Desert Hair Scorpion care can feel intimidating due to their needs, but if you get to know them a little more by doing your research, it might not be as tough as you think.
Although, if you are a novice scorpion keeper, this specific species is not recommended due to their environmental requirements. They need a desert set-up with a 3-inch layer of coarse sand as well as the very occasional misting every now and then.
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.
If you are interested in keeping one as a pet, we hope that you will carefully read through any information you can find in order to give them a comfortable, long life.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Facts
- Experience Level: Intermediate
- Scientific Name: Hadrurus arizonensis
- Alternate Name(s): Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion, Giant Hairy Desert Scorpion
- Family: Scorpionidae
- Size: 4 to 6 inches
- Weight: about 5 grams
- Diet: Carnivorous
- Lifespan: 20 years + in captivity
Desert Hairy Scorpions are non-confrontational and will become instantly defensive or might even flee if they are provoked or feel cornered. They are quite a skittish species.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Appearance
Their bodies might be olive green or tan in color and their back will be a darker shade compared to their body. They have yellow claws, legs, and tails, which may also have brown hairs on them.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Location and Natural Habitat
These scorpions can be found in the Southwestern states of the U.S., particularly Arizona, the Colorado Desert, the Mojave Desert in California, southern Nevada, and southwest Utah.
Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpions enjoy semi-arid and arid environments. they like to hide in their burrows as well as behind logs and stones.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Diet
In the wild, their diet mostly consists of locusts as well as smaller scorpions. In captivity, you can feed them small insects like crickets.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Lifespan
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 4 to 6 molts before they reach maturity.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Breeding Habits
Desert Hairy Scorpions will typically reach sexual maturity after about 4 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 long, lasting anywhere from 6 to 12 months, after which the female will give birth to around 25 to 35 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 Desert Hairy Scorpion
Predators of this species include owls, larger lizards, and even other scorpions.
They use their pincers to defend themselves and also have a venomous stinger if they need to use it.
Desert Hairy 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 Desert Hairy Scorpions
When looking into buying a pet scorpion, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when looking for a reputable shop or a healthy scorpion.
You will most definitely want to check to make sure all of
The average price of a Desert Hairy Scorpion can range anywhere from $20 to $40 per scorpion.
Desert Hairy Scorpion Care Sheet
If kept individually, which is highly recommended with this species, you should give them the space of at least 5 to 10 gallons per scorpion.
Check out this awesome setup made by The Tarantula Collective for his Desert Hairy here:
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.
This species prefers substrates like sand, coco fiber, and dry peat moss. Some may even use a mix of any combination of the three.
Sometimes it depends on your individual scorpion and it might be good to just experiment, try new things, and see how your scorpion reacts.
You will want to give them at least 3 to 4 inches of depth so that they can create burrows, as they would in their natural habitat.
Desert Hairy Scorpions require temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be maintained with a heating pad under their tank or with a heat lamp.
These scorpions are used to more arid conditions, meaning they are more sensitive to humidity and are prone to fungal infections if they are in an environment that’s too damp.
You will want to keep their humidity levels at around 55% at all times.
You should also consider giving their enclosure plenty of ventilation to avoid trapping too much moisture. This species of scorpion will definitely not need misting like the other species might.
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.
However, if you are thinking of getting heat lamps or blacklights for your pet, Zoo Med has quite a few good ones.
If you want, you can add a log hide or rocks. They can be a good decorative addition to your tank setup as well as a functional one.
Since this species needs an arid environment and can get water through their prey, you will not need to provide a water dish as you would have to with other scorpion species.
These scorpions enjoy crickets, locusts, cockroaches, spiders, and small vertebrates in captivity. Be sure to gut-load and dust them with calcium before giving the prey to your pet.
You will want to feed your pet once or twice a week with one large insect that is smaller than them.
This species sting will hurt a little more since their venom is a bit more potent. They are skittish and will show defensive behavior if you try to make contact with them.
They have a defensive stance and once you see that, you should back off and let them be. You will know how it looks because it will come often with these distrusting creatures.
Since these guys are very territorial, you should not house them with other scorpions.
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.
Desert Hairy Scorpion FAQ
How often should you feed Desert Hairy Scorpions?
You should be feeding your Desert Hairy Scorpion at least one to two times per week, depending on how they react and what their individual appetite is.
How long do Desert Hairy Scorpions live for?
After four years, Desert Hairy Scorpions are usually considered mature. They can live about 10 to 20 years, depending on their husbandry and environment.
Do Desert Hairy Scorpions need water?
This species of scorpions can thrive without requiring any additional water than that they get from their weekly feedings through insects.
Can you keep Desert Hairy Scorpions together?
No. This species is highly territorial and will not warm up to each other ever, typically.
If you want an interesting-looking pet with pincers, the Desert Hairy might be an interesting choice for you.
This breed has a lot to offer and is not that hard to care for, although, they are a little skittish.
We hope that this article helped you in your endeavors of getting a pet scorpion or that you maybe learned something interesting about Desert Hairy Scorpions.
Leave us a comment down below letting us know what you think and let us know if you have any questions for us!