Anyone thinking about a scorpion as a pet should do his or her research into what is required of them to actually look after this fascinating creature. If you are one such person then it is your job to ensure that your scorpion is fed and cared for appropriately. To that end, one important thing you will need to know is what scorpions like to eat and how often you should feed them.
What Food Do Scorpions Eat?
In their natural habitat scorpions hunt at night. Being nocturnal creatures, they spend daylight hours hiding, whether this is in their burrows, under rocks, or any other suitable hiding place.
Scorpions typically feed on things such as snails, spiders, crickets, centipedes, lizards, small rodents, and the like. They have also been known to eat small or baby snakes and even other scorpions. They only eat live prey and will dig out creatures such as insects, spiders, and lizards if necessary.
If you are keeping scorpions then it is obviously your job to provide the food they need. Most people elect to feed their scorpions with the likes of crickets, meal worms, or beetles as these are all easy to source. What you should be aware of however is that scorpions do not typically eat every day. A couple of crickets two or three times a week should suffice, for example. Juvenile scorpions do need to eat more often though, especially after molting.
As they are naturally nocturnal creatures, it is best to feed your scorpions at night. Also, remember that the food needs to be live when placed into the enclosure.
How Do Scorpions Eat?
Scorpions are natural predators and built for hunting. They have eight legs with pincers at the tip of the front two. These pincers are known as pedipalps and are used to capture prey. For smaller prey, scorpions are adept at simply crushing it and eating it. If prey is large though, they will need to inject it with venom, which is administered through the stinger at the tip of their tail.
This venom will immobilize the prey, which will then allow the scorpion to set about dissecting it and eating it. As scorpions can only digest liquids, they will inject prey with enzymes that liquify it from the inside. They will then suck this liquid into their stomachs. Scorpions can take quite a long time to eat; depending on the size of the prey the entire process of eating and digesting can take hours.
How Long Can Scorpions Go Without Food?
Scorpions have a wonderful ability that allows them to slow down their metabolism, which enables them to go for long periods without eating. In fact, in environments where food supplies are scarce, scorpions have been known to go for an entire year without feeding.
The remarkable thing about scorpions in the wild is that they can spring into action when they sense food is near. Even if they have been essentially hibernating for months at a time, they can swiftly catch and kill nearby prey by quickly raising their metabolism in that moment.
In captivity, scorpions could theoretically go without food for long periods too, although rarely for months at a time. They usually refuse food when they are approaching a molt; indeed, some scorpions will lose their appetite for weeks before molting. During this period, they may also become stationary or hide in a shelter within the enclosure.
Do Not Forget Water
It is important that your scorpion has access to water as well as food. Place a shallow dish of water in the tank, which will ensure that your scorpion can drink when it needs to. If you have juvenile scorpions in the tank, place pebbles in the bottom of the dish to prevent any accidental drownings.
- Featured Image (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.
- Malaysian Black Scorpion: Hectonichus – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported 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.