If you are new to scorpion husbandry, you might be wondering how scorpions reproduce. It is common to just assume that scorpions are like insects and that they lay eggs, but this is not the case. In fact, scorpion females give birth to live babies that are called scorplings.
How Scorpions Reproduce
During mating season, male scorpions will try to attract a female by trembling and shaking the ground with vibrations. The males also release pheromones that they hope will be appealing to the female. Nevertheless, male scorpions need to be exceptionally careful as there is a very real danger of being eaten by a female if their advances are unwanted or unwelcome.
If the female does want to mate with the male scorpion, she will send him a signal that it is okay to approach. They will then lock pincers and begin a mating ritual, which to us looks like some sort of dance. The two scorpions will rotate as the male deposits a sac containing his spermatophore. He then guides the female over this sac, which will be absorbed by her genital opening.
A scorpion’s gestational period averages around ten months, but this very much depends on the species in question. Some will give birth after a gestational period of just two months while others can be gravid for 18 months.
What are Scorplings Like?
Scorpions can give birth to lots of scorplings, with some species having up to one hundred at a time. An average litter will range between 25 and 35 scorplings though. Once born, scorplings will climb onto their mother’s back and typically stay there until their first molt, which usually takes place from one to three weeks later. Note that newborn scorplings are a creamy white color.
After leaving their mother’s back, they will then be able to hunt for their own food. Most scorpions will molt around six times before reaching full maturity. This can take anywhere between six months to seven years, again depending on the species. Some scorpions can live up to twenty-five years and most tend to live longer in captivity.
- Featured Image (Malaysian Black Scorpion): Hectonichus – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- Flat Rock Scorpion: Ryanvanhuyssteen – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
- Black Fat-Tailed Scorpion: Speedphi – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
- Shiny Burrow Scorpion: Bernard DUPONT – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
- Giant Hairy Scorpion: Robb Hannawacker – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
- Emperor Scorpion: Mike Baird – “Mike” Michael L. Baird – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
- Large-Clawed Scorpion: Guy Haimovitch – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.