Black Thai Giant Scorpion (Heterometrus scaber)

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Black Thai Giant Scorpion
Heterometrus scaber
Black Thai Giant Scorpion (Heterometrus scaber)
Name Black Thai Giant Scorpion
Name Lat. Heterometrus scaber
Family Scorpions
Family lat. Scorpionidae
Order Scorpions
Order lat. Scorpiones
Origin Southeast Asia
Habitat Rainforest
Diet Insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Nocturnal
Keeping Individual, pair, group
Care Level Easy
Housing Semi humid terrarium
Breeding Simple
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 12-15 cm
Temperature Day 25-30 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 4.7"-5.9"
Temperature Day 77-86 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the predominantly crepuscular and nocturnal Black Thai Scorpions extends from the Indian subcontinent to southern China and the Philippines. They prefer to inhabit dense rainforests, where they live in self-dug or natural burrows under stones or branches and pieces of bark lying on the ground.


For 1 animal a terrarium of L 40 x W 30 x H 30 cm can be recommended. For a pair or group keeping the terrarium must be extended accordingly. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place without sunlight.

The terrarium should be structured with stones, cork tubes, pieces of bark, roots and branches (hiding places). They need a small, shallow drinking bowl with gravel and a 10-15 cm deep substrate of sand-loam-peat mixture suitable for digging. The substrate should always be kept slightly moist. Waterlogging and mold must be avoided at all costs. Artificial or potted plants (e.g. Ficus repens, Scindapsus aureus) can be used for decoration. Once a day, preferably in the evening, the interior of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but it is better to use a rain or fog system.

Temp. day: 25-30 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 70-80

The lighting duration should be 10-12 hrs. depending on the season. A conventional light source (fluorescent tube, incandescent bulb) is sufficient. Attention should be paid to their natural day-night rhythm.


The diet should consist of crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers, as well as other arthropods. Wax moths should only be fed in small quantities to adults, but not to juveniles, because of their large fat content

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be enhanced.  It is important to add minerals and vitamins regularly (dusting the feeders). Young animals should be offered food daily, adult animals 1-2 times a week. Feeding should be done only in the evening. Hungry scorpions keep their pedipalpal claws wide open and actively search for food. Drinking water must always be available

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The sex difference is difficult to see. The sexual opening is heart-shaped in the female and oval in the male.

The mating ritual resembles a wrestling match and is often misunderstood as aggressive behavior. During this "mating dance" a sperm package (spermatophore) is passed. Females can also give birth to offspring several times without further mating (sperm storage). After a gestation period of 12-15 months, the female gives birth to 15-30 young. The white, barely mobile young find protection from predators on the back of the mother for at least 2 weeks, until after the 2nd molt. Only then do they begin to feed on their own. The young can be raised together if there is sufficient food and plenty of hiding places. Small crickets and house crickets are suitable as rearing food.

Obligation to report

Make sure to inform yourself about any regulations on keeping or bans on keeping this animal in your state or home municipality (e.g. public order office). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


Care should be taken when handling them in the terrarium. They are hardly aggressive and only weakly poisonous, the poisonous effect is similar to that of a bee sting. However, the sting itself can cause severe pain. For relocation, the animals are grasped with approx. 30 cm long feeding tweezers at the rear end and not at the front body (risk of injury)

Good ventilation without drafts is necessary, as well as equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. Lighting should be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention should be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag; STOCKMANN & YTHIER (2010): Scorpions of the World, N.A.P. Editions