How Can I Tell If My Emperor Scorpion Is Pregnant?

Female emperor scorpion with young

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Emperor Scorpions give birth to live young, after a variable gestation period that can last several months. Because of this long gestation, people who buy an adult emperor scorpion could be surprised with babies some time after getting their scorpion. Scorpions also breed quite readily in captivity.

Pregnancy Signs

Detecting pregnancy in emperor scorpions can be quite difficult and is not foolproof. In the latter stages of gestation, the whitish intersegmental membranes (the membrane between the plates that form the segments of the abdomen) will become visible as the scorpion's abdomen grows larger. In some scorpions, you will even be able to see white masses within the abdomen, but in emperors, this is difficult due to the thickness of the membrane. However, this is not foolproof as an overweight scorpion will look very similar.

Gestation and Birth

Shortly before giving birth, the female often becomes restless and increases burrowing behavior. She may refuse feedings during this time.

Emperor scorpions give birth to live young that are white in color until after their first molt (they get darker with each subsequent molt). The gestation period for a pregnant scorpion is variable depending on the conditions (and if mom is stressed) but is often around seven to nine months but can be longer (or shorter, according to a few references). They are reported to produce up to 32 young, though the experience of many breeders suggests that up to 20 is a more common scenario in captive scorpions. Scorpions mothers take care of their young, carrying them on their backs for about three weeks until they get a bit larger.