Beiträge von BrianS

    Tityus falconensis is a small brick red scorpion native to parts of Tropical Venezuela. They are approximately 2-2.5 inches in length. This species has been in European collections for several years and has just entered the US Hobby about 2 years ago. The specimans in the hobby are apparently decendants of a few collected in Venezuala several years back. In captivity they seem to thrive and are prolific breeders if the conditions are right.
    Since the only specimens in the hobby now are captive born and bred, usually the ones being sold are early instars so I will begin with raising the young. When starting out, it is best to get at least 5 early instars with 10 or more being even better. This increases the likelihood of having at least 1 breeding pair when they become adults. Due to the fact that they have a relative short lifespan of about 2 years it will be neccessary to breed your own in order to keep a colony going.
    This species being from the tropics will appreciate humid conditions. The young should be housed in separate vials in order to avoid cannibalism. The 50 Dram vials available from Thorton Plastics make really nice containers to keep the young in. It is best to fill each vial about 1/3 of the way up with slightly moist peat moss. This species does not burrow but the deeper substrate will help keep the container humid. When the substrate becomes a little dry the hobbyist should pour just enough water to make it thoroughly moist again. Making it too soggy will be harmful to the scorpion. It is also very important to supply a verticle climb which can be corkbark or any piece of wood. The reason for this is that during molting they often molt while hanging upside down from the climb. Without a climb, many will die during molting.



    The young can mature in as little as 8 months if fed well and the temps are good. Generally they do really well at temps in the low 80sF. The young should be fed frequently around 2-3 times a week. Both adults and young will eagerly feed on crickets and small roaches. It is also important to note that the hobbyist should always inspect the vials the day after feeding in order to see if any uneaten remains are in the container. In humid conditions the uneaten remains will attract mites, phorid flies etc.
    The babies will grow fast and by the time they are adult can be moved to a bigger container. The adults can be kept in large groups. Housing can be very simple. I usually keep all mine in plastic Sterlite or Rubbermade boxes. These boxes work much better than the Kritter Keepers available in Pet Shops because you can drill small holes around the box which reduces ventilation thus keeping the environment more humid. The "open" covers on the Kritter Keepers let the substrate dry out too fast. As with the vials for the early instars, a deep layer of slightly moist peat moss is needed. Also needed are stacks of cork bark or pieces of dead bark from local trees as long as they are free of pesticides and other chemicals. The stacks of bark are needed as this species is a climber.



    Determining the sex of this species can be a little difficult. The pectinal tooth count method doesnt apply to this species as the tooth count of both sexes generally overlap. As a general rule the adult males are much thinner than the females


    Male T falconensis


    Female T falconensis


    The males will mature at 5th instar (4 molts) whereas the females mature at 6th instar (5 molts). So naturally the males will mature a little quicker than the females. Adults will usually get along fine as long as they are fed well. They will also breed. One mating is all it takes for a female to have up to 3 broods about 2.5-3 months apart. Usually there are from 10-30 young with each brood.




    A few days after giving birth it is a good idea to gently coax the Mother into a deli cup with slightly moist peat. The purpose of this is to make collecting the babies easier. When the babies leave the Mother in the larger adult enclosure they can be difficult to find due to all the bark stacked in the enclosure. The babies will molt a few days after birth and will stay on the Mother's back up to a week after that. Only after they have separated from the parent on their own should they be collected and rehoused in the vials.

    Today I recieved a nice package that had some nice Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus. Naturally I put a male and female together and they were going at it before I could even get the camera ready LOL. Mating lasted about 10 minutes. The break up was rather peaceful with both seemingly to ignore each other afterwards. I will keep this thread updated.



    This is the spermataphore left by the male



    Parabuthus transvaalicus (commonly called Black Thick Tail) is a large and impressive scorpion that is native of the Deserts and Savannahs of Southern Africa. Since this species is only sporadically imported, hobbyists should really try to breed this species so that we wont be dependant on imports.
    Breeding this species is relatively easy and straight forward. I have successfully bred this species twice now and one of my females was recently bred again so that I will have another batch in a few months.
    First, it is neccessary to get a pair that are of the opposite sex. The pectinal tooth count for this species isnt a good way as there is often an overlap in the tooth count between the sexes. It is very easy to sex out a pair as long as they are adults since the males are thinner built with more bulbous chela (claws).


    Note the thin built and more bulbous claws of the male


    Now note the thinner claws yet more robust build of the female


    Housing for this species can be very simple. I am currently using wide/flat deli cups to house mine. Any KritterKeeper, Sterlite Box or even 2-10 gallon tank can be used. It is neccessary to provide plenty of ventilation holes in order to quickly dissipate moisture quickly. The screen type tops of KritterKeepers and normal tanks will do well. If using a deli cup or Sterlite type box be sure to drill plenty of holes for the extra ventilation. Since when I do water about once a month I overflow the water dish a little. If there is not enough ventilation when doing this, the specimens risk getting am infection known as Mycosis.
    Substrate can be either dry peat,sand or even clean garden soil as long as it is very dry. Also some cork bark or some other hide should be added to the enclosure.
    Although they will live at the cooler temps that many keep tarantulas at, temperatures of 80F-90F should be maintained when breeding. If kept in cooler temperatures the juveniles dont grow very well and often the adults will give birth to undeveloped young.
    I always introduce a male into the female's enclosure.If both are mature and the female not mated they will often mate right before your eyes. Mating actually more closely resembles rape as the male will clasp the claws of the female and drag her onto something hard such as a stone or cork bark. There he drops a spermatophore and pulls the female over it. She then absorbs the sperm and they break up. It is a good idea to remove the male at this point as he can become lunch for the female although I have actually had one couple cohabitate.



    Gestation has varied for the females I have bred. The first female had a gestation of almost 11 months and give birth to 54 young. The second female had a gestation of 7 months and appears to have more young but I havent counted them yet at the time of this writing as they are still on the Mother's back. My temperatures were at 82-86F.



    After the young molt 1 time they will start to disperse from the Mother. Now comes the fun part of separating them out. For early instars I like to use small condiment cups with a shallow layer of sand. Like with the adults, they need to be kept warm and dry so be sure to have plenty of small ventilation holes in the condiment cup and preferably on the side. As the young grow you can move them to bigger containers. About once a month or before a coming molt I will often put 1 or 2 drops of water in the condiment cup. If the moisture doesnt evaporate in a few hours you will need to increase the ventilation and change out the substrate so it is dry again.


    Note: This species is known to have a strong venom and the ability to spray venom. Please exercise caution when working with this species.


    Acknowlegements:
    I wish to thank my friends Patrick Bultel, Eric Ythier, TC van der Ende and Alex Tietz for advice in the past. Their advice has helped make this and several of my other Scorpion Breeding Projects a success.

    With the growing popularity of the Scorpion Hobby, it is obviously neccessary to learn all we can about breeding and culturing them in order to keep all the desired species in our hobby.
    What is a "Bark Scorpion"? Typically they are from the Family Buthidae and the genera Centruroides, Tityus, Rholapurus, Isometrus, Lychas, Babycurus and probably others that arent very common in the hobby at the moment. These "Bark Scorpions" are found in a variety of different habitat including Rainforest, Desert and Temperate areas. They are not burrowers and some even call them arboreal although many species are seldom if ever actually found in trees but under stones, logs and other ground litter.
    After having some failures of early instar "Bark Scorpions" mostly during molting I have learned that providing them with vertical climbs seems to have almost eliminated molting problems. When provided a climb they almost always molt facing down. Perhaps gravity actually helps them molt more easily although this is speculation.
    Here is how they prefer to molt


    With this in mind, I keep all scorplings in small vials with a piece of tree bark that stands up. This also is good in case the substrate gets a little too damp for the scorpling when water is added.


    As the scorplings out grow the vials, they can then be moved into deli cups but it is still wise to provide a piece of verticle structure to climb on.
    Before I started doing this, I had about 70% mortality during molting but now the deaths are virtually non existant.

    Since this question has been popping up on various forums lately I decided a thread like this is in order for future reference.This isnt the only way to do this nor neccisarily the best but it does work well. Luckily, these are about the easiest scorplings to raise so long as you do the basics correctly.......



    When the female gives birth the young will remain on her back until they molt into 2nd instar. At this point there is really nothing to do but wait. There is really no need to feed the Mother at this point as they will often refuse food. It will take about a week or 2 (depending on temps etc) for the 1st instar to molt. As long as the substrate is moist everything will be fine.




    After the young molt and leave the Mother you can separate them into delicups like this. You can keep the young together as they arent the cannibalistic type as many Buthids are. These delicups seem to work better as they restrict ventilation which keeps them humid. I use moist peat moss with a bottle cap for water.
    Note that many keepers I know will leave the young with Mom through 2nd instar and even 3rd instar. While I dont do this myself it is strictly a matter of personal preference.




    After the young are gone, Mom will have a renewed interest in feeding again so be sure to give her plenty of food in order to replenish herself.




    When the young out grow their deli cup it is time to move them into a bigger container. A plastic shoe box works great for this. Just drill or melt some air holes and you are in business. This works better than a kritter keeper as it also keeps the moisture inside keeping them from getting too dry



    Here is an inside shot. Like the deli cup only with a hide


    Here are some Heterometrus I have raised since they left their Mom




    I hope you all find this thread of some use :)