Asian Forest Scorpion: Facts, Care, Breeding & More - Oli And Alex (2022)

I am usually not surprised when a majority of the people think that Asian Forest Scorpions come from deserts. And this happens a lot, even with some of my closest friends!

So, where do Asian Forest Scorpions come from?

To begin with, these scorpions come from the tropical regions in Asia (you read that right) and not deserts. The species is more adaptable to humid places than dry areas. In fact, if you kept them in a dry enclosure, chances are that they’ll die in a matter of days!

Another thing is that an Asian Forest Scorpion is more aggressive than the Emperor scorpion. This is mainly witnessed when you keep them together in a community enclosure. Other than that, their sting is not as lethal to human beings.

Also, they exhibit an awesome fluorescent display when exposed under UV lights!

That aside, where do they come from? How do you care for an Asian Forest Scorpion? How do you breed and what do they eat?

Let’s dive in and find out..!

What is an Asian Forest Scorpion?

The Asian Forest Scorpion is a tropical species that only thrive in humid environments. Most of the time, people will confuse them with the Emperor scorpion.

This scorpion is also known as Heterometrus silenus in scientific terms. The species are a nocturnal lot and are mainly active when evening comes through to early mornings.

They have a thing for burrowing themselves in the ground for long periods to escape prying eyes. Burrowing also helps them to keep off from excess light and heat if the conditions become unfavorable.

They’re relatively large and like to live in isolation for the better part of their lives. This is except for a partner from the same species when it’s time for mating.

Now, despite their huge size, these black beauties are not that dangerous to human beings. Their sting carries a mild toxin that’s only meant to disorient their prey in the wild.


The Asian Forest Scorpion’s indigenous habitat lies in tropical Asian countries. They include India, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Over the years, other species have been also included under the ‘Asian Forest’ name. Some of the most popular ones are Heterometrus petersii and the Heterometrus spinifer. However, the Heterometrus silenus is the most famous of them all amongst many hobbyists.

In the wild, Asian Forest Scorpions live under logs and rocks found on the surface. They are also known to dig themselves into the substrate regularly to stay away from the surface.


This species is pretty large and can grow to lengths of about 5 inches for a mature adult.

(Video) My GIANT forest SCORPION eats his worm ALIVE !!!

Given its black color, it’s a common thing that many confuse them with Emperor Scorpions.

How do you tell the difference between the two scorpions?

You can easily distinguish between an Asian Forest Scorpion and the Emperor scorpion. First off, when you look at their claws, you’ll notice that Emperor Scorpions have a larger pair. Also, their claws are more ‘bumpy’ as they’re also covered with a more sandy texture than Asian Forest Scorpions.

The other thing that distinguishes them is their telson (the stinger). Asian Forest Scorpions’ stingers have a darker color compared to their counterparts. An Emperor Scorpion’s stinger has a yellow-orange hint to it.

You’ll also notice that the Asian Forest Scorpion has a shiny and smoother body surface. The Emperor Scorpion, on the other end, has a more hairy body in this regard.

Let us quickly look at this species’ profile summary below:


Origin: India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China.

Scientific name: Heterometrus silenus.

Color: Shiny, Black

Size: 3 – 5 inches

Type of habitat: Tropical, Terrstial

Diet: Insects

Life expectancy: 7 – 8 years

Venom potency: Mild, Not harmful to humans except when you have allergies

Reproduction: 10 – 14 months

Defense: Painful sting, Claw pinch

Care level required: Beginner


How to care for the Asian Forest Scorpion

For you to give the Asian Forest species a conducive habitat, you must consider the following:

a. Housing parameters

First off, you must ensure that you have at least a 10-gallon enclosure for your pet scorpion. This gives it enough space to wander and explore during its active hours. It also allows you to have enough room to decorate and place dedicated spots. The dedicated spots include the watering area, feeding grounds, and hiding spots.

For the substrate, you can mix topsoil (organic) and peat moss in a 50:50 ratio. You can also add a little sand to make the substrate more effective. Also, you must soak the soil with water, but not so much, to keep the ground moist to the species’ liking.

To bring in creativity, spread a thin layer of dry leaves on top of your terrarium to create a shaded effect inside the tank.

For watering, I normally use a wide, shallow rock dish to prevent my scorpion from drowning. Scorpions may find difficulties crawling out of deep dishes and may drown when the water level’s too high.

b. Heat and humidity

To control temperature, you can install a thermostat for easy regulation. Ideally, the best temperatures range from 75 – 90° F.

You can also throw in a heating pad on one of the sides to give your scorpion warmth when need be. Placing it under the substrate isn’t a good idea because Asian Forest Scorpions like burrowing.

If they try escaping hotter temperatures above ground and still find it below, they might actually die.

c. Fungus and mold control

Sticking with live plants in your terrarium means that there’s always a catch.

For instance, you will probably face increased levels of moisture and humidity inside your tank. This is because live plants go through processes like transpiration.

This process lets out water droplets into the air. Over time, the vapor droplets build up, condense, and may saturate your terrarium’s atmosphere.

If you leave this unchecked, your scorpion’s house will offer the best conditions for a mold or fungus infestation. And just as these microbes cause harm to humans, they can also bring complications to the scorpion’s health.

To that end, introducing a small number of springtails is not such a bad idea. These little bugs help your terrarium from infestation problems as they eat up mold and fungus. Springtails also eat decaying plant matter that promotes sites for bacteria and fungi growth. [1]

The other measure you can take is ensuring that the cover of your terrarium has enough holes. These holes will guarantee that your scorpion receives enough ventilation that discourages mold/fungus growth.

What else?

Well, aside from the items that I have talked about above, I also thought you should have this:

1. Substrate

Now, you must be very cautious when you are out finding the right substrate for your scorpions. You have to ensure that its components won’t affect the scorpion health-wise or otherwise.

With the Asian Forest specimen, you have to fill in at least 4 inches worth of substrate.

(Video) New scorplings! (H.hottentotta, P.transvaalicus & L.tricarinatus)

The reason, as earlier stated, is because Asian Forest Scorpions like to dig and burrow themselves in the ground. They do this to protect themselves from a perceived threat or just to take cover.

Other times they’ll burrow themselves in to keep off high temperatures if the sun is burning too hot. If you are not in a position to make your substrate mix, then, by all means, go for premade ones.

Ideally, an approved jungle mix holds up well. Another quick remedy you can use is creature soil.

Also, DON’T shies away from asking for expert advice if you’re completely green in this area.

2. Décor

As much as some may advise you to go for synthetic or plastic plants, I insist that you go for the real deal.

Look here. We are not looking to keep these pets as slaves. We are in for companionship.

That said, you must go the full length and get at least real plants that will give your scorpion the feeling of a real home. It’s not asking much now, is it? I mean, you would want the same if you were to trade places with the scorpion, wouldn’t you?

So, to that effect, some sphagnum moss won’t be such a bad idea. These plants help add humidity to the air and keep the scorpion from getting patchy.

Other options you could consider include pothos, peach lilies, and even philodendrons.

Breeding the Asian Forest Scorpion

You might feel bold and decide to breed this species. But first, you have to pair a male and female specimen for them to get familiarized with each other.

Afterward, follow the steps I’ve highlighted below:

  1. Transfer your breeding pair into a 20-gallon terrarium and continue caring for them as normal.
  2. Once they form a bond, they will mate (you won’t catch this most of the time). The female then swells up in her abdomen, proving there was a success in mating.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed this, remove the male from the tank as females become so aggressive over their young.
  4. During this phase, you should also reduce your interaction inside the tank to avoid stressing the mother.
  5. After successful laying, the mother scorpion will carry her offspring on its back till they reach the first molt.
  6. After molting, feed the babies with 0.25” or 0.5” crickets once they leave their mother’s back.
  7. Afterward, continue caring for them as you do with the adult scorpions.

Note: Avoid inflicting physical damage on the scorpions or you’ll get stung as an act of self-defense. Handle them gently and always use a soft brush or object to massage their backs. Also, only carry them a few inches above the surface. This way, they won’t break their legs when they slip off your arm onto the ground.

Food and Diet

Generally, Asian Forest Scorpions like feeding on crickets. Give large crickets to the adults and smaller ones to the young ones.

It is a good idea to only put in a single live feed at a time. Overstocking may lead to the feed (crickets) dying, resulting in mold growth all over their carcass.

As you feed and get to know what your scorpions like, you may or may not witness a change in their eating behavior.

A few owners have reported their Asian Forest Scorpion pet refusing to eat after a while.

Now, before you freak out, you must understand that this species is not an aggressive feeder. On the contrary, they tend to show lots of ‘sympathy’ towards their live prey, if I may say so.


To cut through the noise, Asian Forest Scorpions feed either twice a week or even once a month. This, of course, depends on the type of care offered and the individual temperament.

Also, that could just be another way of your scorpion saying that it needs a change of diet.

So, if it was initially on a cricket diet, make plans to change to dubias roaches, locusts, hornworms, etc. The list is long…


Overall, the Asian Scorpion is a peaceful pet when let alone. By this, I mean if you don’t introduce other species inside the same enclosure. It is highly territorial and won’t take kindly to intruders.

Surprisingly, size doesn’t really matter much when it comes to many scorpions. I say this because I know some people think the bigger the scorpion is, the more dangerous.

Now, a good threat indicator (though still not 100% scientifically accurate) is by comparing the tail to the thickness and size of the claws.

What do I mean?

A scorpion, having a smaller pair of claws and a thicker tail is likely more dangerous. On the other hand, one with larger claws and a thinner tail is likely not so lethal.

The reason behind this theory is that scorpions with bigger claws point to the species’ adaptation of capturing and killing prey using their claws. Thus, a species with smaller claws will more likely depend on the potency of their venom to neutralize prey.

There goes another interesting nugget for you!


You can never go wrong with an Asian Forest Scorpion. The species have proved to be one of the easiest scorpion pets to keep and require very little care.

Your main focus when keeping them should be heat, humidity, and ensuring that you wade off mold/fungus growths.

And to show off to your friends, you can install a UV light in the tank to display its fluorescent reflection.

I hope this helps you in your scorpion care journey…

Happy trails! 🙂

Do you have any pressing questions you’d like me to answer? Share them with me in the Comments Section below!


How do you breed Asian Forest Scorpions? ›

Asian Forest Scorpion Breeding Habits

Their mating rituals are quite elaborate, involving a mating dance where the male grasps the female's pincers then releasing his spermatophore on the surface they are on then dragging the female over it, where she will then draw it into her genital opening, fertilizing her eggs.

How long are Asian Forest Scorpions pregnant for? ›

The gestation period is 5-8 months and sexual maturity is reached in 1-3 years. Asian forest scorpions are somewhat more high-strung than emperors, and sting readily.

Are Asian Forest Scorpions good pets? ›

Asian Forest Scorpions are a very common scorpion kept as a pet and are found in Asian Tropical forests. They are more aggressive than the emperor scorpion. We recommended they be housed alone due to their aggressive nature.

How long can a scorpion live? ›

Scorpions are unusual long lived compared to other invertebrates. Most scorpions reach maturity in 1-3 years (some species take longer time), and live for 1-3 years as adults. This means that scorpions can live from 2-6 years, but there are few life span studies.

How long do forest scorpion live? ›

They have huge pincers and seem black but are actually a dark blue . Distribution : this species can be found throughout south east Asia ,and are usually found under logs . Life span : this species lives 7 - 8 years .

Is it easy to breed scorpions? ›

When properly housed and cared for, emperor scorpions are relatively easy to breed. This is surprising, given that they are such unique and highly specialized creatures, and is an opportunity that should not be missed. Many prominent invertebrate specialists started out with this species…

How did my scorpion get pregnant? ›

When a female is found, the male uses his pedipalps (the scorpion legs that look like claws or pincers) to grab onto the female's pedipalps. While holding onto each other, they conduct a “dance”. The male then leads them to a place where he deposits his sperm.

Why do people breed scorpions? ›

Over the past two and a half years some opportunists have encouraged people to breed scorpion for milking its venom and have made people believe that it is the most expensive liquid worldwide saying that it costs 40 to 80 billion rials (nearly $1 to $2 million) per gram, Zamani regretted.

How many babies do scorpions lay? ›

The scorpion nymphs remain with their mother until they molt the first time. A female scorpion typically gives birth to 20 to 47 nymphs. When scorpion young leave their mother, they begins to live on their own. Usually, scorpion nymphs take five to six molts to reach their full adulthood.

How long can scorpions be pregnant? ›

Depending on the species, scorpion mothers have to endure up to 18 months of pregnancy before their little ones are born. Scorpions require relatively long pregnancies because unlike most arachnids, scorpions birth their young live, instead of in eggs.

When should I separate baby scorpions from their mother? ›

You will want to remove the babies once they have molted as they will no longer ride around on their mother's back. Allowing them to remain in the same enclosure as their mother once they are off her back is a bad idea as once more, the mother might see her babies as a food source rather than as her children.

How do you water a scorpion? ›

While scorpions don't drink much water, they still need to have it around. As a result, you should keep a very shallow dish (1 inch/2.5 centimeters or less) full of clean water in the enclosure. Make sure the water does not flood the substrate.

Do scorpions need light? ›

Scorpions are nocturnal and as such have no positive requirement for light. The best method for heating the tank is to use a heatmat.

How big do forest scorpions get? ›

Giant forest scorpions are one of the larger scorpion species averaging between four to five inches in length. They are arachnids (belonging to the same family as spiders) which means they have two main body parts and eight legs.

Are scorpions blind? ›

Even with all those eyes, scorpions can't see very well! Yet the sensitivity of their eyes is among the highest in all arthropods and dependent on the kinds of habitats in which they live. In general terms, however, their eyes mostly tell movement and light from dark.

What are scorpions favorite food? ›

They are common and widespread throughout their range. Scorpions are predators. They consume all types of insects, spiders, centipedes, and even other scorpions. Scorpions are preyed upon by large centipedes, tarantulas, lizards, birds (especially owls), and mammals such as bats, shrews, and grasshopper mice.

What color are baby scorpions? ›

There are many species of scorpions in Arizona, and baby scorpions vary in shape, size, and color. Most are well under one inch long and a light cream color – almost translucent at times.

How fast do scorpions reproduce? ›

Scorpions mate in the fall or early spring. After an elaborate courtship process, lasting anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, it can take from five months to over a year for the eggs to mature within the female.

How long do scorpions live without water? ›

Scorpions can live without food or water for more than a year. You can find scorpions in almost every habitat in the world: tropical rain forest, savanna, desert, mountains and grasslands. They mostly hide out under rocks and logs to preserve energy and stay cool.

What time of year do scorpions have babies? ›

We have all of the answers regarding scorpion reproduction and their babies below. Scorpions mate during spring and summer then give birth several months later to LIVE babies, called “scorplings.”

How do you tell if a scorpion is a boy or girl? ›

The visible gender differences between male and female scorpions are often extremely subtle. For example, the most reliable way to sex an emperor scorpion is to examine the pectines -- feathery appendages -- on the underside of the scorpion. Those of females are much broader and set further apart.

Can scorpions reproduce without a mate? ›

There are at least two species known that can produce offspring without mating at all (parthenogenesis). The mother invests a great amount of time and energy in her offspring. Unlike most nonmammalian animals, scorpions are viviparous, giving birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

Can scorpions have babies without male? ›

Most scorpion species reproduce sexually. There are a few species, however, that rely upon parthenogenesis to reproduce. During this form of asexual reproduction, the female scorpion does not need a male to fertilize her eggs.

Do scorpions eat their mate? ›

In response to this predicament and eight step courtship ritual plus a mating dance are used by scorpions to indicate an interest in mating. The courtship ritual consists of multiple attempts (which are often successful) of the female attempting to kill and eat the male.

Does scorpion dies after giving birth? ›

As the baby scorpions grow, they shed their skin (or molt) and eventually leave the safety of their mother's back. The offspring continue to molt and grow for a few months to years until they are adults. The lifespan is quite variable, but is usually between two and six years, with some species living 20 years.

Do scorpions need water? ›

All scorpions need some water. Jungle species should get a water dish, preferably one that's heavy enough to avoid spilling. For desert species, a moist sponge is really all they need. It's unlikely that you'll see your scorpion drinking often, but you should still always keep water available.

Can scorpions live in water? ›

Can Scorpions Swim? Scorpions are not good swimmers, but they are proficient enough to survive for approximately 48 hours in water by breathing through their exoskeletons. They are able to move in water, and will often end up hiding in your pool filter if they find themselves stuck in your water.

How many eyes does a scorpion have? ›

Scorpions are easily distinguished by their long sting-bearing tail and a pair of pincers on long arms, known as pedipalps, at the front of the body. Despite having six to twelve eyes - an obvious pair at the centre of the carapace and two to five smaller eyes on each side - scorpions do not have good eyesight.

How are Scorpio babies born? ›

They are born alive, not hatched from eggs like insects. When they are born, baby scorpions have a very soft outside shell, or exoskeleton. They crawl up onto their mother's back and ride there for 10 to 20 days until their exoskeleton gets stiff and hard. Then they crawl off and begin life on their own.

What do scorpion babies eat? ›

While the baby scorpions are on their mother's back, they'll eat the food she provides. When they leave their mother's back, they will start to fend for themselves. Baby scorpions have the same diet as adult scorpions, eating small insects, spiders, and pinhead crickets.

What do scorpions eggs look like? ›

Scorpions do NOT lay eggs. They give live birth to a big litter of tiny creamy white baby scorpions called “scorplings.”

Do scorpions have eyes? ›

Do Scorpions Have Good Eyesight? Scorpions have two eyes in the front of their bodies and 2-5 eyes on each side. But they still cannot see very well. They only recognize movements and differences between light and dark.

Where do scorpions lay eggs? ›

Scorpions do not lay eggs. In fact, the fertilized eggs or embryos develop inside the female's body. The female scorpion gives birth to the babies several months after mating. Scorpions reproduce by a viviparous method wherein the babies are born live and developed from fertilized eggs inside the female's body.

Do scorpions jump? ›

Yes, scorpions can climb up trees, branches, or even the walls of your home, and some species – like the bark scorpion – are even known for their climbing behavior. Most species can also jump short distances, and while they don't prefer to spend time in the water, they can also move and swim if submerged.

What do scorpions hate? ›

I figured out the two things scorpions hate most of all, lavender and cedarwood oil! Makes sense that something that is so gross would hate two things that smell so sweet! Cedarwood oil is the most important part, they HATE it, as it will kill them on the spot.

How can you tell if a scorpion is pregnant? ›

The carapaces will be extended a little bit and pleural membrane will be exposed. As such you will see a little bit of white space between each carapaces. Look at the exposed whitish pleural membrane. This is the sure sign that your scorpion is pregnant.

How do you pick up a baby scorpion? ›

When you pick up your scorpion, grab it at the tip of the tail just beneath the stinger using your index finger and thumb. This will prevent the animal from whipping its tail and injecting you with venom. Use two fingers to firmly yet gently grip the tip of the scorpion's tail when attempting to move the animal.

How do you keep scorpions alive? ›

How to keep Scorpions (Weird and Wonderful Pets Episode 7 of 15)

Do you need a heat lamp for scorpions? ›

Scorpions are ectothermic (cold-blooded), so they require heat from an external source such as a heat mat, hot rock or heat lamp. The desired temperature is a gentle 25°C, with temperatures not exceeding 30°C. This is needed 24 hours a day, all year round. Humidity is also required so that Scorpions don't dry out.

Are scorpions blind? ›

Even with all those eyes, scorpions can't see very well! Yet the sensitivity of their eyes is among the highest in all arthropods and dependent on the kinds of habitats in which they live. In general terms, however, their eyes mostly tell movement and light from dark.

How do you give a scorpion water? ›

Provide a shallow dish of water.

While scorpions don't drink much water, they still need to have it around. As a result, you should keep a very shallow dish (1 inch/2.5 centimeters or less) full of clean water in the enclosure. Make sure the water does not flood the substrate.

Are scorpions smart? ›

Scorpio. Sharp, quick and extremely savvy, Scorpios are generally considered to be one of the most (if not the most) intelligent star sign. As a Water Sign, they're naturally in touch with their emotional side and as such, are known to be incredibly perceptive.

Does scorpion drink water? ›

Scorpions eat a variety of insects, spiders, other scorpions and lizards. They also eat small mammals, such as mice. Scorpions must have water to drink, but they can survive for months without food.

Do scorpions need water? ›

All scorpions need some water. Jungle species should get a water dish, preferably one that's heavy enough to avoid spilling. For desert species, a moist sponge is really all they need. It's unlikely that you'll see your scorpion drinking often, but you should still always keep water available.

What do you feed a baby scorpion? ›

Baby scorpions have the same diet as adult scorpions, eating small insects, spiders, and pinhead crickets.


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