Emperor Scorpion Scientific Name: Pandinus imperator
Emperor Scorpion Facts
Picture a Scorpion in your mind and more often than not it is the Emperor that you will imagine. The scorpion most often used in movies and television, the Emperor is one of the largest Scorpions known to man.
This lobster-looking arachnid is fierce looking, but actually has proven quite calm in both the wild and captivity.
With a huge body and traditional curled tail, the Emperor can grow to be over 7 inches long in adulthood.
Although the Emperor is always referred to as being black in color there can be variations including blue-black and brown-black.
Like other scorpions, the Emperor will glow a greenish color if placed under a UV light.
The pinchers are extremely large and can have a red-tint to the black; they are strong enough to draw blood from a human.
The genders are discernable by the pectines (sensors that are placed on the underside) – the pectines will always be larger on the male.
Both male and females have a large, thick body. The females’ body expands greatly when pregnant.
Emperor Scorpion Habitat
Interestingly, Emperor Scorpions can survive in both a savanna or rainforest environment and are native to Africa. The Emperor Scorpion is prevalent in African countries such as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivore and Guinea. Like many other scorpions, the Emperor is a burrower and needs soft soil to get under rocks or into existing burrows. Historically the Emperor’s habitat has been a safe haven for the species, but more recently the Emperor is being caught and sold into captivity for exotic pet owners.
Emperor Scorpion Diet and Predators
Because of their large size Emperor Scorpions have a slightly different diet than their small relatives. Feeding on anything from insects to mice to small lizards, the Emperor will catch its food at night and literally tear their prey apart while still alive instead of injecting it with their venom. Emperor Scorpions caught or raised in captivity will generally stick to an insect diet although small mice may be used as well. Depending on the specific habitat, the Emperor Scorpion can have a host of natural predators. Because they do the majority of their hunting at night the majority of their predators are also nocturnal; examples are bats, rodents and even large spiders. However, despite efforts by endangered animal societies (CITES), humans are quickly moving up the chain of predators. Captured not out of fear but out of fascination, the Emperor Scorpion makes a very popular pet worldwide due to their traditional shape and large size.
Emperor Scorpion Lifecycle
Although many scorpion species leave their young at an early stage, the Emperor is known to create small families comprised on the mother and her young. From this early age Emperor Scorpions are often fed by the mother and have the option of staying nearby for the space of their life.
If bred in the wild the Emperor Scorpion can live up to 8 years (the average being about 6-7).
Generally the Emperor will start to reproduce at the age of 4.
The male plays the dominant role in the courtship by creating a dance for the female counterpart.
Once the female has accepted the sperm the pregnancy can take anywhere between 7 and 9 months.
Emperor Scorpion embryos grow inside the mother (up to 30 at one time).
When born the Emperor Scorpion will be a white color that will darken over time.
Although there are family units formed it is not uncommon for the mother to consume their young shortly after birth.
Emperor Scorpion Venom
Although one of the largest scorpions in size, the Emperor’s venom is not considered a danger to human and can be easily treated. The Emperor Scorpion’s venom is more effective on animals its own size and is not known to go after humans. This is also a contributing factor to making the Emperor a pet; the venom is only serious if allergic and the species as a whole is non-aggressive in any environment.