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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

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_by_GS_200313_pic1

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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The caresheets/articles and content in ASA are published free of charge. It is to promote the hobby and provide a guidance for new hobbyist. Feel free to reference them for your own breeding projects. However, DO NOT COPY any of our content and republish them onto your own website, forum or any social media platform on the internet.

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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):
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_housing_2i_by_GS_pic3

Appearance of an adult Androctonus bicolor (7.instar):
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_by_GS_020313

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

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_adult_pair_by_GS

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:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_mating_pic11

However, do note that physical appearance can be deceiving at times. The "bulky looking" Androctonus bicolor below is in fact, a male.
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_250412_by_GS_pic5a

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)

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_2i_exo_by_GSscorpions82

Mating an adult pair of Androctonus bicolor:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_mating_pic3

[HOW TO] Guide to Mating Scorpions

Video documentation of the mating occurrence:





Androctonus bicolor's spermatophore:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_mating_pic12

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

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic4

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:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic1

1 month prior to birthing:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_embryos_080313_pic1

Click here to view more pictures:


[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic2

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic3

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic4

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic5

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic6

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82_pic7

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.
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_7i_gravid_female_by_GSscorpions82

[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.

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Sealing_off_cave_entrance_by_GS

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.

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic2

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic5

Click here to view more pictures:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic3

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic4

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic5

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic6

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic7

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

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_2i_by_GS_pic1

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)

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood2_by_GS_pic1

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:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_260412_by_GS_pic1

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:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_housing_2i_by_GS_pic1

Top view of the Tacklebox:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_housing_2i_by_GS_pic2

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.

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Housing_scorplings_by_GSscorpions82_pic2

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.
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Desert_Vivarium_by_GSscorpions82_pic1

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:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting2a

Molting Sequence from 3.instar to 4.instar:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting3a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting4a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting5a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting6a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting7a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting8a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting9a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting10a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting11a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting12a

Freshly molted 4th Instar:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting13a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting14a

Hardening of the exoskeleton.. color changes within hours:

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting15a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting16a

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Molting17a

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.

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_brood1_by_GS_pic6

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:
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Housing_scorplings_by_GSscorpions82_pic1

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.

[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Androctonus_bicolor_260412_by_GS_pic2

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.
[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet Housing_scorplings_by_GSscorpions82_pic3

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


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

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[ASA] Androctonus bicolor caresheet GS_Siggy8
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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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