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Scientific Name: Pandinus imperator
Feeding Type: Carnivore
Range: Emperor scorpions live in the coastal countries of Western Africa, from
Habitat: Hot, humid rainforest. Burrows under rocks, logs or tree roots.
Diet in the Wild: Insects and other scorpions. Will eat any animal that it can subdue.
Diet at the Zoo: Crickets
Longevity: No research has been done in the wild, but in captivity, they can live between 5 to 9 years.
Emperor scorpions are glossy black, but can be dark brown to green. The stinger and claws can also be red-colored. Their overall color gets darker with each subsequent molt. The body is up to 6.5 inches long, including tail. As adults, emperor scorpions are difficult to distinguish from a distance, since males and females act and look similar. Males can be smaller or narrower.
These scorpions are most active late in the day. It catches prey by using its large pincers and then striking with the stinger on the tip of its tail. Venom is said to be mild.
It is not known when emperors reach sexual maturity in the wild but it takes about three years in captivity. Mating can occur year-round, but requires warm temperatures. When the two meet, the male holds her in his grasp. He holds and pushes the female around until he finds a suitable place to mate. When he finds the appropriate spot, he deposits his spermatophore on a solid substrate. Then, he pulls the female into position over the spermatophore, and she accepts it into her genital aperture. He quickly leaves after mating, for a smaller male could be the female’s next meal.
Emperor scorpions are at low risk. Many more species of scorpions remain undiscovered, but research is difficult as scorpions tend to live in hostile environments, and are difficult to distinguish between species.