Scorpions are arthropods related to spiders and they belong to the class known as arachnid. There are different types of scorpions (over 2000 species) and Black Emperor or Imperial scorpions are one of these. Though Imperial scorpions are natives of West Africa, they are also found in rainforests around the world.
Some Interesting Facts
Emperor scorpions are the largest scorpions on earth. The length of an adult (fully grown) black emperor is approximately 8 inches, while a young one is around 4 inches long. A black emperor becomes a fully grown adult at the age of four. The life span of emperor scorpions is eight years.
An interesting fact is that a young black emperor is white in color; the color turns to black with each molting. Emperor scorpions molt at least six times before becoming adults.
You can visually differentiate between female and male emperor scorpions by checking out the size of the 'pectines' (appendages on the underside of the belly with combs on them). If there are many combs and the length of the combs is long, then the scorpion is a male. A female emperor has very few combs and the combs are shorter in length.
Among all members of the scorpion family, black emperors are the most docile; the sting of these arthropods is mild and the toxicity of the venom is less, hence the pain disappears after a couple of hours. This could be the reason why emperors are ideal pets for scorpion lovers. They have been categorized as one of the exotic pets.
Emperor scorpions love to inhabit areas where the temperature is high. If you are planning to keep an emperor scorpion as a pet, keep an under-tank heater to heat the tank. An ideal temperature is 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Emperor scorpions eat almost anything from lizards to grasshoppers, mice, and crickets. Sometimes, they feed on small birds and the smaller species of scorpions. If you have an emperor scorpion as a pet, do not overfeed it. On an average, an adult would require only a couple of crickets a day. In a very shallow bowl, keep a small amount of water because black emperor scorpions are likely to drink water. The best time to feed your pet is at night, as they are nocturnal arthropods.
Female emperor scorpions can give birth to 40 scorpions at a time. The gestation period of the mother is seven months. The baby scorpions stay on the back of the mother after birth and descend only to eat. The mother scorpion kills a prey and leaves it on the floor of the nest. The babies climb down from the mother's back and feed on the dead insect.
The venom of the imperials or emperors is not lethal. However, if you have any allergy-related health problems, it is better to be careful while handling these large scorpions.