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Common emperor scorpion

Pandinus imperator
Status: Endangered
An Emperor Scorpion eating a cricket in the Bamba Du Jon Swamp, part of the African Rainforest exhibit at the Oregon Zoo.

Emperor scorpions live in the rainforests of West Africa. It is one of the largest scorpions in the world. It is a carnivore.

Emperor scorpion behavior and facts

  • Adults eat ground-dwelling insects and small animals; young eat fruit flies and small crickets.
  • Their venom is mild.
  • Emperor scorpions hunt at night. They use sensory hairs on their body to make up for poor vision.
  • Scorpions defend themselves against predators with their large claws.
  • Emperor scorpions rarely burrow, but instead hide under logs or rocks.

From birth to death

  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years in captivity
  • Vital statistics
  • Length: 10 to 12 inches


  • Endangered per CITES Appendix II.

Scorpions, the Oregon Zoo and you

Emperor scorpions live in the Insect Zoo. They eat beetles, crickets and mealworms.

Emperor scorpions are popular pets.