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8 Popular Scorpion Species Suitable as Pets
Scorpions are an increasingly popular type of exotic pet in America. However, since they are just now gaining status in the domestically-owned critter world, it can be difficult to know what choices are available to you. We’ve created a list of the eight scorpion species kept as pets so you can learn a little more about them. We’ll tell you a little about each one and show you a picture of what it looks like so you can see if it’s right for your home.
8 Scorpion Species
1. Emperor Scorpion
- Length: 6–8 Inches
The emperor scorpion is aptly named as one of the largest scorpions globally, often reaching close to 8 inches in length. It’s a great beginner scorpion because it’s docile and hardy. It has an almost harmless sting and doesn’t use it as an adult, preferring to use the pinchers. It rarely becomes aggressive towards people and glows greenish-blue under ultraviolet light.
2. Asian Forest Scorpion
- Length: 4–6 inches
The Asian forest scorpion is almost identical to the emperor scorpion but is noticeably smaller. However, its stinger packs a bit more of a punch, many owners describe it as resembling a bee sting. It will also use its claws to dismember its prey. It’s more aggressive than the emperor and is better suited for experienced owners, but it’s quite hardy and can live 8 years or more in captivity.
3. Desert Hairy Scorpion
- Length: 5–6 inches
The desert hairy scorpion is an American breed that you will find in the southwest. It’s skittish and will assume a defensive pose when it feels threatened. Its stinger is more poisonous than the emperor scorpion, and it can be quite painful. It will require a hot desert environment and is better suited to an experienced owner who can avoid its stings and create a suitable habitat.
4. Dictator Scorpion
- Length 7–8 inches
The dictator scorpion is one of the only species larger than the emperor. It likes to burrow and prefers living underground where it will spend most of its time waiting for prey. Its venom is not very strong, but its huge pinchers can cause significant pain. The dictator is well suited to beginner and experienced owners as long as you can find them. This breed is one of the rarer scorpions on this list.
5. Malaysian Black Scorpion
- Length 4–5 inches
The Malaysian black scorpion is another hardy breed that can live to 7 or 8 years old. However, it can be aggressive in captivity and will sting at the first sign of danger, so it is better for experienced owners that know how to handle them. These scorpions like high heat and plenty of humidity.
6. Tanzanian Red-Clawed Scorpion
- Length: 4–5 inches
The Tanzanian red-clawed scorpion is another aggressive scorpion that is better suited to experienced owners. Its venom is similar to a bee, but it will sting at the first sign of trouble. It has rusty red claws and can live 8 years or more in captivity. It loves to hunt and will not get along with other scorpions in the same habitat.
7. Javanese Jungle Scorpion
- Length 4–7 inches
The Javanese jungle scorpion only has a mild toxin in its stinger, but it’s an aggressive and territorial animal that will use its large, sharp claws to settle any disputes. It’s one of the few sociable scorpion breeds that doesn’t mind living in groups, and it can live to be 8 years old.
8. Large-Clawed Scorpion
- Length: 3 inches
The Large-clawed Scorpion is from Arica and the Middle East and is the smallest scorpion on this list. It rarely stings and prefers to use its large claws for defense. The venom is a little stronger than a bee sting but is not life-threatening for most humans. It’s recommended for experienced owners because their habitat is a little more challenging than the others, requiring specific depth and moisture levels.
Do Scorpions Make Good Pets?
Scorpions make great pets, and there are varieties for beginner and experienced users. Scorpions are clean animals and are fairly low maintenance. None of the species on this list are deadly, and most won’t even use the stinger, preferring to pinch you with the claws. However, unless you are trying to handle it, there is little risk of getting stung or pinched. Most are hardy and can live 8 years or more.
We recommend the emperor scorpion for most people. It’s large and impressive but also calm and unlikely to sting you. If it does, the bite is very mild, and there is no need for concern. Once you have some experience, you can try out all of the species listed here to see which one you like the best. The Tanzanian red-clawed scorpion is a popular choice due to its attractive color scheme.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and were interested in a few of the breeds listed here. If we have helped you choose your next pet, please share this guide to the eight popular scorpion species suitable as pets on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Vova Shevchuk, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.