Posted Feb 19, 2016
I'd like to preface this by saying that I absolutely love scorpions, as a species. The amount of time I have spent researching them for the sake of feeding my obsession is borderline stalker-ish. However. There are some things that are not meant to be kept as pets. If you acquire one of these guys from a pet store or something else, good on you. DO NOT take one out of the wild. Here is why.
I caught Hero when I lived in the desert. He was, as is to be expected, incredibly hostile and not at all happy with his predicament. Care for him was rather easy, considering I lived in the area where he was native. Finding ground, rocks, plants, and foods that he was familiar with was all too easy. For those of you who do not live in the area that your scorpion is native to (which, I would assume would be most people) - and, honestly, even those of you that do live in their native areas - it is CRUCIAL that you do some research on caring for this creature before you bring it into your home. While not exactly high-maintenance, there is a lot more to its habitat than sticking it in a cage and giving it bugs to eat. Just like any other animal, they have certain dietary and environmental requirements that must be met, or they will die. Getting a vet to tell you what's wrong with your scorpion is not exactly an easy thing to do, so try to get it right.
Anyway, he got over his initial cage-irritation fairly quickly. In fact, he almost seemed to like it after a while. He stopped trying to climb the wall (he was about six inches long, so getting out of the cage would have been easy had it not been lidded).
Things got weird when a tarantula was added to the tank. Now mind you, I had nothing to do with this decision. This was something that one of my roommate's friends had thought would be awesome to do: put them in the cage together and let them fight. I did, at the same time, have a pet tarantula (that I had also caught), so this fool thought that pitting them against each other would be amusing.
When I got home from work, not only had the two not engaged in a battle to the death, but they actually seemed to be coexisting quite nicely. They barely seemed to notice that the other was there, even when they walked right past each other. It wasn't as if they were avoiding their counterpart, but much more like they were - dare I say - friends.
For curiosity's sake (or, as I often say, for science), they were left in the cage together overnight. I was hesitant to do this, since a part of me felt it would be cruel. But they'd shown no signs of hostility all day, so I wanted to see how they would do in a more long-term engagement.
I expected to wake to find one of them dead (or nothing more than an exoskeleton), but much to my surprise the two were curled up together inside of the little shelter that Hero had dug beneath small rock in the dirt. I thought for sure that one of them was dead, but, when the live food was dropped into the cage, both of them came out to get their fill.
This was, sadly, the only amusing part of owning either of these creatures. Since they were found in the wild as adults, there was no way that either of them would tolerate being handled. Other than the fascination I had with their eating habits and watching them hunt (if it could even be called that in captivity), they were essentially just pet rocks. The cuddling never stopped, by the way. They remained the best of friends for some reason that only they understood. Both were released back where they were found (in relatively the same area) a few months after I had caught them, and they went their separate ways.
While neither gorgeous nor terribly exciting (unless you get off on watching something tear a bug's head off and eat its insides), Hero was at least able to quickly accept captivity and adapt to the new living circumstances surprisingly easily. Most of the appeal that people have in this creature is how neat they look under a black light. Yes, they glow. Yes, it's cool. But no, it's not enough reason to want to own one.