What is molting?
Molting, put very basically, is the process of shedding the exoskeleton to grow. But how does this happen? The scorpion grows the new exo-skeleton under its old one and once ready the scorpion increases its blood pressure causing the exoskeleton to open up around the carapace. The molting process is a slow, delicate one; be sure not to bother the scorpion while this is happening. It should also be noted that some species of scorpion have requirements, such as slightly raised humidity, or in the case of bark scorpions a vertical surface to climb. Once the carapace has opened up the scorpion slowly "crawls" out of its old exoskeleton. Smaller scorpions usually molt within 1-3 hours, while the largest scorpions may take up 12 hours. Scorpions typically molt 5-6 times before becoming adults (this varies between species and sometimes gender). Once they reach adulthood they will not molt anymore.Precautions to Molting
Know your scorpion; tropical species need a high humidity levels to molt properly, desert species usually molt well without humidity (H. arizonensis
is an exception), bark scorpions need a slight increase in humidity as slings (babies) and a vertical piece to climb on. Adult scorpions can fast for months with no reason, but if you know your scorpion is NOT an adult, fasting can be a sign of an upcoming molt. Another sign is a "fat" scorpion, sometimes you can see the new exoskeleton through the old one. Make sure your scorpion stats are fine (humidity and temp), offer a hide and/or vertical surface. Remove all dead and live food. Dead food attracts mites and the scorpion is very soft and fragile and mites and crickets can damage the newly molted scorpion. What to do After a Scorpion Molts.
NOTHING, leave your scorpion alone. Your scorpion is pretty much helpless until the new exo can sclerotise (harden). Give it 1-2 weeks before you offer it prey again and just enjoy your newly refreshed scorpion for its beauty. This is the time when a scorpion's colors stand out the most and they look like they just got a spit-shine or a wax. Molting Problems
If the scorpion is hurt during or right after a molt in can easily bleed to death. There's nothing much you can do, but I recommend using a little bit of baking powder to allow the blood to coagulate.
If the scorpion is stuck in molt you can spray the enclosure with water avoiding actually spraying the scorpion itself. If that still doesn't work and 12 hours have passed you can try using tongs to pull the old EXO not the scorpion itself.What are instars?
Every time a scorpion molts they have upgraded an instar.
1 instar (first instar, 1I): A scorpion hasn't molted yet. A newly born scorpion is first instar. At this instar a scorpion is on the mother's back and will NOT eat. They get their nutrients through osmosis and the exoskeletons are soft.
2 instar (second instar, 2I): One to two weeks after they are born the scorpion will molt for the first time and might still stay on the mother's back. They will slowly start to wander away from the mother but at this point it is okay for them to eat or be separated and shipped.
All other molts will raise the instar so if you see someone write "3rd instar" it means the scorpion has already molted twice.Informations Sheet By Eddy Hernandez known as ~Abyss~ and Abyssx3
Pictures by Nymphetaminion