We are often asked why a scorpion is not eating by those who have become extremely concerned for the welfare of their pet scorpions. It is understandable to worry if you have no experience of taking care of these amazing creatures, but fret not. Scorpions can actually go a long time without eating, and it does not harm them in any way.
Know that scorpions do not need to eat every single day; in fact, adults can go for up to a year without food in their natural habitat, if necessary. This is down to their ability to eat large amounts of food relative to their own body size. They also have the ability to slow down their metabolism, which enables them to survive up to the aforementioned year without eating.
How Often Should Pet Scorpions be Fed?
As touched upon above, in the wild scorpions can eat large amounts of food (up to a third of their body size in one meal). And if they do eat such large quantities of food, they can go for a long time without eating again. It is different when the scorpions are in captivity though and you should really get into the habit of feeding your scorpion regularly, although not daily.
How often you feed your scorpion will depend on the species of scorpion you have and whether it is an adult or a juvenile. Larger scorpions might eat small amounts every other day whereas smaller species could eat just once a week. One thing you do need to bear in mind though is that feeding young scorpions too much could result in them growing too fast. This becomes problematic if the body becomes too large for the exoskeleton between molting.
When you first get a scorpion, it is probably best to feed it twice a week. Establishing a regular feeding routine is key to keeping the scorpion contented. Remember that scorpions eat live food such as crickets. Consequently, it is best to provide live food which itself has been recently fed to ensure they are gut laden. Place the crickets into the scorpion’s tank at night as scorpions are nocturnal creatures.
Are You Feeding Enough?
If you notice that your scorpion seems to be pouncing on things or if it is skittering around the tank anxiously, it may be the case that it is not getting enough food. Try placing more food in the enclosure at the next feed.
If your scorpion is not eating and is leaving food in the tank, it may be getting too much. If so, do not feed it on the next scheduled feed day. Instead, wait a day or two before feeding again. As mentioned, scorpions have an amazing ability to go long periods of time without eating due to the way that their body handles nutrition.
Some species of scorpion, such as emperors for example, will fast as part of their normal life cycle so they can go for weeks at a time without eating anything. It is natural for inexperienced scorpion owners to worry when their pet is not eating, but for the most part these fascinating creatures will typically eat when they are hungry. If you are really worried and have noticed signs of ill-health, it is best to seek advice from a local reptile center.
- Featured Image (Large-Clawed Scorpion): Guy Haimovitch – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported 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.
- Flat Rock Scorpion: Ryanvanhuyssteen – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.