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Opistacanthus validus (Juvenile)

GEO-LOCATION

Opistacanthus species are found in the most north-eastern part of South Africa into the whole of Mozambique, the whole of Zimbabwe and the eastern part of Botswana. 6 species are found in Southern Africa. 

HABITAT

They can be found under the bark of trees and rocks.




Opistacanthus asper photographed on a tree in the wild in its natural habitat

 

 

Opistacanthus asper with offspring

 

CHARACTERISTICS

This is a pretty docile species, certainly less lively than Opistacanthus scorpions. They are also smaller, averaging about 10cm in length.  

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM

- Males have a "bump" on their lower finger of the pincer that fits into a "dent" in the upper finger.
- Males can be heard tapping on the bark of trees at night to let females know they are ready to mate.

KEEPING OPISTACANTHUS IN CAPTIVITY

a) Cage setup

Most species of Opistacanthus are found in high humidity environments and so would do best in a Tropical Setup.

  

Typical Opistacanthus Enclosure (left).  Illustration of Opistacanthus Enclosure (right)


b) Substrate

Opistacanthus would do great in captivity in a simple setup with a peat substrate and a piece of bark to hide under.

c) Decor

These scorpions are tree scorpions, so logs and bark is a good choice.

d) Temperature

High 20's - low 30's will suffice as a heat source (check the maximum temperature the heat pad achieves first). If it goes into high 30's then you might want to control the temperature via a thermostat. I would turn the heating on during the day and off at night. You can decide whether you want to keep the heating on permanently during winter or not.

e) Water source

For instar (baby) Opistacanthus scorpions you can simply (using a fine spray) spray water onto one side of the enclosure once a week. For adult Cheloctonus scorpions you can provide a small flat dish for water.

f) Feeding

When it comes to feeding, I would say feeding once every second week will suffice. Quantity will depend on the size of the scorpion.

g) Handling

Opistacanthus scorpions are generally quite docile.  They will rather pinch than sting. There venom is mild and non life-threatening. The correct way to handle a scorpion is ALWAYS use a long set of tweezers or forceps.

NOTES

In South Africa, it is illegal to capture and keep Opistacanthus species without a permit.