Although they are fascinating, scorpions should not be thought of as ‘pets.’ This is because they do not recognise the owner as ‘the hand that feeds,’ and will not refrain from stinging a human carer. Also, unlike other pets, scorpions should not be handled. Instead, scorpions should be kept as the remarkable but potentially dangerous creatures that they are.

Scorpion Stings

Scorpion stings vary greatly and are dependant upon the species. The majority of scorpion venoms are neurotoxins, meaning that they affect the nervous system.

Scorpions are carnivorous and so are best suited to a regular diet of cricket sized insects. Crickets, mealworm, grasshoppers, stick insects and some cockroaches are ideal foods. A water dish is necessary for scorpions and large species (adults) won’t drown if the water basin is shallow.


Scorpions should be kept in a terrarium that is at least 12 inches wide. Height is not a big issue with most scorpions but some like to climb, although these species are inadvisable to be kept in a home. A heat mat should be placed under the substrate, to keep the tank at the optimum temperature, which will depend on the species of scorpion being kept. Different substrates (sand, chippings, bark and compost) should be used, depending on the species.

Heating and Lighting
A heat mat should go under the substrate, covering about one third to a half of the terrarium, to create a heat gradient. The scorpion will move across this gradient in order to regulate its body temperature. Scorpions do not need a light source as they are nocturnal.
All species can sting, no matter how docile they are. If it is necessary to move a scorpion, then holding it by the tail (below the sting or ‘telson’) with padded forceps is the safest way.
Suitable Species
The Emperor scorpion is the most commonly kept scorpion.
Unsuitable Species
Hairy scorpions are considerably more aggressive than the Emperor species and have a much more powerful sting.
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