Scorpios make noises

Parabuthus pallidus (Pocock, 1895)

1.0 Parabuthus pallidus in the terrarium

Parabuthus pallidus occurs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. There it populates arid to semi-arid steppe and savannah areas. According to the Scorpion files (see sources) digs P. pallidus no residential tubes, but is content with inhabiting existing crevices and cavities. From my own experience, however, I can refute that, every single one of me P. pallidus was or is an avid tunnel digger. But more on this aspect under "Housing conditions".
In Kenya divides P. pallidus the distribution area with Parabuthus liosoma and colonizes the same habitats there (Scorpion files).
With the exception of the rainy season (which is different depending on the area of ​​origin and takes place at different times; climate diagrams for the individual areas of origin can be found e.g. at, the distribution areas of P. pallidus quite dry climate, but fog in the morning can lead to a temporary increase in humidity.

External characteristics & gender differences

Parabuthus pallidus should be able to reach sizes of up to 10cm (PROBST 1973), but personally I only know of animals whose size is between 4-5cm. I cannot say whether this is due to the area of ​​origin, different populations or the generally smaller offspring in terraristics.
Like it for Parabuthus spp. is typical, also stands out P. pallidus by a broad, clearly granulated metasoma.
The hair is at P. pallidus relatively strong, but less intense than e.g. with Parabuthus villosus. In addition, the hairs are finer and not noticeably colored, so that you often do not notice them at first glance.
Parabuthus pallidus has a brownish basic color, whereby the metasoma is somewhat lighter and may have a tinge of orange. The color of the legs fades to a bony yellow-white towards the tarsi. The underside of the animals is the same pale color. Depending on the location, the color can vary, from yellow, orange to light and dark brown to almost black animals (scorpionforum).
Like various others Parabuthus spp. also exhibit the first two metasoma limbs of P. pallidus on the inside there is a strong granulation reminiscent of sandpaper. If the animals rub their aculeus (poison sting) over it, they can produce sharp cracking noises (stridulation); an unmistakable warning signal when the Scorpio is extremely irritable or feels seriously threatened.

Females are taller and more massive than males. Unlike some others Parabuthus spp. point P. pallidus- Males do not have the typical “boxing glove” shape of the Chelae, but have, like the females, narrow, graceful scissor hands.
If one does not want to determine the animals on the basis of factors such as size and body structure (which, moreover, would only be possible in the case of adult animals with the possibility of comparison), one must fall back on other characteristics.

Counting the comb teeth, which is otherwise often used, promises little success: in the only official source (known to me) the number of comb teeth is described as 27-40, the 27 being given the addition "females" and the 40 with "males" (PROBST 1973). It is not clear from this where and whether there may be an overlap between the sexes. So if you are not very lucky and want to identify an animal with very few or very many comb teeth, you cannot rely on this method either.
Nevertheless, one can also use the comb organs at Parabuthus pallidus surely determine the gender, because like most Parabuthus spp. Here, too, the females have the so-called proximal median lamella, a flap-like, enlarged comb tooth directly at the attachment of the comb organs.

Comparison of the comb organs of 1.0 and 0.1 with marked proximal median lamella. On the left 0.1 in the ventral view, on the right an exuvia of 1.0.

This method is not only more reliable than counting the teeth of the comb, because it is clear, but also much more convenient and quick to perform because there is no need to count the teeth of the comb.

Parabuthus pallidus populates quite dry and warm areas, where the rainy seasons and morning fog can sometimes lead to increased humidity. Since, as mentioned above, it calls steppes and savannas its home, in its natural environment there is not only variable vegetation but also rocky stretches of land.
All these circumstances should be taken into account when designing the terrarium. Since, as described under origin, P. pallidus In spite of contradicting claims, if you build extensive tunnels and residential tubes (good ¾ of my terrarium are criss-crossed with tunnels), you should use a sand-clay mixture as the substrate, which should be filled as high as possible depending on the terrarium size.
In addition, several hiding places made of stones, pieces of bark or the like must be brought in, as additional decoration you can use e.g. various succulents, tillandsias or dried out grasses and bushes in order to achieve the most natural look possible.

P. pallidus can be kept in small groups (e.g. 2.1), but one should refrain from keeping several females in one group, as these are usually incompatible with one another. If you want to be kept in a group, you have to consider various aspects:
On the one hand, more hiding places should always be offered than existing animals, on the other hand you have to feed more to avoid disputes in the group. All animals should be placed in the terrarium at the same time as possible to avoid territorial disputes.
In addition, one should observe the behavior of the animals among one another as closely as possible in the beginning in order to be able to recognize possible intolerances in good time. If there is persistent fighting, you have to be ready to separate the animals and relocate them to individual tanks.
Even after a long period of peaceful coexistence, animals can still attack each other, there is no guarantee or a secret recipe for long-term successful group keeping.
The scorpions are fed everything that can overwhelm them: grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, beetles ... the food supply is diverse and should also be varied.

0.1 Parabuthus pallidus

Now to the size of the terrarium. Due to its small size (I'm assuming my 4-5cm small animals) Parabuthus pallidus not much space. For a single animal, I already consider a terrarium with 20/20/20 (l / w / h) to be sufficient, I successfully keep a couple in a 20/30/20 terrarium without ever quarreling. The animals usually share a cave, but sometimes they avoid each other for a while. Correspondingly more space should be provided for larger groups.
The temperatures in the terrarium should be between 27-32 ° C. Commercially available halogen spots are ideal as a heat and light source in one. Directly below the spot, temperatures can easily reach around 40 ° C, especially pregnant females like to use these "hotspots" to heat themselves up.
A small container can be placed in the terrarium for the water supply (e.g. the lid of a water bottle), which is filled every 2-3 weeks. You can also moisten part of the terrarium (damp, not wet!) To temporarily ensure increased humidity.
Hibernation is not necessary due to the relatively stable temperatures in the countries of origin, but you can reproduce the rainy seasons of the country of origin (if known) by offering a little more moisture than usual at this time (see climate diagram).

Mating, rearing of the offspring

The mating of Parabuthus pallidus runs quite smoothly. If you keep a couple or a group of adult animals together, sooner or later the offspring will appear on their own.
Like all scorpions, they reach sexual maturity with adult moulting, males are adult in the 6th instar, females in the 7th instar.
If you keep the animals individually and only put them together for mating, the following points must be observed:
Both animals should be well fed some time before mating in order to prevent aggression when they meet.
When mating, you shouldn't put one animal in the other's terrarium, but rather put both in a neutral, clearly arranged container (some slates of slate and / or pieces of bark should be available as storage space for the spermatophores) so that they do not see themselves as intruders. The female can be inserted for some time before the male so that it can lay a scent trail through which the male can perceive it.
When mating begins, both animals grab the chelae and begin what is known as the mating dance, whereby the male pulls the female through the terrarium in search of a suitable place to deposit the spermatophores. Once this place is found, the male puts down the spermatophore and then maneuvers the female into a position where she can take the sperm packet into her genital opening (operculum genitalis).
After successful mating, the animals separate more or less peacefully and can be returned to their respective terrariums.

Pairing of Parabuthus pallidus

After an average of 6-8 months of gestation the female gives birth to around 20-30 scorplings. The upcoming birth of the young can be recognized when the nymphs shimmer as white spots through the pleural membrane of the mother. At this point, the mother can be transferred to a sparsely furnished throwing pool (a hiding place and a water bowl are sufficient here). This ensures that after the birth and when the young have left the mother's back, the individual young can be transferred to suitable rearing containers without any problems. In the whelping pool, the temperature can be a little higher than usual, if the expectant mother is not warm enough, the litter will be delayed indefinitely. A little more water should be offered to prevent dehydration.
After the birth, the little ones will climb onto the mother's back and spend the first days of their lives there. At this point, the mother can be given food that has already been killed, or it can be carefully attempted to use live-feeding using tweezers. After the litter, females are usually very emaciated and need some food to replenish their reserves.

0.1 with Instar 1 animals on their backs. Scorpling and undeveloped eggs are eaten at birth.

After 1-2 weeks, the scorplings shed their skin for the first time on their mother's back and then leave it over the next few days.
The little ones can now be raised either individually or in groups. When rearing in groups, it should be remembered that sufficient feeding should always be provided and that many hiding places should be offered. Nonetheless, cases of cannibalism can occur again and again among the scorpionites. If you don't want to take this risk, you should raise the young individually.

As a rearing parameter, I have had good experiences with temperatures of 28-32 ° C, with young animals more attention must be paid to moisture. In the first instars, some of the containers are kept moist by spraying 1-2 times a week, as the young animals could otherwise suffer from dehydration relatively easily. The walls of the container are also sprayed so that the scorplings can drink there. Alternatively, you can of course bring in a small drinking vessel, but this should be filled with pebbles or the like so that the (rather small) Instar 2 animals cannot drown.
From Instar 4 onwards you can use the water more sparingly, it is then sufficient if you spray around every 2 weeks.
It is fed approximately every 3-4 days with feed animals of a suitable size.
These parameters are Parabuthus pallidus to become adult in less than a year., Males need about 8-9 months, females about 9-11 months, because they shed their skin once more before they reach the adult stage.

As with other animals, the behavior of Parabuthus pallidus describe poorly generally valid, since there can always be calm, but also more offensive representatives within a species.
I have P. pallidus got to know as a very peaceful terrarium inhabitant. My adult couple lives together in harmony, sometimes in a confined space, sometimes with a little distance, but disputes were never apparent.
Both animals can be found outside their burrows at irregular intervals in the evenings to explore their surroundings or to sit in a place and wait for food. As soon as I touch the door of my terrarium, both animals disappear into their caves in no time at all, where they usually only reappear after several hours or even the next evening.
I have not yet been able to determine any potential for aggression, which also makes working in the terrarium (changing lamp, etc.) a rather stress-free affair, although one should of course always pay attention to the entrances to the living tubes in order not to be surprised by the scorpions become.
It should also be mentioned here that P. pallidus are very fast animals, so you should always be attentive and focused when dealing with them or in their environment.
About the poison potency of Parabuthus pallidus no sources are available, but buthids generally have rather strong poison and Parabuthus spp. are known for their sometimes very strong poisonous effects, one should also consider P. pallidus assume that it has a fairly potent poison. The one with several Parabuthus spp. observed ability to spray poison over longer distances could with P. pallidus not yet proven (Scorpion files).

Although Parabuthus pallidus rather belongs to the small to medium-sized scorpions, it is an excellent terrarium keeper. Its beautiful, high-contrast coloring and its calm demeanor make it an eye-catcher in every Scorpio collection.
It does not take up too much space and can be kept in small groups, but it is larger than many other Buthids and shows a pronounced escape behavior, so in my opinion it is also recommended for responsible owners who have already had their first experience with scorpions and now in the Buthiden- resp. Parabuthus- Want to get in attitude.
I am happy every time I meet one of my animals outside of their tunnels and am always impressed by their build and color. In my opinion it is Parabuthus pallidus a scorpion that gets too little attention, as many keep the bigger ones Parabuthus spp. prefer and these small, but for it (especially within the genus ParabuthusOverlooked gorgeously drawn style.

1.0 Parabuthus pallidus

-PROBST Peter J (1973): A review of the scorpion of east africa with special regard to Kenya and Tanzania; Acta. Tropica 30 (4): 321

-FET et al. (1758-1998): Catalog of the Scorpions of the World: 208


-scorpionforum: Post from Peter / Skywalker regarding the different color forms.

-own experiences