Length: 4 - 8 inches
Weight: 0.125 lbs
Gestation: 210 - 270 days
Life Span: 8 years
Also Called: Imperial Scorpion
The Emperor Scorpion is the largest, but not the longest, of the scorpion species. Their coloring is usually a glossy black or blue, but dark brown or greenish colors have occurred. Whitish membranes connect the various body segments; these membranes will expand in pregnant females. They have large fat pinchers (chelae or pedipalps,) four pairs of legs and a long tail (telson) tipped by a venom gland and a stinger. Behind their fourth pair of legs, they have a comb-like structure called pectines, which are used to sense the texture of the ground. The pectines are larger on the males than the females. Like all scorpions, they use sensory hairs to detect ground and air vibrations.
Emperor Scorpions are one of the most popular pet scorpions due to their docile nature. Although it is not recommended, many owners handle their pet Emperor Scorpions. The sting is described as similar to a bee sting and the venom is not usually dangerous to humans unless they are allergic. However, their claws can deliver a very painful pinch and are strong enough to draw blood. As with all stings, medical attention should be sought if the victim shows signs of allergic reactions, such as breathing difficulty, excessive swelling or prolonged pain. Commonly thought to be insects, scorpions are actually in the same family as spiders, ticks and mites. Like all scorpions, Emperor Scorpions fluoresce a greenish blue under black (UV) lights.
Emperor Scorpions are often used in movies and television shows due to their docile nature, semi-social acceptance and relatively harmless toxin.
Mostly ground dwelling insects and other invertebrates (lacking a backbone.) They will occasionally feed on small vertebrates (having a backbone,) such as baby lizards or mice.
The Emperor Scorpion is found in the tropical forests and savannas of Africa, including Togo, Chana, Benin, Chad, Guinea, Liberia and the Congo region.
Birds, bats, small mammals, large spiders, centipedes and lizards prey upon scorpions. However, the Emperor Scorpions chief enemy is mankind. Over collection has dangerously reduced their numbers in Africa, which is why they have now been listed on CITES II species list as a threatened species. However, the captive population is thought to be extremely large.
Like all scorpions, the Emperor Scorpion burrows into the soil and can be found under rocks, logs and other forest debris. They hunt at night (nocturnal,) using their sensory hairs to detect nearby prey. They rarely sting smaller prey, preferring to grasp their prey in their powerful claws and tear the unfortunate victim apart. Emperor Scorpions are unusually social compared to other scorpions. They occasionally live in small family groups of a mother and her offspring.
Scorpions engage in an elaborate dance where the male grasps the femaleís pinchers and moves around attempting to find a suitable location to deposit his sperm sack. Once the sperm is deposited, the male will maneuver the female over the spot, where she will receive the sperm. As with all scorpions, the Emperor Scorpion bears itís young live. Emperor Scorpions reach sexual maturity near the age of four and their gestation period is around seven to nine months. Mothers will sometimes continue to feed their young, even after the children have developed enough to live on their own.
All scorpions have poor eyesight, good hearing and a good sense of touch. Body hairs are used to detect air and ground vibrations.