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How to Care for Your Asian Forest Scorpion

How to Care for Your Asian Forest Scorpion

The Asian forest scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) is a medium-large, nocturnal, semi-fossorial invertebrate found in the tropical forests of Malaysia. Their preferred habitat is the forest floor, where they generally hide in burrows and under organic debris. 

Asian forest scorpions are typically 5-6” long. They are impressive-looking scorpions with large smooth pincers and a robust body. Their color is glossy blue-black, earning them the alternative title: “giant blue scorpion,” although they fluoresce green-blue under a blacklight.

Asian forest scorpions are frequently mistaken for emperor scorpions, but they tend to be more defensive. They still make fair beginner- to intermediate-level pet scorpions, though. With good care, they can live up to 8 years.

How much space do Asian forest scorpions need?

The minimum for appropriately keeping one adult Asian forest scorpion is 20”L x 10”W x 12”H, or the equivalent of a standard 10-gallon tank. They don’t move around too much, but larger is likely to be beneficial. Whatever you use, don’t forget to secure the enclosure well against escape!

Cohabitation (keeping multiple scorpions in one enclosure) is not recommended, as cannibalism is possible.

Do Asian forest scorpions need UVB?

No, they do not.

However, it is beneficial to provide a day/night cycle, and if you want to use live plants as part of the décor, you will need 6500K lighting to help keep them alive. Lights should be on for 12 hours/day, and there should still be plenty of shade for your scorpion to hide in during the day.

What basking temperatures do Asian forest scorpions need?

Scorpions are ectotherms, which means that they need to be kept within a specific range of temperatures in order to regulate their metabolism and stay healthy.

The optimal ambient temperature for Asian forest scorpions is between 72-90°F during the day. Supplementary heat is generally not necessary with this species, as they seem to be tolerant of a relatively wide range of temperatures. Still, it’s a good idea to track the temperatures in your enclosure with a digital probe thermometer.

What humidity levels do Asian forest scorpions need?

Asian forest scorpions generally prefer high humidity conditions between 70-80% during the day and higher at night. You can do this by moistening the substrate, although take care that the substrate is never swampy or soaked. The top layer of substrate should be slightly damp to the touch, especially in hideouts. You can also maintain healthy humidity levels by spraying down the enclosure 2x/day.

You can measure ambient humidity levels with a digital probe hygrometer.

What substrate is good for Asian forest scorpions?

Asian forest scorpions are known to burrow, so make sure to provide at least 4” of substrate. We recommend the following substrates for this species:

Replace the substrate and completely clean the enclosure every other month.

What décor can you use in an Asian forest scorpion terrarium?

Scorpions may not seem to do much, but it’s still beneficial to give them items in their enclosure that they can explore and use to express natural behaviors. It also makes the enclosure more attractive!

At minimum, your Asian forest scorpion needs at least a couple of things to hide under. However, additional options include:

Make sure all décor is well-secured so that it can’t accidentally fall on top of your pet!

What do Asian forest scorpions eat?

Scorpions are carnivores, which means that they need whole prey in order to get the nutrition that they need. Offer 3 crickets, mealworms, or an equivalently sized dubia roach once every week or two. For juveniles, never offer prey half to three-quarters the scorpion’s length.

Remove all uneaten prey within 24 hours to prevent the prey from stressing the scorpion.


Aside from daily misting, an emperor scorpion should have free access to a shallow water dish for drinking. Change the water daily and scrub the bowl with a reptile-safe disinfectant weekly.

Do Asian forest scorpions like to be handled?

As a general rule, it’s best not to handle scorpions. Asian forest scorpions are fairly defensive and more likely to pinch or sting, even though their venom is generally mild. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep this species as a display animal rather than one that will be handled regularly.

*This care sheet contains only very basic information. Although it’s a good introduction, please do further research with high-quality sources to obtain additional information on caring for this species.


"Giant Blue Scorpion - Heterometrus spinifer" by Green Baron Pro is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
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