Posted Jul 31, 2016
I bought my female Malaysian Forest Scorpion from a general provision store in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. It had just been caught in the wild and was in danger of killed as a specimen for a box. I had often wanted one of these large black scorpions, which can grow to 5 inches long, but always faced opposition from other members of the family. Saving its life gave the excuse I needed!
My first concern was the sting. While not classed as serious, I have developed an allergy over the years to various insect stings due to being stung too often. Fortunately, the sting was not a problem and never even used as a threat. The claws, however, were another story and drew blood when it grabbed my finger with both pincers. Obviously this is not a suitable pet for children.
I suspected the female was gravid when I got it (another reason to save it!) I was rewarded a few months later with dozens of small white replicas of the adult. Over the next months the babies ventured away from the mother and caught their own food, darkening until they became chestnut brown.
Shining a UV torch on the scorpion was fascinating as she appeared to be a fluorescent blue/green. This makes them easy to find when looking for them at night in the jungle.
These scorpions are easy to keep, so long as you provide food (crickets or mealworms), water and somewhere it can hide. A layer of coco-peat about 3 to 4 inches deep will give it somewhere to dig and help keep the humidity moderately high. The cage needs to be large enough to allow the scorpion to forage but don’t be fooled by their apparent sluggishness, they are great escape artists. The cage needs a lid. I do not recommend racing around the house at dawn with a UV torch looking for a large scorpion, trying to find it before anyone else notices its absence.
The Malaysian Forest Scorpion (H. spinifer) and the Asian Forest Scorpion (H. longimanus) are similar in appearance and often confused. Both are simple to care for, requiring the same conditions.