Asian forest scorpions (Heterometrus spinifer) are 5-6” long, nocturnal, terrestrial invertebrates native to Malaysia. They prefer to live on the floor of tropical forests, where they hide inside animal burrows and under fallen leaves and branches.
Asian forest scorpions are a robust scorpion with massive, smooth pincers and a glossy blue-black body. When exposed to a blacklight, they fluoresce pale green-blue!
Asian forest scorpions are a common beginner-level scorpion because of their size, general hardiness, and mild venom. With good care, they generally have a lifespan of up to 8 years.
Minimum terrarium size for Asian forest scorpions
The minimum terrarium size for an Asian forest scorpion is generally no smaller than 20”L x 10”W x 12”H, or a 10 gallon tank. However, larger is better as long as the space is used well. The enclosure should have a secure, tightly-fitted lid, or else your scorpion may escape!
Housing multiple scorpions in the same terrarium is not recommended, and may result in cannibalism if attempted.
Do Asian forest scorpions need UVB?
No, but they do benefit from enough lighting to create a consistent day-night cycle. This can be done with a 6500K fluorescent or LED plant light. Aside from providing low-heat illumination, it is also essential for nourishing any live plants you are using for décor.
Lights should be on for 12 hours/day.
Best temperature for Asian forest scorpions
Asian forest scorpions should be kept between 72-90°F. They seem to generally do well at room temperature, so unless your room is particularly cool, supplementary heating should not be needed. Use a digital probe thermometer to keep track of enclosure temperatures.
Best humidity levels for Asian forest scorpions
As a tropical species, Asian forest scorpions require high humidity levels between 70-80% during the day and higher at night. One of the best ways to do this is keeping the substrate appropriately damp. Simply pour water in until it’s moist, but not saturated or swampy. However, most keepers prefer to simply mist the enclosure 1-2x/day with a spray bottle of water.
Keep track of ambient humidity levels with a digital probe hygrometer.
Best substrate for Asian forest scorpions
Asian forest scorpions are enthusiastic burrowers, so it’s a good idea to offer them plenty of substrate as part of their setup. Pour in at least 3-4” of lightly packed substrate. We recommend the following substrates for Asian forest scorpions:
- Zoo Med Eco Earth
- Zoo Med ReptiSoil
- Exo Terra Plantation Soil
How to decorate an Asian forest scorpion terrarium
An empty terrarium can lead to a stressed scorpion, and it’s not much to look at, either. At bare minimum, you will need at least two hiding spots for the scorpion to use. However, you should also consider including other decorative items, such as:
- small logs and branches
- cork flats
- live or artificial plants
- artificial ornaments
What to feed to an Asian forest scorpion
Asian forest scorpions are primarily insectivores, which means that they need to eat a variety of insects to get the right nutrition. Offer 3 crickets, mealworms, or an equivalently sized dubia roach once every 1-2 weeks. For juveniles, never offer prey half to three-quarters the scorpion’s length.
Uneaten prey should be removed 24 hours after offering.
Of course, don’t forget a small water bowl for your scorpion to drink from! It should be too shallow for the scorpion to potentially drown in. Change the water dish daily and scrub it out with an invertebrate-safe disinfectant weekly.
How to handle your Asian forest scorpion
Scorpions don’t appreciate petting and handling in the same way that dogs and cats do. Although Asian forest scorpions are similar to the more popular emperor scorpion in many ways, they are more defensive and less tolerant of humans, and more likely to pinch or sting. Fortunately, their venom is fairly mild.
*This care sheet contains only very basic information. Although it’s a good introduction, please further your research with high-quality sources. The more you know, the better you will be able to care for your pet!