Ive seen a rather alarming trend

Lately i have seen scorpions rise in popularity and more and more i read or see posts( not really here but elsewhere) of people being stupid, i say stupid because that implies that the person knows better but chooses to disregard it.

I read in one forum a guy bragged that he free handled his Androctonus Australis and his Deathstalker and purposely made them sting him. It is idiots like this that kill our hobby. He clearly doesn’t understand that scorpions are able to dose their venom based on the current situation and in some cases where the threat level is low they can and will give a dry sting. This idiot claimed it only hurt a little and he was fine the next day. These scorpions don’t have the reputation they do on a fluke.

Quite honestly i don’t think any scorpion regardless of toxicity should be handled, same with tarantulas as falls for both these animals can prove fatal, so even if they weren’t venomous the risk to their safety is far greater than the “thrill” of holding them.

I’ve seen people free handling venomous snakes and taking way too many chances. I read about a guy who got stung by his Androctonus Amoreuxi and was sent to the ICU for 3 days.

I feel the social media has fueled a level of stupidity that people ignore common sense and shoot videos of themselves doing something stupid.

Many venomous animals will wreck your life if you don’t exercise extreme caution.
Many scorpions have delayed reactions some up to 15 hours later so the person falsely believes that the sting is “not that bad” many hospitals in America are under qualified to assess and treat scorpion envenomations secondly antivenin does not always work, nor is it readily available in the US. Many scorpions venoms attack many parts of the body. They can attack the nerves, the heart, the lungs, kidneys, liver and the brain causing heart attacks, organ failure, pulmonary edema and brain hemorrhage.

Venomous animals are nothing to trifle with and they require a very disciplined regiment of care. These are live wild animals (while some can be calm, they are never really domesticated.) These are living animals that arenot props for social media likes etc. I only post my animals for educational purposes and from saftey of disciplined regiment.

Another sick trend ive seen is death matches people film akin to dog fights or cock fights etc.

I feel that as a community we need to distance, disavow and shun anyone who partakes in antics such as it is. They don’t make us look good and before long we have people demanding that the species gets banned.

I will never advocate for free handling of any potentially life threatening species and i do frown upon the free handling of scorpions and tarantulas regardless of temperament or toxicity as they are delicate and a fall can seriously injure or kill the animals. If you want an animal to hold there are many more choices other than these 2. Ive kept many arachnids over the years and have many now and i have only ever handled the non venomous very briefly usually to help coral them when i want to change the enclosure for new substrate etc.

Spiders, tarantulas and scorpions don’t really like being handled and they can easily get stressed which will greatly decrease their overall well-being and longevity.

On a final note i saw a video of a “researcher” purposely force a Parabuthus transvaalicus or one of the other 2 species that shoot venom. Either the researcher got scared or the scorpions movement caused the scorpion to get dropped ( to me it looked like a reaction of the person getting scared and dropping it) well they severely injured the scorpion in the process from that drop breaking its legs on the left side so the scorpion could no longer move and likely died. That video along with death match videos and people being stupid and careless with animals really p*sses me off.

I will seriously cut anyone out of my life who has animals that they use and abuse or are stupid with potentially dangerous animals.


I feel ya. This is what it’s like everyday as a venomous reptile keeper with people like a certain YouTuber cranking irresponsible videos for $$. I wish there was answer for their behavior that didn’t involve us suffering but I see no end in sight (until it’s legislated away from us).


Yes that youtuber is super irresponsible and careless with his animals, I’ve seen many close calls, i wouldn’t be surprised if he has been bitten before, and its only a matter of time before he rolls the dice once too many times and craps out.

Sadly us good keepers get lumped in with people like this and we suffer as a result. Us responsible keepers don’t do what they do, we advocate for the animals and exercise proper procedures when dealing with them which is safety 1st 100% of the time.

That Youtuber is going to get himself killed or one of his idiot friends killed.

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I feel the best thing we can probably do is distance ourselves from people ( like that youtuber) and call him out on all his BS. Sadly the world is filled with idiots who idolize people like him. I saw a video where some “wilderness” guy was in Africa and he chased down a black mamba and essentially harassed it into a defensive attack mode. I love animals and im happy some people are excited about them but i disagree with in which the manner of interaction is to me harassment not appreciation of the animal.

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The way I’ve found to keep from getting so frustrated with those types is to have a twitchy block button lol. It makes my internet experience much better. Hold a venomous animal in your bare hands, blocked. Promote free handling, blocked. Boop too many snoots, blocked…ok that last one isn’t necessarily dangerous or bad for the hobby but it drives me nuts :joy:


I think most of the folks on this forum agree with you. Sadly, people (in general) are dumb. They’ve always been dumb and probably always will be dumb, but social media platforms have taken it to a whole new level. Now stupidity is rewarded with money and fame. And it’s really unfortunate, because those same platforms can also be a wealth of valuable information, but legitimately educational and informative content isn’t as exciting to most people as watching a mamba strike at a moron, so the moron gets more visibility than the folks who are representing what our hobby should be.

He has been bitten. By a king cobra, if I’m remembering correctly. That’s why he’s missing a part of his finger. He only survived because someone he knew kept a stock of the proper antivenin (Florida hospitals don’t have it, go figure). He doesn’t seem to have learned his lesson.


That idiot who shows up in Jackass movies and show lost his finger to a western diamondback, im sure he never learned either. Those guys imo harass, mistreat and abuse animals for their stupid stunts. Like when the threw a bunch of live snakes on Bam while he was in a pit, i saw where they did a scorpion stunt and a bunch of scorpions fell off the table, scorpion bodys aren’t as tough as they may appear especially thier legs, im sure those scorpions died.
Social media, stupid stunt shows etc. Fuel this mentality.

I post on my social media but i specifically mentioned they are not toys, props and extreme caution and disciplined procedures when dealing with venomous animals. They are never free handled and i talk about the real life threatening danger they could pose if you were to attempt to handle them.
I had an idiot laugh at me and say “what scorpion can kill you? Maybe after 1000 stings” sadly my friend with some species it only takes 1 hit. I blocked him, he will probably be one of those idiot who’s famous last words would be " watch me get stung, it wont do anything "


From what i’ve seen the only truly fatal scorpion is Hemiscorpius lepturus, those have cytotoxic venom and can result in severe necrosis.

the others are pretty nasty but dont actually kill as many people as you’d think. most fatalities from scorpion stings are from secondary factors like dehydration, illnesses caused by starvation and malnutrition, etc. But they are generally neurotoxic, so maybe the dude’s been stung too many times and is literally mechanically irresponsible lol…

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1000s of people die from the Hottentotta Tamulus every year. Of course its a 3rd world country so access to medical attention is probably lacking. In many parts of the world they believe in home remedies which do not do anything. Androctonus Australis has a very potent sting.

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The Androctonus Australis has cytotoxic venom in additon to other nasty venoms such as cardiotoxins neurotoxins these guys are particularly dangerous.


I believe scorpion fatalities/toxicity are way overrated. Allergies, babies & seriously infirmed elderly are always a concern for any venomous critter - but to the best of my knowledge, harvester ants punch the biggest terrestrial sting & are 35x worse than rattlesnakes & even a whole army of stings pretty much calls for a Tylenol & an ice pack.

Justin Schmidt has purposefully been stung by most genera of Hymenoptera to develop a pain index & compare with toxicity in the only controlled way of assaying possible and for sound scientific inquiry. There’s good data out there for that group of insects. The scientific lit I’ve seen for scorpions is essentially non-existent. And this includes a paltry of evidence for even credible baseline toxicity levels.

Of course, keepers should always refrain from pissing off those dependents under their care - as that is just common decency…

I…what? My brain hurts from reading that. Pretty sure harvester ants have nothing on rattlesnakes. Or bullet ants for that matter.


There has been plenty of studies of venom toxicity in the top venomous species.

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This is one study of a sublethal dose.

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Hey you are more than welcome to purchase on the market place a potentially lethal scorpion and get it to give you its full dose and record it for scientific purposes.

For every 1 death by a venomous snake 10 die by scorpion. If you compared the volumes of scorpion venom vs snake for how little venom is produced by a scorpion as compared to a snake one can conclude that scorpions venom is far more deadly.

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I feel like that death match thing has always been so badly overlooked. It’s always upset me because of how long it’s gone on with little critique. If you want to see literally any two invertebrates fight to the death, I can almost guarantee all you need to do is look up [bug] vs [bug] on youtube, and you’ll get an absurd number of videos. Many of these have millions of views, from people watching for entertainment. I’m not talking like documentary type stuff that’s showcasing nature, there’s an understandable appeal there, and (if properly documented) it just shows what happens naturally. I’m talking about those videos of someone putting two bugs (that often would never encounter each other in the wild) in small clear boxes to watch them maul each other for entertainment. It’s disturbing, I’m 18 now but these videos have occasionally popped up in my feed since like 6th grade, even more now that I watch videos related to invertebrates.

Also, could someone catch me up on who this certain youtuber is btw? I have a feeling IK who but I’m not super in touch with the youtube reptile scene lol.

Also, related to the comment on not handling any tarantulas or scorpions, what’s your thoughts on handling vinegaroons? Have held mine a few times, and he seems to handle it just fine, I’d always assumed they were better for handling than tarantulas and scorpions but second opinions would be nice!


There are so many bad examples and bad care on the YouTube for likes. They give us good keepers who care about the welfare of our animals a bad name.

As far as vinegaroons are concerned they are “safe” to handle meaning they don’t have a stinger. Just for me i don’t like to handle my inverts as there is a chance of injury to them. I’ve kept a number of spiders and other inverts and some are super fast and make mad dash escapes and in trying to recapture or prevent their escape they can accidentally get legs crushed or worse. I have not personally owned a vinegaroon but id say if you do hold them as i know people do just like tarantulas and some scorpions id do it close to the ground in case they fall. I saw a video where allegedly they were “researchers” and recording the venom spraying of a Parabuthus Transvaalicus and i assume they got scared and sorta did a toss and it wasn’t far of a drop but it was on hard surface and they seriously injured the scorpion breaking its legs.

There is boundless stupidity on the internet and im not down with any abuse, yes every animal eats but there’s ways to do it and wrong ways. Putting a mouse in an enclosure with a Deathstalker just for the entertainment value was sadistic imo and uncalled for as a Deathstalker will not eat a mouse and it was a torturous death for the mouse.


Another thing for me is about being ethical, was it necessary?

I have a 2i Parabuthus Villosus Orange (so it has a way to go before reaching 7i or 8i depending on gender) they are the biggest of all Buthidae and the second biggest scorpion of all. They are daytime hunters which makes them unique as all other scorpions are nocturnal. In the wild they can hunt lizards and small rodents, in my care i will never feed it a live animal, insects are on thing but other animals have a higher awareness and feelings. If i were to give a small fuzzy it would be frozen thawed and warmed. Currently it is so tiny that i have to prekill it’s crickets otherwise it actually runs away from them.

All my animals i have i keep ethically and care for them as family. I give all my animals a 12 hr cycle of light ( basic 40 w cfl diffused) so that they have proper internal clock. They get fed 2 to 3 times a week based on the food type. They are fed at night and they all have curtains so that they can have darkness. They are also in enclosures with proper environment for the species. I keep the heat about
90 ° on the hot side and about 80° in the enclosure. I also have a minimally invasive approach to limit stressing my animals.


Yes, the initial sting packs a bigger punch than a rattlesnake bite, because harvester ants only use their venom defensively. When using venom in that way, the most effective way to ward off predators is a sudden extreme debilitating pain, so they leave you alone. These bugs with venom used more for defense have extremely painful stings that usually aren’t actually a threat to your life, aside from going into shock from pain. Snake venom, on the other hand, isn’t even that good of a “defense”. It takes so long to set in that when a venomous snake bites defensively, there’s a very large window of time for the bitten creature to fight back and kill the snake, because the initial pain isn’t extraordinary. Snake venom is used to paralyze and kill small meals fast, takes a bit longer for people because we’re bigger. It’s not made with the intention to cause pain, it’s made to kill quickly.

In the event you meant to write “scorpions” and not “rattlesnakes”, the above still applies, even moreso maybe. Scorpions kill thousands of people annually, rattlesnakes about a handful, harvester ants none. It’s not super common for a Deathstalker scorpion to actually kill a healthy adult (albeit it probably claims many more lives than stuff like black widows), but the same cannot be said for Androctonus Australis. Someone getting intentionally stung by an Androctonus Australis is a lot more mad than someone getting intentionally stung by a harvester ant, because harvester ant venom won’t kill you.

The problem is you are confusing “toxicity” and “pain”. Here is some scientific lit on scorpion toxicity

(Also I wanna clarify one thing @rmleone said, that death ratio of snakes to scorpions is exclusive to North America, venomous snakes do pose a much bigger threat in some other countries. Regardless, scorpions kill a lot of people)


I agree so much with all of this, ethics need to be minded in keeping animals. It’s like when people opt to feed live rodents to their reptiles because they just think it’s fun to watch ??? It’s always good to strike a balance between supporting the animal’s nature and being ethical. We feed live bugs to our arachnids, but they don’t respond to pre-killed (at least in most cases), they only take live. We also select prey items that are easy for them to grab and eat, as opposed to letting loose a spider or an assassin bug, which they may eat in the wild but can still receive injuries from. If a reptile only took live rodents, it’d make more sense to feed live, but feeding live when you don’t have to is strange and also posing an unnecessary risk to your animal. You can tell when a snake is on live because it usually has scars.

The argument for trying to be “as natural as possible” as an excuse for harmful keeping is so stupid imo. In that case, why don’t you let in some parasites, put its cage outside for hawks to see. The whole idea with keeping an animal is that good husbandry removes as many “natural” risks as possible. I think trying to be as natural as possible is a good goal, but not if it means sacrificing some of your animal’s safety. Keeping it natural is meant to be more “planted enclosures” and less “introducing health hazards”.

Also ty for response on vinegaroon! Yeah I was less worried about the safety aspect since I know there’s not much he can do to harm me, but I was more concerned about potential stress on the guy. I definitely make sure I handle him very safely, especially since I swear these desert bugs have 0 concept of “falling off an edge”, I just wanna be sure I don’t inadvertently stress him. Has always seemed just fine after handling but they aren’t the easiest to read lol