Scorpions as Pets: Pros and Cons

Scorpions as Pets Pros and Cons

The practice of keeping scorpions as pets in terrariums has become popular only in the last few decades. With their unique appearance and behavior, they caught the attention of exotic pet enthusiasts. As a result, more and more people start showing interest in caring for them in domestic settings.

Scorpions have a lot of character, personality, and can be a great addition to your home terrariums. They are easy-going, require a small enclosure, little maintenance, and will live for many years.

At the same time, scorpions are venomous. They are not particularly fond of being handled, and they become quite vulnerable during molting, among other things. All these factors could potentially pose obstacles when considering these animals as pets.

In this article, I will be weighing the Pros and Cons of keeping scorpions as pets, which should help you determine if they are the right pet for you.

List of Pros and Cons

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a scorpion for a pet:

Pros

  1. Low-maintenance pets
  2. Simple and Small Tank Setups
  3. Easy to Feed
  4. Cheap maintenance
  5. Fascinating behavior
  6. Lifespan
  7. Can breed in captivity
  8. Can be kept alone
  9. Exotic animals
  10. Small size
  11. Species Variations to Choose From

Cons

  1. Venomous
  2. No handling
  3. Not interactive
  4. Not active animals
  5. Specific nutritional needs (Live feeding)

Pros

1. Low-maintenance Pets

Having a busy life can make owning a pet feel like a lot. With scorpions, there will not be such a problem.

  • They need not be taken for a walk.
  • These animals do not require a lot of space.
  • They do not need complex setups.
  • They absolutely do not need attention or interaction.

Therefore, scorpions can be ideal for those who are constantly busy. Having them as pets will not be overwhelming, especially, if your schedule is already hectic. 

2. Simple and Small Tank Setups

Scorpions as Pets Pros and Cons enclosureDepending on the species, fully grown adult scorpions will be absolutely happy in 5-10 gallon tanks (20 – 40 liters).

As for the setup, it is also very simple:

  • plastic enclosure or terrarium,
  • some hiding spots,
  • substrate: a layer of damp substrate (such as coconut, peat moss, or soil),

Note: Certainly, it’s worth noting that different scorpion species prefer different temperature and humidity levels.

3. Easy to Feed

All scorpions are opportunistic predators and eat their prey alive. They are strict carnivores and rely on nutrients in animal tissues to meet their specific and unique nutritional requirements. 

They have an extremely slow metabolism. Therefore, feeding adults once a week or two is more than enough.

Note: It was recorded that for example Flat rock scorpions survived, in good health, without food for over a year.

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4. Cheap Maintenance

Due to the fact that scorpions have little housing and food requirements, keeping them does not cost much money; on the contrary, it is quite affordable.

Note: Certainly, this also depends on the scorpion species and where you live. So, if you live in a particularly cold area, but you want to keep a desert scorpion, you’ll need a heater and such.

5. Fascinating behavior

Most scorpion species have distinct personalities, exhibit fascinating behaviors, and hunting tactics that can make them wonderful pets. They are very exciting to observe.

Aggressiveness, activity, and curiosity are different in every animal.

Depending on what type of scorpion you have, you can also observe burrowing, climbing, and other activities.

6. Lifespan

Depending on the species, scorpions can live from 5 to 30 years or even more if appropriately cared for.

They can provide companionship and joy for an extended period. Therefore, before anyone commits to the responsibility of owning a pet crab, they should understand that.

7. Can Breed in Captivity

Scorpions are fairly easy to breed even in captivity. It is usually achieved through simple co-habitation of the tank.

However, there are also species (such as Janalychas tricarinatus) that can reproduce through parthenogenesis (asexually), where females can produce offspring without the involvement of males.

Scorpions have high maternal care for their young. After hatching, females will carry the young on their backs and release them when they get big enough.

8. Can be Kept Alone

Another great benefit is that scorpions require little to no socialization, so it will not be lonely if you only own one.

It should be emphasized that even though some species can be relatively peaceful among each other, it does not mean that there will never be conflicts. There is always a risk that molting scorpions will be eaten by others.

9. Exotic animals

These beautiful and exotic animals do not pop up immediately in our minds when it comes to keeping pets. Indeed, some people are full of surprises.

Even though their popularity as pets is rising, most people will still be shocked and confused if you start telling them about your scorpion pets.

10. Small size

One of the benefits of keeping scorpions as pets is their relatively small size.

Unlike larger pets, their compact stature makes them well-suited for various living spaces, including apartments, dormitories, or homes with limited room.

Species Average size
Janalychas tricarinatus 1.7 – 2.2 inches (44 – 55 mm)
Scorpio maurus
(Large Clawed Scorpion)
2 – 2.75 inches (5 – 7 cm)
Centruroides sculpturatus and Centruroides exilicauda
(Arizona bark scorpions)
2 – 3 inches (5 – 7.5 cm)
Hottentotta hottentotta
(Congo scorpion)
2 – 3 inches (5.5 – 8 cm)
Pandinoides cavimanus
(Red-Clawed Scorpion)
3.5 – 4.5 inches (9 – 12 сm)
Hadrurus arizonensis
(Arizona Giant Hairy Scorpions)
3.5 – 4.5 inches (9 to 12 cm)
Centruroides bicolor 4 – 5 inches (10 – 12 cm)
Heterometrus spinifer
(Malaysian Black scorpion)
4 – 5.3 inches (10 – 14 cm)
Heterometrus sp.
(Asian Forest Scorpion)
4 – 6 inches (10 – 15 cm)
Hadogenes troglodytes
(Flat rock scorpions)
6 – 8 inches (15 – 20 cm)
Pandinus Imperator
(Emperor Scorpion)
6 – 8 inches (15 – 20 cm)

11. Species Variations to Choose From

The diversity within the scorpion’s world is fascinating. The options are pretty extensive.

Whether it’s about size, activity levels, or specific behavioral traits, there’s a scorpion out there for every preference.

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Cons

Despite numerous Pros, it’s always worth looking at the flip side of the coin if consider keeping scorpions as pets.

1. Venomous

Although most scorpion species in this hobby have low toxicity to humans, it is important to approach them with a sense of responsibility.

DO NOT allow children to touch scorpions!

Because everyone’s response to a scorpion sting is different, it is always advised to use caution and get medical help if stung, especially if you are having severe symptoms or an allergic reaction.

Always keep in mind that they are all venomous creatures and the potency can vary based on the species.

Important: Some scorpion species (for example, Arizona bark scorpions) are natural escape artists. They excel at it. So, a tight-fitting lid is essential in order to protect themselves and your home. You do not want venomous creatures to crawl around your home in the night.

2. No handling

Scorpions as Pets Pros and Cons handlingFirstly, this point logically follows from the first – it’s extremely unwise to casually handle a venomous creature.

Secondly, scorpions just don’t like it. Of course, you might have already seen a lot of videos where owners hold them in their hands. Nonetheless, this does not change anything. Scorpions might tolerate it, but it’s not something they enjoy.

They are wild animals and cannot be tamed. They are not pets you can play with. Do not take them out just because you want to. Handling them can cause them to become stressed and aggressive.

Important: If you absolutely need to pick it up, you should NEVER lift the crabs by their legs, claws, or tail! Never forget about it.

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3. Not interactive

Another drawback to keep in mind, when considering scorpions as pets, is that they are not highly interactive animals.

Scorpions do not play. Unlike some pet animals (like dogs or cats) they do not form the same type of bond with humans.

All their actions are based exclusively on their instinctual nature. They primarily focus on their natural behaviors, such as hiding, hunting, and molting.

So, if you need a pet that can actively engage with you and respond to your interactions, scorpions are not a good choice for that.

4. Not very active animals

Scorpions are nocturnal animals. In addition, as I have already said before, their metabolism is extremely slow. As a result, they have a very low level of activity.

Some species like to hide, others have the tendency to burrow for extended periods, often weeks at a time.

As a potential owner, it is important to consider whether you are comfortable with the quieter and less visible nature as part of your pet-keeping experience.

5. Specific nutritional needs (Live feeding)

Sure, feeding scorpions is super easy, but for some sensitive people, it could be a bit of a problem to have them as pets.

Being predators, they eat their prey alive. Additionally, you have to keep and deal with scorpion food somewhere, which involves handling various roaches and bugs —a task that some people find extremely unpleasant.

Selecting the Right Pet Scorpion

Before you buy a pet scorpion, it is absolutely important to find out about its care requirements (optimal temperature and humidity), food preferences, habits, bedding, etc. needs for your new pets. Check the life expectancy of the species you would like to keep.

That way, you would be acquainted with the do’s and don’ts as well as how to properly handle and take care of it.

Important: if you have kids in your house, scorpions pets belong to the “look and care but DO NOT touch” category.

In Conclusion

As we can see, keeping scorpions as pets has its advantages and disadvantages.

On the positive side, they can be extraordinary companions for many years! They are low maintenance, unique, have a long lifespan, and are easy to care for. All in all, they don’t require much space or investment.

The downside though is that scorpions are pretty shy, inactive, and provide limited interaction with their owners. They also require careful handling since they are venomous.

So, do not get them on impulse. Do your research. Weigh the pros and cons beforehand.

On my blog, you can find detailed articles on many species, not just the ones mentioned in this article.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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