Asian Forest Scorpion

By Snaketracks / September 18, 2021

Asian Forest Scorpion care means putting in the time to knowing what your pet scorpion needs best. Whether you’re interested in getting one as a pet or just want to learn more about them, we hope that this article will help with your research.

The Asian Forest Scorpion is a large species that is harder to obtain in the pet trade than other pet scorpion species. They aren’t ideal for beginners due to their aggressive nature and tendency to attack with their pincers.

However, scorpions aren’t typically seen as cute, cuddly pets anyways, so this still might be the right addition to your home and are a very popular pet scorpion choice.

Scorpions are arthropods with eight legs, two pincer-like appendages called pedipalps, and a venom-injecting pointed tail, which sources its venom through two glands called the telson. These species do not have bones, rather, they have exoskeletons made of chitin, a substance that is the same as the shell of a shrimp.

Now, let’s talk more about this particular species of scorpion, the Asian Forest Scorpion:

Asian Forest Scorpion Facts

Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) on wood with white background
Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) on wood with white background
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Scientific Name: Heterometrus spinifer
  • Alternate Name(s): Giant Forest Scorpion, Giant Blue Scorpion, Malaysian Forest Scorpion
  • Family: Scorpionidae
  • Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.05 ounces
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Lifespan: 7 to 8 years

Since their eyesight is not that good, they rely mostly on the stiff hairs on their pincers and pectines to sense their surroundings.

They are sometimes called the Giant Blue Scorpion due to the off-black blue tone they give off, even though some parts of them may look red in some lighting.

Asian Forest Scorpion Appearance

This hardy scorpion has a shiny all-black body with large claws and a blue-green illumination. Their stinger or the side of their body might sometimes look like it is dark brown or red in color, depending on the individual.

Asian Forest Scorpion Location and Natural Habitat

They come from Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and of course, Malaysia as their name states.

Asian Forest Scorpions are known to burrow or make a hideout of logs or other debris during the day. They are terrestrial scorpions that scavenge the moist forest floors at night, hunting for prey.

Asian Forest Scorpion Diet

In the wild, their diet consists of large insects like locusts, crickets, and sometimes small mice, if they run into one. They may also eat lizards or their own kind at times.

They use their venom to paralyze their prey after catching them successfully in their pincers.

Asian Forest Scorpion Lifespan

Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) on dirt (1)
Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) on dirt (1)

Most scorpions will have a lifespan of anywhere from 2 to 6 years. Many will live much longer, especially out in the wild.

When it comes to scorpions in captivity, a common problem is dehydration. If you are keeping a pet scorpion and they look shriveled or seem lethargic, you might want to take this as a sign of dehydration.

If you are seeing these symptoms in your own pet scorpion, you should consult your veterinarian so that they can give you advice about what you will need to do. They will most likely tell you to increase the humidity in your pet’s enclosure so that they can molt properly, as dehydration can make this natural process become deadly.

Scorpions will shed their exoskeleton about 6 times before they reach adulthood, which might be roughly when they are 3 years old. This is a process called “molting”.

When molting is about to happen, you will see the signs a few days before. They may become less active than usual and will stop feeding completely sometimes. You might also see their outer shell begin to crack.

These are all tell-tale signs that the molting process is about to begin. This process is completely normal and is actually an important part of their growth.

Remember that they will be at their weakest during this time so be sure to keep an eye on them, making sure to increase their humidity as well as remove any live insects or cage mates that might bite or harm them.

This process begins with the outer layer of skin cracking, causing it to open up. The scorpion will then start to work its way out, shedding the outer skin, leaving it behind in its enclosure.

This shedding process may take about half a day.

The new exoskeleton will still be quite weak for a while but will harden up over the next few days, sometimes taking up to a week to fully regain its strength.

The reason why you want to make sure to keep the humidity levels higher and keep your pet’s enclosure hydrated is because the lack of humidity can cause incomplete molts, which can be life-threatening to your scorpion.

Incomplete molts are caused by a lack of adequate hydration. Molting will require lubrication, which means keeping your pet’s enclosure humidity to at least 60% or higher during this time.

Some owners even have a separate molting box for when it’s time for them to go through the process. Just be sure to keep an eye on your pet if they are showing signs of an upcoming molt.

Their first molt may happen about two weeks into their life. During the cycle of their whole lives, a scorpion may go through 5 to 6 molts before they reach maturity.

Asian Forest Scorpion Breeding Habits

Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) crawling on handlers hand
Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) crawling on handlers hand

Asian Forest Scorpions will typically reach sexual maturity after 1 to 3 years of age.

Breeding can happen any time of the year as long as conditions are humid and warm. Their mating rituals are quite elaborate, involving a mating dance where the male grasps the female’s pincers then releasing his spermatophore on the surface they are on then dragging the female over it, where she will then draw it into her genital opening, fertilizing her eggs.

Gestation periods are around 5 to 8 months, after which the female will give birth to around 10 to 20 scorplings.

Mother scorpions are unusual to their fellow invertebrates in the fact that they give live birth to their young rather than laying their eggs. They are ovoviviparous, meaning the eggs will hatch inside of the mother and are then born separately through live birth.

Scorplings will cling onto their mother’s back until they have had at least one molt, which is when they can become more independent.

Predators of the Asian Forest Scorpion

We are unsure of any predators since they have yet to be specified in nature, but most likely various birds and mammals.

They use their pincers to defend themselves and also have a venomous stinger if they need it.

Asian Forest Scorpion Legality

Venomous arthropods like scorpions are legal to keep in all states except for Hawaii.

While there are some shipping rules that might apply, the capture and sale of scorpions are not regulated. Some medically significant species may require a little paperwork, but no licenses are needed, typically.

Where to Buy Asian Forest Scorpions

The average price of an Asian Forest Scorpion can range anywhere from $25 to $65 per scorpion.

You can find this species at the websites below:

Asian Forest Scorpion Care Sheet

Learn more about husbandry for this species of scorpion here:

Enclosure

This species will require at least a 5-gallon terrarium, but 10-gallons up to 20-gallons can work as well. With most pets, it’s always the bigger, the better, but with scorpions, you want to give them just the right amount of space, as too much can be overwhelming.

Cleaning

To clean your scorpion’s enclosure, you must first remove your pet so you can access their space more easily.

Once they are removed, you will want to empty their tank then wipe it down with a scorpion-friendly disinfectant. You will also want to change their substrate to make sure they have a fresh, new home.

It is good to completely clean out their tank this way every 3 to 4 months.

Substrate

For Asian Forest Scorpions, Eco-Earth, potting soil, peat moss, or damp sand can be used as a substrate.

It’s important that you give them room for burrowing, about 3 to 4 inches of depth to be precise.

Temperature

Since they come from Southeast Asian forests, they need humid conditions to survive. Temperatures of 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 75 to 80 percent should be maintained for their health and comfort.

Their temperature should be watched closely and almost constantly, so you will need to get a thermometer to keep an eye on their numbers. You can also achieve this through a heated mat with a thermostat, which will regulate the temperature, making sure it stays constant.

Humidity

This species of scorpion lives in higher humidity environments and will need a humidity of about 70 to 80% at all times. Keep measure of the moisture in their tank so that you can be sure they are always comfortable.

Humidity plays a huge role, not only in their health but in their growth. The lack of humidity or a percentage that is too low can cause incomplete molts, which can actually be fatal to your pet.

You can achieve these levels by always providing your scorpion with a shallow dish to drink from as well as daily misting.

Lighting

Scorpions do not require UVB lighting to live a long and healthy life. However, they will need the right temperatures, which can be achieved through a heating pad that can be placed under the tank and multiple thermometers to keep track.

Accessories

Since these guys require higher humidity, it is best to keep a small, shallow dish of water in the tank for them.

You should also be sure to include several hides for your pet using small logs, empty ceramic pots, and any other scorpion-safe hide they could use.

Feeding

Feed your Asian Forest Scorpion crickets, worms, and roaches, as well as grasshoppers, and Tenebrio larvae. When it comes to feeding them pinkie mice, you should only make these an occasional snack about once or twice a month.

Feed them once or twice a week, according to their appetite, and make sure their prey is always smaller than their body.

Temperament

As with all the scorpions on this list, the venom is not deadly and can be compared to that of a bee sting. They will most likely snap their claws in defense before they try to sting you, though.

Although some people choose to keep them, they only grow more aggressive in captivity and it is very hard for them to get accustomed to being in an enclosure.

While they make interesting pets, one of the major drawbacks of this species is that they are quite nervous and will not hesitate to attack.

Handling

Typically, scorpions should not be handled unless with foam forceps since they are not great with handling and will react badly by instinct.

With the forceps or your fingers, you will want to gently grab them by the tail in the area directly underneath its stinger. From here on, you can lift them gently, transferring them to the spot you want to put them in.

Check out this video example here:

Asian Forest Scorpion FAQ

How often do Asian Forest Scorpions eat?

The average adult will consume one or two insects a week, but new owners should start with 3 times a week and work their way down to their scorpion’s individual appetite. Younger scorpions might consume 3 or 4 insects.

How big does an Asian Forest Scorpion get?

This species is typically around the 5-inch mark but can grow as large as 7 to 8 inches long.

Are Asian Forest Scorpions good pets?

They are a very common species among keepers due to their interesting look and their simple care requirements. They make great pets for those who enjoy their interesting looks and movements rather than those who want a more cute or cuddly pet.

How often should I mist my Asian Forest Scorpion?

You should mist their enclosure as needed every day. You will know that their environment is humid enough when their substrate is damp.

Conclusion

The Asian Forest Scorpion is definitely a beautiful species and a great choice for those who like their interesting look. While they aren’t too difficult to care for, they are only difficult to warm up to.

As long as you are interested in their care, they can be awesome to watch in their little habitat.

We hope that this article taught you something or that you learned more about the amazing Asian Forest Scorpion.

Leave us a comment or question down below if you’d like!

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