Updated: Apr 4, 2022
Note: This care sheet also applies to vinegroons and tailless whip scorpions for care. Vinegroons and tailless whip scorpions are completely harmless.
Housing: Most scorpions are sold in enclosures that should be adequate for a few months if not the rest of their lives, not including any large species which are sold in temporary enclosures. Even desert scorpions tend to live in micro-habitats with higher humidity than expected, so enclosures than maintain humidity are fine. For the large species, most are fine in a ten-gallon tank or smaller that is horizontally oriented, since most of the largest scorpions are ground dwelling.
Lighting: No additional lighting is necessary. Scorpions are nocturnal. DO NOT keep a black light turned on your scorpion tank. Spot checking is fine, constant exposure degrades their exoskeleton and results in death.
Heating: Warm room temperature between 70 and 75, but not above 85.
Feeding: Weekly. Crickets or small soft-bodied roaches work best. For scorplings, squash the heads to prevent injury. Scorpions will always eat freshly killed prey, which could be any species of feeder, but be wary of particularly fatty insects, such as wax worms, in their regular diet, though they are excellent treats on occasion.
Watering: Spray the enclosure down well when feeding. You want damp substrate but no puddles. For desert species you may spray every other feeding for adults, but maintain higher humidity for scorplings because they can dry out and die if you aren’t careful, and humidity helps most arachnids molt.
Substrate: We keep our scorpions on a mix of 70% cocofiber and 30% peat moss. Desert scorpions can be kept on sand, but mixing it with about 25% cocofiber helps with humidity.
Hides: Most scorpions including ground scorpions like to climb on vertical surfaces, so if you provide cork bark on the back of the enclosure most scorpions will climb it, and many bark scorpions will almost live on it. If you provide a square cork bark hide, many will spend time in it hanging upside down. Providing hides such as leaf litter actually increase the amount you see your scorpion, since it will not bury itself in the substrate and will instead hide above ground where it is more likely to be visible.
Molting: Scorpions like to molt upside down, though they don’t always. They are sneakier about it than spiders and you probably won’t see it happen, and they don’t seem to be as vulnerable to mis-molts as tarantulas. However, if you see your scorpion molting, DO NOT touch it.
Venom: All scorpions are venomous, and there are a number of scorpions that will make you very sick. Generally, the smaller the claws, the more potent the venom. Israeli Death Stalkers, Indian Reds, and Egyptian Fat Tails may kill you if you get stung. No American species of scorpion is venomous enough to make you more than mildly ill unless you are very old, very young, have a compromised immune system, or are allergic.
Other Information: Some scorpions are communal, such as the Asian Forest scorpion, and can be kept in groups with no cannibalism as long as they are well fed. Tailless whip scorpions and vinegroons can also be kept communally. Some scorpions are parthenogenetic, such as the West African ground scorpion, and will give birth without exposure to a male. Always research the species of scorpion you want to avoid surprises.