The Pandinus Imperator more commonly known as the emperor scorpion is a species that lives natively in the rainforests and savannas of Western Africa. As far as scorpions go it is a large one and is proving to be a popular pet amongst exotic pet keepers. There are a few reasons for this including ease of care, and more importantly, the fact that it does not posses the worst scorpion sting.
However that does not change the fact that it can and will sting. So in this article we are going to be looking at how dangerous the emperor scorpions sting is and ways in which you can reduce the risk of ever encountering it.
Can an emperor scorpion sting kill you?
Ok, so for anyone who is not yet very knowledgeable on scorpions this is going to one of the first questions asked. I mean everyone has seen scorpions in the movies and heard the stories but does it reflect true in reality?
So can a emperor scorpions sting kill you? The quick and honest answer to this question is unfortunalty yes. However it is not as simple as it first seems. Emperor scorpions do not posses the most potent venom but it can cause you to have an allergic reaction ( anaphylactic shock). As long as you are not allergic to the venom, an emperor scorpions sting will not kill you. However it can still be quite painful.
Some scorpions do posses very potent venom and their is a general rule of thumb. If the scorpion has large claws and a small stinger its venom will be weak. If it has a large stinger and tail but small claws it has strong venom and is best avoided.
Does a emperor scorpion sting hurt?
Now that we know most people will not die from an emperor scorpions sting we need to talk about how much it actually hurts.
Do emperor scorpion stings hurt? I can tell you first hand that an emporer scorpians sting is not a pleasant experience. It does hurt and feels very much like the sting of some insects such as bees and wasps. With that being said it is not excrciating pain and the syptoms do fade away quite quickly. Do not let the worry of getting stung put you off owning a pet scorpian.
What is worth noting is that adult emperor scorpions do not like to sting, they much prefer to attack with their large claws and even when they do sting they do not always inject venom.
Why do emperor scorpions sting?
There are many different reasons why your pet scorpion may decide to sting you so I will list some of the main reasons below. I would first like to point out though that emperor scorpions are not malicious creatures and there will always be a reason for it attacking you. This is good because it means we can learn how to treat our scorpions so we do not get stung.
Reasons for a scorpion sting:
- Rough handling.
- Handling when the scorpion is eating.
- Taking the scorpion by suprise.
There are other reasons but the majority of stings arise because of the above reasons so these are the ones that we will focus on.
How to handle an emperor scorpion safely.
If I am totally honest pet scorpions are more of a display animal and should not be handled on a regular basis, it is not natural to them and they are not very keen on it. Sometimes though it is critical to pick them up so it is important to know how to do it correctly and safely.
If you need to pick up your scorpion it is best to move slowly and from in front of the scorpion where it can see you. Place your open hand, palm up in front of the scorpion and then slowly guide the emperor onto your hand using your other hand.
Now that you have hold of the scorpion you can do what you need to do but try not to handle it for excessive amounts of time as it may give you a big nip with its claws or a sting with its tail.
What to do if you get stung by an emperor scorpion.
As I mentioned earlier in the article an emperor scorpions sting is not the worth thing in the world, it is not pleasant but generally it does not have to much risk to humans. This coupled up with the fact that emperor scorpions are a pretty docile species means that stings are pretty rare, but it can happen.
So now we are going to look at what to do should the worst happen.
- After getting stung try not to panic, this can cause a secondary sting. Instead gently and slowly place the scorpion back in its enclosure.
- Try to let someone know that you have been stung just incase you have a severe allergic reaction.
- Wash the sting area with warn, clean water and antibacterial soap.
- Keep an eye out for any swelling or puffiness in the face, especially around the eyes. Also check for any tightness in the chest or breathing struggles. If you notice these symptoms seek medical attention right away.
- If you have non of the above symptoms (which are very rare) you can get on with the rest of the day and the pain will wear off pretty quickly.
Do not let this article put you off owning an emperor scorpion, they are such interesting and fun pets to own. The aim of the article was not to scare anybody but instead to give you honest and fact filled information to help you stay safe whilst owning a pet scorpion.
As previously mentioned emperor scorpions are very docile, in actual fact I would risk saying they are the most docile and friendly out of all the species. There sting in not harmful to anyone that is not allergic to the venom and is much like the sting of a bee.
Can an emperor scorpion be trained not to sting? No, emperor scorpions cannot be trained not to sting unfortunately. However after time and with safe handling techniques they can become more accustomed to being handled. This in turn should mean that the chances of being stung are reduced quite a bit.
Can you remove an emperor scorpions stinger? Removing the stinger of an emperor scorpion can be done by clipping the very end. However this practice is very cruel and should not be done. An emperor scorpions stun is relatively mild and inflicting pain to the scorpion to reduce the chance of getting stung is not the done thing. If you are scared of being stung do not handle the scorpion.