One of the largest scorpions, the emperor scorpion, is an impressive arachnid. Found in the tropical forests of Africa, this scorpion can grow to be 8 inches in length. The emperor scorpion also has a life span of 5 to 8 years.
Emperor scorpions are also the most popular scorpions in the pet trade. Their large size, glossy black color, and mild sting make them desirable to many pet owners. However, the excessive capturing of wild scorpions has put the emperor scorpion on the endangered species list. Many pet breeders are having success with breeding the emperor scorpions in captivity. If you are considering one as a pet, be sure that it has been captured or bred legally.
These scorpions eat termites in the wild, and are a burrowing scorpion. They often make their homes in termite mounds, burrowing into the base. Some burrows only go a few inches deep, while others have reached 6 feet underground. They are solitary animals, like most scorpions, and prefer to hide during the day. Emperor scorpions are prey to many creatures, as well. Spiders, birds, rodents and mammals all hunt the emperor scorpion.
Emperor scorpions deliver a mild sting, which is not toxic to most humans. However, they have incredibly powerful front claws. These claws are what they use to hold their prey and dismantle it. Emperor scorpions usually hunt with their claws and use their stinger only when threatened.
Like all scorpions, emperor scorpions give birth to live young, which crawl up onto the female's back after they are born. The average number of scorpions born at a time is 12. These scorplings, as they are called, will ride on their mother's back, being cared for by her, until they reach their first molting stage. After they molt, the emperor scorpions will go off on their own to hunt and continue their growth.