The Australian Rainforest Scorpion (Liocheles sp.) has very elongated, flattened bodies and powerful pedipalps. The body shape is adapted to living in rock crevices and beneath bark on fallen, rotting logs. Males are identified by claw features: a "tooth" on the moveable finger and a corresponding notch on the fixed finger. Metasomas on both male and female are very thin with a characteristic yellow/orange vesicle although this colouration is viable for other Liocheles species. Species may reach 50 + mm (carapace to sting) with the male mesasoma slightly shorter and quite narrower than the females.
This species is commonly kept in captivity in Australia, as it is large and non-burrowing like many Australian species. It is also very active at night. It is relatively easy to keep as long as temperatures and humidity are maintained (temperatures 20 to 30oC - humidity should be kept at over 90% for moulting and survival of 1st instars).
Captive birth is quite common but it would appear that in these cases, most females are gravid when caught. Males are less common than females so most kept are females. Average litter size would appear to be approx. 15. Survival rate appears to be excellent as most people report minimal if any cannibalism. A number of people have reported young staying close to, and inter-reacting with the mother for up to two months. Moult to 2nd Instar is approx 16 days.
This species has mild venom. It will rarely sting, and usually defends itself by using the powerful claws. Claws are used for defence and can be very painful, if you get "grabbed" by them.
Mealworms are the food of choice. Crickets are an ideal source of protein, however can be a danger to your scorpion as they can bite through this species' soft body - crickets that aren't eaten quickly should be removed from the enclosure. The higher the temperature and humidity, the more food is required. A scorpion may gorge itself (to the point you can see the scorpion???s body swell) and then go into hiding to digest the meal, if the conditions are correct. It then may come out after a few days, a week or even months for its next meal. Healthy adult males often have long fasts. They will eat food up to 1/3 of their body length. Anything larger than this is undesirable. Avoid feeding ants and cockroaches, as they are not a clean food, and may have traces of insecticide.
Correct substrate and provision of rock crevices will also increase the life span. Shallow, porous water dishes should be used - if it is too deep the scorpion may drown. The porous nature of the dish allows the water to seep into the surrounds, thus keeping the substrate moist (as in a rainforest). Alternatively you can use a spray bottle to mist the air and keep it humid or put a small sponge (such as a hermit crab sponge) into the water dish - this provides a way for the water to evaporate more freely and humidify the terrarium. Fish tanks with close fitting lids are ideal habitats, you can also get terrariums made especially for scorpions and spiders. Be careful with how you position things in the tank as scorpions may climb out if you put anything up the side of the tank.
IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO HANDLE THE SCORPION WITH YOUR HANDS, IT WILL STRESS THE SCORPION, AND YOU MAY SUFFER A PAINFUL STING.
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