumbers under the wood shade. There's something very peaceful about how Ted goes about his business that was sort of therapeutic to watch. He's very comfortable with the sight of human creatures fussing over and around him that is contagious. He is not jumpy and he cleans his pincers like a cat cleaning its paws.

Resting Scorpion

Any sign of daylight, you'd bet he'd be in deep sleep mode.

Where The Emperor Scorpion Lives

The habitat before it was upgraded. He now has a shallow pool of water to drink from and a cave to burrow in.

Scorpion's Cave

Ted loves his cave.

Standing Scorpion

Here comes the stretching session after midnight.

Misty Scorpion

Ted got misted.

Here's a video of Ted having his midnight stroll after a day of hibernation. Check out Ted's pectines at 1.07 and 1.23. Don't miss him standing on a rock at like a boss at 1.49.

What's your pet scorpion like behavior-wise? Share below!

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shanaz@RS | 2:30 AM | Labels:

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