While several different scorpion species exist along America’s southern border states, including the highly venomous bark scorpion in Arizona, most are rarely seen due to their nocturnal hunting habits and cryptic daytime habitats. The scorpion species that dwell within America are relatively small-bodied, with the exception of the giant hairy scorpion, which reaches a length of five inches on average. While five inches is certainly an impressive length for any arachnid species, it does not compare to the emperor scorpion’s seven to eight inch body length. The emperor scorpion is notorious for being the largest scorpion species known to exist, but this species cannot be found within America, unless the Cincinnati Zoo counts. Just a few days ago, a female emperor scorpion being held at the Cincinnati Zoo made the news for giving birth to numerous offspring while in captivity.
The average lifespan of an emperor scorpion is around eight years. Female emperor scorpions gestate for a period lasting between seven and ten months and this can result in as many as 25 offspring. According to officials with the Cincinnati Zoo, the scorpion offspring immediately gathered on their mother’s back where they will remain for a period of two weeks until their first molt. Once the scorpion offspring leave their mother’s back they will begin to hunt on their own. Once the offspring begin to hunt, they will rely on their stinger-equipped tail to deliver paralyzing venom into the bodies of their enemies. However, once an emperor scorpion reaches adulthood, it will cease using its stinger in favor of its strong pincers. Adult emperor scorpions kill prey by crushing them within their pincers, but they continue to use their tail only for purely defensive purposes. Despite their massive size, emperor scorpions are relatively shy and gentle toward humans, which is why they make for one of the most popular scorpion species to keep as a pet.
Do you find scorpions to be more frightening in appearance than tarantulas?
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