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[HOW TO] Tell if your Scorpion is Gravid

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Topic [HOW TO] Tell if your Scorpion is Gravid

Post by GS on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:59 pm

[HOW TO] Tell if your Scorpion is Gravid

Not everyone has raised scorplings from young to adult before proceeding to mate them personally. Some simply shortened the "waiting time" by acquiring adult pairs or a single adult female (possibly gravid). How would you know if that same female was gravid when it is already looking all bulky as she reaches your care ??

You might be pondering, could she be just another glutton or is she indeed gravid?

Well, i would like to share with you on some of the possible signs observed in a Gravid scorpion specimen:

1. Signs of Embryos:
This might be the most obvious "gravid indicator".
The visibility of embryos shimmering through the pleural membrane of the female. However, do take note that NOT all gravid females exhibits this physical trait but generally, they usually appears in the later stage of gestation.



















PRECAUTION. PLEASE READ:


Click here to view:

Please be aware that there are always risks in handling, which includes the possibility of suffering a from serious envenomation which may be lethal to the handler and in certain scenarios, it can even lead to DEATH.

Please exercise discretion and do not follow me or any others in terms of handling. Everyone has be accountable for their own actions.


Hottentotta hottentotta are parthenogenetic, and does not requires mating to reproduce. I have placed their pictures below as a demonstration of visible embryos:





It might be slightly tricky for forest scorpions such as Pandinus spp and Hetermetrus spp. Visibility of embryos through the pleural membrane on the sides might not be easily visible with the naked eye.

The following are some top view shots on gravid forest scorpions:





Other physical signs we can look out for in a gravid female includes:

2. Reluctance/ hostility reactions to male's mating attempts:



3. Increase need of higher moisture/ humidity:
- Yes, i know, most scorpion drinks water from a water dish but i am talking about the increased in her activity that revolves more and more around areas of high humidity e.g. near the water dish or on the dampened substrate







4. Increase need of higher temperature :
- The scorpion displays an Increase need of higher temperature, such as increased frequency of basking under a heat lamp or pressing herself against the wall closer to a Infra-red heat-lamp or a heat pad.





5. Territorial aggression:
- As the birthing date draws near, increase in territorial aggression might occur.



This is usually initiate by the gravid female as to eliminate possible threats for her incoming brood. Some gravid females might show a higher tendency to mark a wider territorial "boundary" than what they can usually tolerate. This might be their natural instinct to prepare themselves for the incoming brood.

In extreme conditions whereby there are shortage of hides, enclosure space for the male to get "out of sight" from the female, a exhaust male might finally "gave way" and suffered from cannibalism.. Ultimately.



HOWEVER.. do take note that this occurrence is RARE and only in extreme conditions mentioned above. The correct control of humidity, hides and space plays a vital role in cohabiting adult pairs.

Do note that the display of territorial aggression due to be gravid is different among specimens, as there are always incidents that the female gave birth to a successful brood while having the male residing in the same tank. However, in such cases, it'll be a little hassle when it comes to removing the male or "scooping" up the little scorplings.

Hence, it's recommended to separate the male in a different tank once you are almost certain of your female being gravid.

6. General outlook:
- And of cos, in terms of "Fatness" a gravid scorpion generally resemble somewhat like the following picture, especially when they are at the later part of their gestation period:



7. Stop feeding:
- Most female stop feeding 1-2 weeks prior to giving birth. When a feeder was introduced during this crucial period, she would usually act irritably e.g. brushing away feeders that are within her reach or simple kill the feeder without consuming them. Of cos, on rare occasions, some gravid females feeds all the way till the day prior to giving birth.



8. Barricading the cave/hide's entrance :
- She might pile up sand/ stone debries gathered from the substrate and starts to barricade herself under a slate/hide. This usually happens when she finds a need to shield herself during the vulnerable period of giving birth. Of cos, some may just be contented staying partially hidden under a hide.

Additional info:
- While providing optimal enclosure settings for a gravid female;
- Try to ensure a temperature gradient in the brooding enclosure with one side of the tank being cooler than the other.
- The "hotter" area can be achieved with a infra-red heat lamp
- A water dish should be placed at the cooler side.
- Once you are sure of your female being gravid, it is best to remove any other specimens which may be residing in the same setup
- While we will like to fatten up a gravid female so to ensure ample nutrients are available for the babies in side her
- My advice is not to have more than 3 roach left uneaten at any point of time
- Although bark scorpions may give birth while they are on the bark, an alternative hide on the substrate can be provided. This can be achieved with strategic stacking of bark pieces.





The "brooding setups" above would work similarly well for forest scorpions but for desert scorpions, do take note that the substrate has to be pure dry sand instead.

I wish you luck in success in nurturing your scorpion mom and looking forward to hear your great news on the babies' arrival Smile

Regards,
GS
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