Other common names: South African Spitting Scorpion; Black Spitting Thick Tail
Scientific name: Parabuthus transvaalicus
The South African Fat Tail Scorpion is a terrestrial scorpion found all over Africa. They are commonly found in Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and other South African areas. They normally inhabit deserts and scrublands found in burrows under natural items on the landscape.
Appearance / health:
This is a large sized species with adults reaching up to 5 inches. They are normally a black-brown color but have been known to be a chocolate brown as well. The legs and pinchers can also be a different color, such as a reddish brown color.
Behavior / temperament:
The South African Fat Tail Scorpion is known as one of the most venomous on the continent of Africa. They have small pinchers which means that it will almost always resort to using it’s tail and stinger in defense. Like it’s other common name suggests, this scorpion can also spit venom at it’s threats. Always handle this scorpion with care and always use protective eye wear and gloves. This is a scorpion for only the experienced keepers.
The South African Fat Tail Scorpion should be housed separately. One adult may live in a 2-5 gallon tank with more floorspace than height. Baby and younger scorpions may live in temporary plastic containers such as deli cups or small Tupperware.
Temperatures should stay between 75-80F with low humidity levels around 50-60%. Substrate is best as sand or a mix of sand and peat, vermiculite, or potting soil. Keep the depth of the substrate between 2-5 inches. This species may burrow. A wide shallow water dish may be added. Tank décor should be items that will allow ample hiding spots for this scorpion. Cork bark, branches, wood, rocks, and other items may be used.
Adults should be offered large prey items such as crickets, cockroaches, super worms and for the largest adults, a pinkie mouse on occasion. Baby and young scorpions should be offered pin head crickets, mealworms, fruit flies, and other small insects.
Breeding has been noted to be hard in captivity as both sexes try to kill each other.
coolest scorpions, extremely advanced keepers
venom, man killer, potentially lethal species, escape proof tubs
anti venom, hefty legal deterrents
South African Fat-tailed Scorpions.
I must admit from the get-go that I would never have bought a scorpion to keep as a pet. However, one day the issue was decided for me when I came across a fat-tailed scorpion with about 20 or so little baby scorpions clinging to her back. Normally, I would not have paid much attention, but this particular scorpion had one pincer missing- a circumstance that drastically reduced her chances of long-term survival in the wild.
So there was nothing for it; I caught her in an old tin since there apeared to be nothing wrong with her stinger, and placed her in an old, cracked aqaurium that I had available for just such an eventuality as this. I must also admit that I did not know much about scorpions, but by dint of regularly visiting the local reptile park that had a huge collection of scorpions, I learned how to feed her small crickets, and when I could find them, small grasshoppers. The wound where her pincer had broken off healed within a few days, but by then I had already placed some dirt, various rocks, some dead leaves and small branches in the aquarium, and there I was- the proud owner of a family of fat-tailed scorpions. My original intention of turning her over to the reptile park was by then forgotten, and as the weeks went by, I watched the little scorpions develop into healthy juveniles, and later into healthy adults. I had also by then set up set a cricket breeding operation, and things went swimmingly for a few years until my scorpions started dying in rapid succession. The experts at the reptile park put the deaths down to the stress of captivity, some disease introduced by the crickets, old age, or if none of those reasons worked for me, natural causes.
The reason for the sudden death of my scorpion family was never determined, but speaking strictly for myself, I will not keep them again. Although keeping scorpions is very easy, and requires no more than a working knowledge of the species, they just did not work for me in the way that say, my cats and ducks do. I could not communicate with them, and they did not respond to me in a way that would make me want to collect them, even though I was never stung when I handled them.
To my mind, scorpions should only be kept by persons who cannot or will not, spend a lot of time on caring for a pet for whatever reason. Scorpions are virtually maintenance free, and if that appeals to you, you will have found the perfect pets..
From reinier1 Apr 6 2015 4:04PM
Parabuthus transvaalicus - Transvaal fat-tailed scorpion
Parabuthus scorpions are a highly venomous fat-tailed scorpion. Their pedipalps are tiny in comparison with their thick tails. They come from a fairly arid climate that doesn't receive that much rainfall. They are a dark brown black color and their tails are full of bristle-like hairs. They are not so much ambush predators as other scorpions are. They normally are found at night while out hunting for their prey. I would only recommend these for extremely advanced keepers. Scorpions have a high tendency to escape and therefor if you do choose to keep them bare in mind that they are a potentially lethal species. They need to be kept in 100% escape proof tubs in a dedicated room just for them..
From RobWedderburn Oct 5 2015 4:00PM
For your own safety keep hands outside of the ride. These are considered to be some of the most dangerous scorpions in existence. their name literally means man killer.
So why keep them as a pet? This is the most asked question with the more dangerous species of scorpion available to the public. You need to remember that not only are they potentially fatal, and have a good likelihood of causing said fatality, they are also likely not covered in your health care policies as their anti venom is rather costly. The fact is, most hospitals simply will not have this anti venom on hand. Should they be able to locate some it will come at a big cost to you. Then again, what is worth more your wallet or your life? They are also guarded by rather hefty legal deterrents, and may be illegal to own in your location.
So why bother keeping them? The answer is simple, it is the appeal of the danger. One thing that you will likely see with someone who has been caring for arachnids for a long time is their expansion at some point to more medically significant bearers of toxin. This is something that also will fade to the way side with time, but after having the standard pets, you tend to find yourself looking for more of a challenge, more of a thrill. If that is your goal than look no further, although I would suggest you stay away. So you can live to fight another day. But seriously, when it comes to owning something with this level of fatal potential, I would highly recommend exercising caution and doing some in depth research..
From ManoftheNorth Apr 16 2014 8:11PM