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GEO-LOCATION

There are 20 species of Parabuthus in Southern Africa.

HABITAT

Most Parabuthus species are found in dry sandy regions.  Some species make short burrows into sand, others make short burrows under bushes and still others can be found in short burrows under rocks.
 



Here you can see a Parabuthus transvaalicus leaving its burrow in sand (top right).

CHARACTERISTICS

They range in size from 5 - 18cm.  They are highly venomous, with Parabuthus granulatus considered the most venomous in South Africa.  Parabuthus is an aggressive species.  Most species are nocturnal with the exception of the largest of the Parabuthus species, Parabuthus villosus, that is active during the day. 

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM

- Males are smaller than females
- Males have bulbous pincers whereas females have flat pincers
- Males tend to have longer pectines than females

KEEPING PARABUTHUS IN CAPTIVITY

a) Cage setup

Parabuthus species are pretty much desert dwelling species and so a Desert Setup would suffice.  You decide whether you want a glass or plastic enclosure and what size.




Examples of desert setups for Parabuthus species of Scorpion.

b) Substrate

Simple playpen sand.

c) Decor

A few rocks and pieces of flattish bark to hide under will suffice.
 



A simple piece of bark makes for a great hiding spot for Parabuthus scorpions.

d) Temperature

A heating pad under part of the cage will provide a heat source.  Some keepers like to place the heating pad on the back of the cage and not under, as they say that scorpions will burrow to the heat and get too hot.  I haven't experienced this.



Picture of a heating pad

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

Always provide a water source.  ALL scorpions drink!  For instar (baby) scorpions and small species you can simply (using a fine spray) spray water onto one side of the enclosure once a week. 
 

 

Here P. transvaalicus and P. capensis can be seen drinking from a small shallow water bowl.

 
For adult scorpions and larger species, you can provide a small flat dish for water.  Remember, Parabuthus species come from areas with low rainfall so they do not need to be over watered.  A small amount of water once per week will suffice.

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.



Here an adult P. granulatus feeds on a cockroach, an instar P. planicauda feeds on cricket and an instar P. transvaalicus feeds on a cricket.


g) Handling

Parabuthus scorpions are generally aggressive and they are venomous so NEVER try to handle a Parabuthus species!  The correct way to be handling Parabuthus scorpions and in fact all scorpions is with a long pair of forceps as seen below.

NOTES

It is
 not recommended that beginners attempt to keep Parabuthus species in captivity due to their venomous nature.