ABOUT US
  Introduction
   
KEEPING SCORPIONS
  How venomous is this scorpion?
  Scorpion Anatomy
   
  South African Scorpions
  - Parabuthus
     Parabuthus species
  - Uroplectes
     Uroplectes species
  - Opistophthalmus
  - Opistacanthus
  - Hadogenes
  - Cheloctonus
   
  African Scorpions
  - Pandinus
   
SHOPPING@SCORPIONS ALIVE
  How to shop at Scorpions Alive
  Products Available
  Terms & Conditions
   
CONTACT US
  Email Us
   
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
  Our Page
   
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS
  Our youtube Channel
   
INFO ZONE
  Downloads Available
 
     
     
FEATURED SITES
  Snakes Alive
  Spiders Alive
  Doug Anderson
 
     
     
 
 
       
     
 

 

Opistophthalmus wahlbergii (Male)



Opistophthalmus pugnax (Gravid Female)



Opistophthalmus glabrifrons (Male)

GEO-LOCATION

There are over 59 known species of Opistopthalmus spread all over Southern Africa.

HABITAT

Commonly known as "Burrowing Scorpions" because they are often found in burrows in sands of varying hardness (depending on the species).
 



Opistophthalmus burrow


CHARACTERISTICS

This is a fairly large robust genus of scorpion reaching lengths of 18cm+. Opistopthalmus are characterised as having large fat pincers (not all males) and a relatively thin tail (when compared to size of pincers). Opistopthalmus use their mouthparts (chelicerae) to dig their burrows that can be as deep as 2m in some species.

They also use their mouthparts as a defence mechanism, to stridulate (making a hissing sound).

This genus of scorpion has very colourful species within it. Opistophthalmus almost always seem to have a "shine" on their body.

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM

Sexual dimorphism can be quite varied in different species.

- Males are generally smaller and more slender than females and their pincers are more slender than those of their female counterparts.
- In some species the males have very long slender pincers.
- The tail segments in males also tend to be longer than that of their female counterparts.

KEEPING OPISTOPHTHALMUS IN CAPTIVITY

a) Cage setup

Opistopthalmus thrive in a Burrowing Setup with a sandy substrate and a piece of bark or a rock to hide under.



<
All Opistophthalmus burrow and so would best be kept on some type of hard soil. You could use a piece of bark or rock for them to hide under.
 




If you want to go the more "natural" look and If your enclosure is large enough and your substrate deep enough, you could mix the sand with some water and then leave in the sun until it dries out and goes hard. You could then "start" a burrow by pressing 3 fingers next to each other into the soil at an angle. I have found that if you start a burrow, Opistophthalmus species generally finish it. Bear in mind though, once they burrow, you will not see them very often, generally only at night. Keep in mind that scorpions can press on their tail to lift themselves up, so your enclosure height should be much higher than the total length (from pincers to sting on tail) of your scorpion.

b) Substrate

Clay.

c) Decor

A few rocks to provide cover is preferable.

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) Opistophthalmus scorpions you can simply (using a fine spray) spray water onto one side of the enclosure once a week. For adult 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

Opistophthalmus scorpions can be quite feisty.  They will sting and pinch if provoked. Their 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 Opistophthalmus species without a permit.