Tarantulas and Scorpions
comprise a group of hairy and often very large spiders
belonging mainly to the family Theraphosidae
, of which approximately 900 species have been identified.
Tarantulas should be housed in small enclosures that are safe and secure. Care should be exercised to ensure that the enclosure is safe from other pets such as dogs and cats and placed out of reach of children. Locate it in an area out of direct sunlight and drafts and where there is little disturbance from vibration such as heavy foot traffic and loud music. It is also important to remember that nicotine is a powerful insecticide and tarantulas are best kept far away from tobacco smoke.
Scorpions are becoming increasingly popular as pets, especially emperor scorpions. They are not great for handling, but they are quiet, clean and easy to care for. With a lifespan of 6-8 years they are a fairly long term commitment, and finding a pet sitter might be a bit of a problem.
Emperor scorpions are not particularly dangerous, in contrast to some other species of scorpion. Their sting has been likened to a bee sting in that it is painful, but medical attention is not usually necessary. However, some people may have an anaphylactic reaction to the venom (as some people do with bee stings) so it is wise to not take chances. Some people say that emperor scorpions are more likely to pinch you with their pedipalps, and this can be quite painful too. In any case, handling of pet scorpions isn't recommended, in part because of the risks, but also because scorpions are likely to be stressed if handled.
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