If you’re considering getting your first scorpion, I would recommend taking a look at Janalychas tricarinatus.
These small scorpions come with several advantages. Janalychas tricarinatus are highly active for scorpions, resilient, grow rapidly, possess a great appetite, reproduce through parthenogenesis, and their venom is not harmful to humans.
In this detailed guide, I have gathered all information about Janalychas tricarinatus based on existing studies, research, experiments, and the experience of aquarists. You will know more about this remarkable fish including their behavior, feeding preferences, ideal tank requirements, and how to take good care of them.
Quick Notes about Janalychas Tricarinatus
|Name||Three Keeled Bark Scorpions|
||Red Marbled Scorpions, Buthid scorpions,
and Bark scorpions
|Scientific Name||Janalychas tricarinatus (previously Lychas tricarinatus)|
|Tank size (minimum)||1 gallon (~4 liters)|
|Average size||1.7 – 2.2 inches (or 44 – 55 mm)|
|Optimal Temperature||75 – 79°F (24 – 26°C)|
|Water type||Freshwater bowl|
|Moisture||70 – 80 %|
|Life span||up to 6 years|
Taxonomy and Etymology of Janalychas Tricarinatus
This species was originally described as Lychas tricarinatus. However, according to a revision conducted a few years ago, this species was moved to a different genus – Janalychas.
The genus name pays tribute to Jana ŠtundlovÁ (née PlÍškovÁ) of Prague, Czech Republic, in recognition of her valuable contributions to scorpion systematics, particularly through her work in karyotype studies.
The species name “Tricarinatus” has Latin roots where
- “Tri-” indicates “Three,”
- “Carina” means “Keel” or ridge”, and
- suffix “-atus” meaning “having” or “characterized by”.
So, “tricarinatus” could refer to the presence of three ridges or keels, which may be a characteristic feature of this scorpion species.
Distribution of Janalychas Tricarinatus
Janalychas tricarinatus is endemic to India. These scorpions are very common in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh; Belgam, Bangalore, Bannerghatta National Park, Mangalore, Kanara, Karnataka; Trivandrum, Kerala; Nellore, Andhra Pradesh; Tanjavur, Yercaud, in Shevory Hills, Nilgiris, and Tamil Nadu.
Habitat of Janalychas Tricarinatus
Janalychas tricarinatus is typically found in humid regions. Their habitat often includes forest and rocky areas.
These scorpions are well adapted to hot and humid environments and can be found under rocks, logs, rocks, bark, decaying vegetation, leaf litter, in crevices, and other sheltered locations. They can also forage in trees at night.
Description of Janalychas Tricarinatus
This is a relatively small terrestrial scorpion species. The average size of the adults is only about 1.7 – 2.2 inches (or 44 – 55 mm) long. In some rare cases, they can grow up to 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) long.
Distinguishing characteristics of Janalychas tricarinatus include:
- Claws. The pedipalps of Lychas tricarinatus are slender and sharp. According to the study, the species can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the following characters lack of external and internal accessory granules on the 6th row on the movable fingers of the pedipalps. The manus is smooth without any granules and long tibial spurs.
- Carapace. These scorpions have an evenly granulated carapace.
- Pectinal teeth. This species has a pectinal teeth number of 21–24 in females and 25–26 in males. The pectines are 5 times longer than wide.
Note: There is a popular belief that the population of this species consists entirely of females. This is not true. Males are also present.
Metasoma. 1st and 2nd metasomal segments bear 10 keels, of which two keels are composed of well-defined but mutually more distant granules. 3rd and 4th metasomal segments bear 8 keels, but 3rd segment may have 10 keels.
Color. The base color of the body and legs is brownish-yellow, with or without dark brown spots. Telson, fingers, and manus of the tibia of pedipalps are of identical color, light, and spotted.
For a detailed description of Janalychas tricarinatus, you can refer to this scientific paper.
Lifespan of Janalychas Tricarinatus
These scorpions generally live for 5 – 6 years. Their short lifespan is closely correlated with their relatively EXTREMELY fast growth and reproduction.
Behavior of Janalychas Tricarinatus
Temper. Janalychas tricarinatus is not an aggressive species. On the contrary, they will prefer to retreat from threats rather than stand their ground. They are mostly defensive, not aggressive.
Sociality. They are solitary.
|Despite the fact that in the wild and in captivity, adult scorpions can coexist in groups relatively safely, Janalychas tricarinatus cannot be classified as communal animals anyway.
This is especially true for growing individuals because, during molting, the chances of being eaten by conspecifics increase significantly. You need to remember their cannibalistic tendencies.
Activity. They are very fast. Janalychas tricarinatus is one of the most active scorpions compared to other popular species (such as Heterometrus sp, Pandinus sp., Hadogenes sp.). They do not hide all the time and often check their surroundings. Although these scorpions are pretty outgoing, they are still skittish.
They are not true burrowers.
- Communal: No
- Activity: High
- Peaceful: Semi-aggressive
- Burrowers: No
- Venomous: Yes
Venom of Janalychas Tricarinatus
This species is not considered dangerous to humans and it should not cause problems (if any) for healthy adults. No human fatalities have been definitively attributed to Janalychas tricarinatus.
Note: Their sting is generally described as mild burning pain lasting several hours. After a sting, redness, and itching may occur around the bitten area.
Nonetheless, some people (especially children and elderly people) may be allergic to their toxins and their venom can cause intense localized pain. In this case, if you get stung, you need to get to the hospital ASAP.
Interesting fact: Scorpions can sting many times, but their venom becomes depleted with each sting.
Diet of Janalychas Tricarinatus
Janalychas tricarinatus scorpions are opportunistic predators, they hunt and feed on any prey they are capable of capturing, overpowering, and consuming such as:
- spiders, etc.
This species does not have strong and powerful pincers. Thus, these scorpions rely mostly on their venom for hunting. However, if the prey is small or non-struggling, it can be subdued and consumed without envenomation.
- Janalychas tricarinatus has poor eyesight but hunts at night using tiny hairs on its body to sense vibrations and movement.
- They have been observed exhibiting both active and ambush hunting
How Often to Feed Janalychas Tricarinatus?
By scorpion standards, this scorpion species exhibits rapid growth and, accordingly, possesses a high metabolism. Therefore, feeding adults once a week is recommended.
Juveniles may require more food (2 – 3 times per week).
Some Feeding Tips
- Time. Janalychas tricarinatus is mostly nocturnal Therefore, it is highly recommended to feed them at night (at least in the evening). Therefore, by doing so, you will replicate the conditions and environment under which they eat naturally.
- Prey size. It is absolutely important that prey be smaller than the scorpions to ensure that they can grab it easily with their claws. For example, adult scorpions can eat full-grown cricket (1 inch or 2.5 cm long).
- Prey activity. Do not give them prey that will burrow, jump or fly around their enclosure. For example, remove the wings, chop the forelimbs, break the legs, or squash the head so that they wiggle and are easily accessible to the scorpions.
- Check the hiding spots. Keep in mind that scorpions often drag and store food in their hiding spots for later consumption. Check them from time to time to prevent any mold, mites, or bacterial contaminations. If it is not eaten in 2 days, remove it.
- Refuses to eat. Do not leave the live food in the enclosure. If the scorpion does not respond to the food you need to remove it the next day. Try next week. In captivity, scorpions may undergo periods of fasting that can last for several weeks/months.
- Diet Type: Carnivore
- Food Preference: Alive prey.
- Feeding Frequency: 1 time a week (for adults) and 2 – 3 times a week (for babies)
|Janalychas tricarinatus eats their prey alive. So, if you are a sensitive person, you should not keep them as a pet.|
Keeping and Housing Janalychas Tricarinatus
Janalychas tricarinatus is suitable for even beginners. They are easy to care for if you know their requirements. However, for optimal results, here are some handy tips that you should follow in order to keep them.
To put it in a nutshell, we need to emulate their natural environment meaning: average humidity, high temperature, and some hiding places.
Due to their small size, fully grown scorpions can be easily kept in a tank as small as 1 gallon (2.5 liters), provided that the enclosure is designed to meet their temperature and humidity requirements.
Janalychas tricarinatus thrives in a warm temperature range of 75 – 79°F (24 – 26°C). However, due to the wide range of distribution, they can tolerate temperature range between 68 – 86°F (20 – 30°C).
When the temperature drops below their optimal range, their metabolism significantly slows down, and they become lethargic.
To keep a temperature steady, heat sources like heating pads can be used.
Tip: The best (safest) option will be to put the heater to the side of the tank. If you use an under the tank heater, it can overheat your substrate and burn or kill molting scorpions there.
It is recommended to have a humidity level of more than 60%. The ideal humidity level for Janalychas tricarinatus is between 70 – 80 %.
Tip: One of the easiest ways to keep the humidity up is to use lots of sphagnum moss inside their enclosure.
Note: Do not spray/mist scorpions directly, it freaks them out and they really hate it.
Important: At the same time, you need to keep in mind that too high humidity may cause fungal infections (mycosis – black patches).
Like most scorpion species, they get most of their water from their meal. So, if the humidity level is optimal for them, you do not need to do anything more for them.
Nonetheless, it was still noticed that it will be better to give them access to water through a dish. It will also help you to maintain optimal humidity levels in the enclosure.
They do not need much. Even a small plastic bottle cap will be enough. Fill it 1-2 times a month and let it evaporate dry.
Ideally, we need to give them something like bottled spring water. But if you decide to use tap water, let it age for 24 hours before using it. Tap water contains chlorine and it can be toxic to them.
Note: Water dish does not cause mycosis, only high humidity does.
No special requirement. Janalychas tricarinatus doesn’t burrow, so they don’t need special substrate.
Basically, you can use anything (soil, gravel, clay, etc.). However, if you have problems with keeping your humidity high, it will be better to use:
- coco fiber (Eco earth),
- peat moss,
- organic topsoil,
- Jungle mix soil,
- Zoo Meds Creatures Creature soil,
- The Bio Dude Terra.
These types of substrate are good for maintaining water which helps to stabilize humidity. Therefore, the substrate should always be kept moist enough. It means that it should hold its shape when you squeeze it. However, not so wet that it drips or pools water.
In my opinion, the simplest and cheapest way is to just use coco fiber.
Important: Do not use only sand! Sand often becomes supersaturated even though the top couple of inches are completely dry.
How often should we change the substrate?
It is still better to change the substrate at least every 6 months to prevent an outbreak of mold or fungi.
Decorations play a role that goes beyond pleasing us visually.
For the scorpions, their main function is providing shelter. So, the more decorations you have, the happier your pets will be.
They will appreciate all types of leaves, rocks, driftwood, coconuts, cork, barks, etc. in their enclosure.
|Important: Be careful with various types of branches and tree bark that you intend to use, especially if you collect them from outdoors. They might harbor various parasites or chemical residues.
If you are uncertain about the safety of the decorations you are using, it’s better to cure them first (treat, boil, and thoroughly dry them).
Breeding Janalychas Tricarinatus
It’s commonly known that this species can reproduce through parthenogenesis (asexually), where females can produce offspring without the involvement of males.
As a result, there’s a misconception that the entire population of this species is composed entirely of females.
In reality, this is not the case.
According to some research, in nature, the number of females and males is almost in balance. However, due to their ability to reproduce asexually, gradually, in the hobby, only females remain because parthenogenesis leads to the production of only female offspring.
Janalychas tricarinatus grows really fast. Under optimal temperature, they can reach maturity in only 4 – 6 months.
Experiments showed that under the low temperature, they reached maturity after 240 ± 41 days.
- Male differs from female in longer and narrower metasomal segments.
- Pectine teeth. Females have smaller and fewer pectine teeth (21-24). Males have larger and more pronounced pectine teeth (25-26).
According to the study, the gestation period is only about 40-45 days. Additionally, after delivery, females can produce at least 3 successive broods.
Females of this species give birth to an average of 15-20 neonates (nymphs or scorplings).
Scorplings molt for the first time after an average of 5 days on their mother’s back. In another 5 days, they will leave here and become independent.
When scorplings are with the mother, there is no need to feed baby scorpions, their mother will take care of that. Just give her more food than you normally would. She will catch the prey, tear it apart, and let the babies feed on it.
Important: Once babies leave the mother’s back, it will be better to separate them from her and each other as well.
Janalychas Tricarinatus and Suitable Tankmates
When we are talking about adults, keeping them with conspecifics can be relatively safe. They generally do not attack each other.
However, there will be definitely problems with growing scorpions. When scorpions molt (grow), they become soft and vulnerable, as a result, it makes them more susceptible to becoming an easy meal for others in the enclosure.
Therefore, it is still not recommended to keep them communally, especially juveniles.
In our hobby, when we are talking about the first scorpions, Janalychas tricarinatus often goes unnoticed.
Yes, I understand that this species, unlike representatives of the genera Heterometrus, Pandinus, and Hadogenes, may not stand out in terms of size, but it is highly active and fascinating to observe, unlike the ones mentioned.
Moreover, it is very adaptable, easy to care for, and even easier to breed since it can reproduce without mating.
- Seiter, Michael, and Mark Stockmann. “The life history of the parthenogenetic scorpion Lychas tricarinatus (Simon, 1884) from Odisha province, India and supplementary notes on Tityus trivittatus Kraepelin, 1898 (Scorpiones, Buthidae).” Zoologischer Anzeiger270 (2017): 155-165.
- Mathew, A. P. “Reproductive biology of Lychas tricarinatus (Simon).” The Biological Bulletin123, no. 2 (1962): 344-350.
- Kovařík, František. “Revision of the genera Lychas and Hemilychas, with descriptions of six new species (Scorpiones: Buthidae).” Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae61 (1997): 311-371.
- Kovařík, František. “Taxonomic reassessment of the genera Lychas, Mesobuthus, and Olivierus, with descriptions of four new genera (Scorpiones: Buthidae).” Euscorpius2019, no. 288 (2019): 1-27.