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adult giant black millipede life expectancy?

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by wicked, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    I did several searches and got 42 results on the last try, but could not find a post that said how long the average AGB lives after it reaches adult size.
    I am planning to get my first millipede tonight. After a year of waiting I stumbled upon a new shipment of them at Petco while I was getting crickets. Not only were they huge, they also looked very healthy. They were happily nibbling their veggies. I am sure they must be full grown, I didn't see one in the tank less than 9"(my guesstimate). They are $15 each, which seems a bit high to me but this is the first time I have seen them local, and the first time I have ever seen them in a pet store and still looked healthy.
    Should I get one, or is it going to die of old age on me in a month?
     
  2. Black Hawk

    Black Hawk Arachnolord Old Timer

    of my grown AGB pedes one died in six months, one died after about a year, the current one is commin on two years i think and still happy. hope that helps some. some of em last a surprisingly long time. she's outlived two roaches easily and is my oldest invert hahaha :D
     
  3. J Morningstar

    J Morningstar Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have heard estimates of 5 -8 years. Given that may be the entierty of the life cycle. I just noticed the first of my AGB babies and they are already an inch or so long and very black. Unlike my Tanzanian pink legs which you can usually observe very small (under 3/4 inch) and very white at first. As most millipedes darken with age.
    My Tanzanian pink leg breed with roach like capibility it would seem. I think I have had (I must admit it is REALLY hard to tell at this point) Some of the adults for at least two to three years. Also it would seem that some die whilst still medium sized to small while others just continue to get bigger and bigger. I would hold one to show you but they really like to slime me with their defensive fluids which not only stain my hands a wonderous shade of plum purple but you cannot wash it off them without more being secreted. This is toxic to other millies I have noticed and may kill some of the other millies in the tank if they get too close.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  4. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    If well cared for, they've been known to live ten years or more, but of course that depends on how old it is now, which is impossible to know with imports.

    They are easy to breed, and will likley be getting harder to find do to tighter USDA regulations. I would suggest getting a pair. Males are easily recognized because they do not have legs at the 7th segmment.

    Wade
     
  5. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    Thank you all for the relpys. I got two females. I was hoping to get a pair but as far as I could tell, of the four they had, they were all female, but two of them were not cooperating. The girl is going to find out if they can order a male for me, but I have my doubts.
    Right now I have them in a temporary herpitat type KK until I can get the permanent tank set up. I purchased a 24x16x6 rubbermaid latch toppers container and need to drill the holes.
    All I have for bedding is 100% peat moss, is this going to be a problem? I don't have access to any oak trees, and aside from some little apple trees I planted there are no trees here other than pine and spruce.


     
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  6. thedreadedone

    thedreadedone Arachnoknight Old Timer

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    how deep is the substrate in there?
    and i try to keep my substrate a little damper than yours looks - helps with burrowing
     
  7. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    The substrate is about 3" deep, but it is only a temporary tank until I get the large one set up. I noticed the peat dried up very quickly since I had misted it, so I think I will have to pour water into it. It should be damp but not soggy, right?
    <edit> OK I am a spaz, I meant 2" in the temporary tank and I will have at least 3" in the one I am setting up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  8. Kasha

    Kasha Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I keep mine in a ground coconut bedding. It works well at holding moisture and they can burrow pretty deep in it. THey sell it at Petco in brick form ( you add water) and its only like $5 and that fills my 29 gallon tank easily. Its called Eco Earth.
    As for the calcium, I am in the same boat. Not a single oak tree to be seen. I use the powered calium on thier food, but have heard that scraping a cuttle bone over the food is better. And you can give them other types of wood to eat, except Lilac, which is toxic. I am not sure what other types are toxic, but its worth checking out.
     
  9. thedreadedone

    thedreadedone Arachnoknight Old Timer

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    yep, pour water into the substrate so it is damp throughout.
    if it is possible, try to get 5" of substrate in the new tank, the burrowing is better for the pedes
     
  10. The deeper you can get the substrate, the better. I like to use about 6 or 7 inches of substrate mixed with leaf litter (mainly oak). If you use the EcoEarth coconut fibre, you just have to soak the brick when you get it. After that, misting shoould keep it moist. That stuff is great because when it turns a light brown, on the surface, you know its time to add some moisture (as opposed to some composts which always look dark, even when prety dry).

    As for life expectancy...who knows. If your AGB is full grown, who knows how old it could be. I've got an 11" female who's going on 2 years in my care. Hopefully, you'll get many years out of them!
     
  11. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    I like the coconut fiber substrate for millipedes as well, especially as a base layer.

    I don't think leaves are absolutely necessary when keeping adults, but I do think they improve the survival rate of babies should you get any. They don't have to be oak, other hardwoods will do. Dead leaves on the ground are best. If none occur naturally in your area, check out garden centers, sometimes they sell "oak leaf mould" which is just dead oak leaves.

    A handful of aspen bedding mixed in with the coconut fiber can also improve the food value of the substrate. Millipedes also feed on rotten wood, and while the aspen won't be rotten right away, when mixed with moist organic substrates it will begin to decompose and become edible fairly quickly. DO NOT use pine bedding for this, aspen is the only one that's suitable.

    Wade
     
  12. Snipes

    Snipes Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Arent they notoriously slow growers? It seems to me that slow growing animals typically have longer life spans so i am surprised.
     
  13. I checked in Orin's millipede book, and here is the quote on lifespan: "(Giant millipedes) take 2 to 5 years to reach adulthood, and can live 10 years after maturity." The book didn't give a specific species that it was refering too, but I guess to put the point to rest - the 10 year lifespan estimate is after the milli reaches full grown size. ...although 5 years would be my beginning estimate on how long it would take an AGB to reach adulthood.
     
  14. NoS

    NoS Arachnoknight Old Timer

    After I finally took your advice and got together some leaves and rooten wood, I have found that my millis love the oak leaves. They eat the leaves before they even get to the wood. They are close to adults, if not, atleast sub adults. They do not even take notice of the veggies anymore. Although my Isopods do. :D
     
  15. Roberttoe

    Roberttoe Arachnopeon

    Life Span of my A. Gigas

    Say "Wicked", I've been raising and trying to breed various types of giant millipedes for nearly 36 years. Through trial and error, I losted a lot of pedes at first. I had no plants the first 2 years i tryed my hand in this hobby.

    Around the mid 1970's, I put PLANTS in my tanks and started using a ultrasonic fogger. I put a sheet of plastic on top of the tanks for the A.Gigas species. I had one pede that was 3 inches long and it lived from 1976 to 1989. When it died, it measured 10.5 long. So that particular pede lived for 13 years. One needs PLANTS! a lot of them for the pedes to survive. There's a co-relation between plants and living things... Robert
     
  16. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    ok, new plan. I have a 45gal hexagon aquarium that blew a seal, I had originally thought about turning it into an arboreal T tank but now I think I will make it a terrarium for my millis.

    I have peat, potting soil and aspen bedding for substrate and I will be getting some oak leaves from old hag. My problem is the plants. I have been known to kill the hardiest house plants known to man. Any suggestions? Are ferns and pothos vines safe?
    I don't want to plant something that turns out to be poisonous.

    Thanks again :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  17. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    safe terrarium plants

    Yay for the search function, I found this link posted by Danread in 2004

    non toxic plants

    I will post a pic of the setup when I finish it :)
     
  18. wicked

    wicked Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    freaky, three posts in a row, looks like I am talking to myself :eek:

    Ok, I finally got around to setting up the 45 gal hex tank for my millis. What do you think?

    Funny thing, all four are at least 9" and still manage to fit into that stupid coconut shell together.
    Plants: the bromliads are live the other two plants are fake.

    View attachment 48353
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2006
  19. luther

    luther Arachnodemon Old Timer

    My AGB's were about 5 inches when I bought them nearly 8 years ago and they are still going strong, in a large tank with a deep compost substrate and plenty of rotten wood and leaf litter. They have a shallow water dish and mixed salad with cuttle fish bone shavings. There is cuttle fish bone in the substrate too. The milli's have created long and complex burrows.

    Make sure the plants are not from garden centers, since they will be covered in pesticides. The tank looks nice, but mine like to burrow in a pile of rotten wood, not just one piece. I would stack some up with bark and rotten leaves to make a place to hide in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2006
  20. padkison

    padkison Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Nice setup

    The kids and I bought one of these (male) at the exotic animal show here last September. I spent 1/2 hour cleaning all the mites off it. We've now got it set up in a low "10 gal" terrrarium with a number of american millipedes, garden snails a female rhino beetle, some rolli-pollies and a mole cricket (whatever the kids catch outside that seems appropriate). We had some common slugs in there too, but they passed on after laying eggs down in the substrate.

    I had some fake plants in there, but the snails kept tipping them over. Now just have a rock and a couple of small log pieces.

    The millepedes and snails really like cucumbers.