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[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

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Topic [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by GS on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:03 pm



Introduction:
This Androctonus bicolor caresheet documents how I have been raising these magnificent FAT-tailed desert scorpions. Under the conditions recorded below, my specimens are raised from young instar and later on, paired up as adults successfully. Thankfully, they have blessed me with multiple broods through generations under my care. Hence, I would like to share this success with fellow scorpions' enthusiasts in promoting pure captive breed & born specimens.

This Androctonus bicolor caresheet focus mainly on specific data pertaining to this species (e.g. sexual dimorphism, gestation period, special concern during the care of this species, but there are other aspects to take note of with regards to their husbandry which are documented in our [ASA] Desert Scorpions' Caresheet. These other aspects are consolidated there as other scorpion species from identical desert environment shares the same concerns. Do check it out for a complete guide on breeding these beautiful scorpions.

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Androctonus bicolor (Ehrenberg, 1828)

Type:
Desert Scorpion

Temperature:
Day: 86°F - 89.6°F (30 - 32°C )
Night: 77°F - 82.4°F (25 - 28°C)

Humidity:
50-60 %

Appearance:
Appearance of an early instar of Androctonus bicolor (2.instar - 3.instar):


Appearance of an adult Androctonus bicolor (7.instar):


Size of sexually matured specimens:
Male (7.instar): 5.5 cm +/-
Female (7.instar): 7 cm +/-



Age of sexual maturity:
Androctonus bicolor attains sexual maturity at 7.instar for both males and females.

Sexual dimorphism:
Like most scorpions, adult males are usually slimmer where females tend to have a "bulkier" body mass:


However, do note that physical appearance can be deceiving at times. The "bulky looking" Androctonus bicolor below is in fact, a male.


Sexing Androctonus bicolor:
An accurate method of sexing Androctonus bicolor is via pectine tooth count (PTC):
Pectine tooth count of Androctonus bicolor female: 19 to 24 teeth
Pectines tooth count of Androctonus bicolor males: 23 to 29 teeth.

When can Androctonus bicolor be sexed:
Androctonus bicolor can be sexed accurately as early as 2.instar (after they have dismounted from their mum's back)



Mating an adult pair of Androctonus bicolor:



[HOW TO] Guide to Mating Scorpions

Video documentation of the mating occurrence:





Androctonus bicolor's spermatophore:


Gestation period:
On average, gestation period of Androctonus bicolor ranged between 8-12 months.



Documentation on signs of embryos:
Visibility of the embryos is clearly seen for a gravid specimens, usually highly obvious between 2-3 months prior to birthing.

2 month prior to birthing:


1 month prior to birthing:


Click here to view more pictures:














During the period while they are brooding, rule of thumb is to keep them well fed and provide the correct husbandry. They would usually maintain regular feeding habits till the final month of their gestation period.


[HOW TO] Tell if your Scorpion is Gravid

Preparation for the incoming brood:
When the brood is almost due (e.g. a week prior to birth), it is not usually for the scorpion mum to pile up sand/ stone debris gathered from the substrate and starts to barricade herself under a slate or her hide. Her rationale is to shield herself during this vulnerable period of her lifecycle, giving birth to her kids.



Birthing of 1.instars:
Now, It's always a delight to wake up one morning and be greeted with dozens of FAT-TAIL babies!
Ensure minimum disturbance to the scorpion mum during this period while the babies will sit through for another 4-6 days before they molt to 2.instar. Detailed guide for the scorpion care for the kids and scorpion mum can be found in our [ASA] Desert Scorpions' Caresheet.





Click here to view more pictures:










The first molt to 2.instar:
As mentioned, Androctonus bicolor babies will go through their very first molt to 2.instar in approximately 4-6 days from birth. Here is how they looked like at 2.instar Smile



2.instar Androctonus bicolor dismounting from mum's back:
After their successful molt to 2.instar (while they are still on their mum's back), they will require a few more days for their exo-skeleton to harden before they will dismount and venture away from the protection of their scorpion mum to lookout for prey items (e.g. newly born crickets/ roach nymphs)



When to feed Androctonus bicolor's young:
You will NOT be required to feed the scorplings UNTIL they have dismounted from mum's back on their own accord and usually, they will only feed a few days later AFTER they have dismounted.

How to feed Androctonus bicolor's young:
[HOW TO] Guide to Feeding Young Scorpions

Temporarily "holding-ground" before a relocation:


Housing suggestion 1 (for 2-4.instar):
Using the tacklebox method, Androctonus bicolor's young can be raised up till 4-5.instar before there's a need to rehouse them. It is ideal to use this method if you have raising a full brood of slings. Since these boxes are stackable, they are excellent space saver for a cramp-up scorpion room for some keepers.

Tacklebox method for housing Androctonus bicolor slings:


Top view of the Tacklebox:


Housing suggestion 2 (for 2-7.instar):
Using deli-containers will allow more space for each specimen. In containers such as these, a keeper may raise a 2.instar all the way till he/she becomes a 7.instar adult. It is ideal to use this method if you have raising a small group (e.g. lesser than 10) of slings.



Housing suggestion 3 (for 7.instar adults):
My recommendation is that a keeper may house an adult pair, or a "trio" (2 females + 1 male) in this simple 2.5 gallon enclosure.


While maintaining the right husbandry for the adult communal pair, they usually have no issues living communally until you observe that the first embryo showing through the female's pleural membrane. In fact, most of my breeding pairs have been housed communally all the way up till the female starts popping. However, I DO NOT recommend this, as it can be a hassle trying to remove the adult male while minimizing disturbance to the scorpion mom.

The following video shows a communal pair of adult Androctonus bicolor:


Growth rate:
The following are some references with regards to molting intervals. Take them with a pinch of salt as there might be variation to the molting intervals between keepers. Reason being, molting intervals are often influenced by factors such as the environmental conditions which the scorpions have been kept in, and the "intensity" of their feeding schedule.

Molting intervals

Setup 1 - "Relax" feeding schedule
One feeder was offered every 7-12 days
The size of feeder offered was equal or as least 2/3 of the scorpion's body length

1.instar to 2.instar >> 8 days +/-
2.instar to 3.instar >> 45 days +/-
3.instar to 4.instar >> 58 days +/-
4.instar to 5.instar >> 72 days +/-
5.instar to 6.instar >> 84 days +/-
6.instar to 7.instar >> 95 days +/-

Setup 2 - "Power" feeding schedule
One feeder was offered every 3-7 days or as soon as the scorpion is able to consume another feeder.

Feeding precaution has to be practiced when the scorpion is observed to be entering "pre-molt stage".
Read more about it at [HOW TO] Identify a PREMOLT Scorpion

When the scorpion is noted to be in premolt, break the feeding cycle or only offer incapacitated feeder.
The size of feeder offered was equal or as least 2/3 of the scorpion's body length

1.instar to 2.instar >> 8 days +/-
2.instar to 3.instar >> 30 days +/-
3.instar to 4.instar >> 33 days +/-
4.instar to 5.instar >> 36 days +/-
5.instar to 6.instar >> 40 days +/-
6.instar to 7.instar >> 70 days +/-

Click here to view more pictures:

*Pardon the low quality pictures from my old camera-phone:

Premolt:



Molting Sequence from 3.instar to 4.instar:





















Freshly molted 4th Instar:





Hardening of the exoskeleton.. color changes within hours:







Unusual documentation:
There was an occurrence that the same Androctonus bicolor female gave birth again in just about three months after her recent brood of 50. Her first brood had a gestation period of ten months, and the second brood was a mere three months gestation and had equal amount of babies as the first.



Things to note:
Being a desert species, Androctonus bicolor are prone to mycosis as well. The following are my suggested measures to prevent mycosis in your specimens. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than searching for a cure, I would recommend keepers to take note of the following:
- Ensure that unrestricted ventilation is provided for their enclosure (e.g. via a wired-mesh screen top)
- Ensure that provision of water is controlled with the usage of a small bottle cap and NOT via misting which may bump-up the humidity to a dangerously high degree which facilitates the spread of mycosis

Water provision:
Younger instars (2-4.instar) are generally more tolerant to higher humidity and you may provide them with water by misting a corner of their enclosure on a weekly basis.

I would say, not more than 35% of the substrate surface should be kept moist at all times. Sample shown below:


For 5-7.instar specimens, in order not to raise the humidity of their enclosure, i would recommend you to provide a small bottle cap (filled once every 10-14 days) for water provisioning.



More Androctonus bicolor videos:

Click here to access the vids:










[youtube][/youtube]

Safe guard your family from venomous species that you are keeping:
It is always a great idea to put in place enhanced security measures to prevent any undesirable escapees.


Questions?
Please feel free to post in the following discussion thread for any queries you might have with regards to breeding this species:
http://www.allscorpionarchives.com/t30-discussion-androctonus-spp

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Regards,
GS




Last edited by GS on Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:38 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by ahxean on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:35 am

Best care sheet i have ever seen! Smile
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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by GS on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:11 am

Thanks ahxean Very Happy

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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by ahxean on Sat May 11, 2013 1:02 pm

Can I use the life-cycle for Androctonus Australis?
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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by GS on Wed May 15, 2013 6:15 am

They are similar at early instars (1-5), but to attain adulthood, A.australis may take slightly longer time.

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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by Tope on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:22 pm

sirs, the size mentioned above, does it include the tail? or just body length? coz i wanna know what instar my A.bicolor is. cant disturb him now. maybe he's gonna molt today, tomorrow, or the next day.

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Topic Re: [ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet

Post by GS on Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:24 pm

body + tail.
But do note that this is only an estimation Smile

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