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Branching out to Millipedes

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by socalqueen, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

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    I'm looking to branch out and start keeping some Millipedes. I'm wondering what would be a big beautiful starter? Would you reccomend starting with a nymph or adult (just to get a feel for it). I'm drawn to Auturus Evides , Tonkinbolus dolfusii, and
    Apheloria virginiensis. I've read their are poisonous (?) breeds out there, not interested as I would want to be able to handle. Looking for docile and easy to start with.
     
  2. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoprince Active Member

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    African giant millipede, Archispirostreptus gigas, handled mine every day and it never left trails of poisonous fluid.
     
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  3. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince Active Member

    Unless you have an allergic reaction to the toxin they exude, they are pretty harmless. Sometimes they stain your skin, but that's the worst in my experience. I have Thai Rainbow and they are heavy exuders. I am not 100% certain, but I don't think Tonkinbolus dolfusii are available in the US?

    My personal recommendation would be Chicobolus spinigerus. I think they enjoy being handled, they stay topside more than any other of my pedes, they are pretty, an ample size (5"), inexpensive (less than $10), they breed easily (sexes are easy to distinguish) and are hardy.

    I think African Giant Millipedes (AGB) are an awesome species. They are big and pretty active. They can get up to 15". The drawback is their price, $50 and up.

    I would suggest a well started captive bred of whatever species you get; and have the cage ready before you bring him home. If you get a large millipede, you could be getting one who is at the end of it's life. Babies are usually more sensitive to environmental changes, etc. So half grown or well started (year old) is best, IMHO.

    Keep us posted - they are all pretty easy and somewhat addictive. ;)
     
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  4. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    Thank you , I appreciate your feedback. My 7 year old daughter expressed an interest and I'm always happy to feed her curiousity for nature and animals. How big of an enclosure would you reccomend?
     
  5. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    Floor space is more important than the vertical aspect. A 5 gallon Long would be perfect I think.
     
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  6. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince Active Member

    For the ivories, something similar to a 10 gallon tank size would work. (20LX11DX13H). I like plastic tubs, but if you only have the one enclosure, the ten gallon would work. I suggest the substrate be as deep as the millipede is long. The 10 gallon lid would have to be mostly covered for increased humidity. There are lots of threads here about how others have done this. That is why I like the plastic tubs - the humidity is easier to maintain. I drill about a dozen 1/4" holes near the top and keep the lid on always.
     
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  7. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince Active Member

    I have found the 2 1/2 and 5 gallon tanks to be higher priced than the 10 gallon and accessories harder to source. I agree the 5 gallon would be large enough, but for the same or maybe less, you can have a larger enclosure if you have the space available!
     
  8. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoking Active Member

    If you could find Tonkinbolus dolfusi that would be a heck of a species to keep. I saw them available a couple years ago from Swift's Inverts but haven't seen them since...still kicking myself for not picking some up lol.

    C. spinigerus make a good starter, as would Narceus americanus or N. gordanus. You get some interesting species out in California as well, which comes with the added fun of being able to collect them yourself if you don't want to have some shipped to you. Genus Tylobolus if I remember correctly. They don't get as large as the other species mentioned, but are still decent sized and look interesting.
     
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  9. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    I would absolutely love to collect them myself. I'm not sure what I will find in my wanderings but I'm open to anything. I will be purchasing a starter or two in the meantime. T Dolfusi is beautiful and I'm hearing their difficult to find but I'm
    on the hunt.
     
  10. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    I think a larger enclosure would be the better deal and offers space for future additions.
     
  11. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    Agree. Go bigger if you can.
     
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  12. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the sub needs, and from what I'm understanding it needs a thick layer of coconut/coir, then a layer of mixed leaf litter and crushed hardwood, then on top another layer of loose packed dry leaves. I'm reading it basically has to be just right for survival, so it makes me a bit nervous.
     
  13. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    I habe the perfect location, I will need to acquire something on a larger scale soon, as I plan to have these new critters within the next two weeks. Would you reccomend basic plastic containers with a snap on lid or something more aesthetically pleasing such as an acrylic tank etc?
     
  14. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    Bigger is always better. There's an opportunity for growth and I think it's better for them To have some wandering room. Do they require hidey holes?
     
  15. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince Active Member

    They will hide in the substrate; that's why it needs to be deep. A glass or acrylic tank is definitely better to watch them - plastic tubs are nice for the lightweight aspect. Don't let the substrate needs intimidate you! Most millipedes are pretty forgiving if it isn't perfect. The hardier species have a pretty good range of what is acceptable. Just keep in touch here with photos, etc.
     
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  16. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    I will most definitely post pics, I'll be ordering this week and setting up the tank asap. I'll post pics of the tank when we finish getting it ready.
     
  17. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoking Active Member

    Agreed with what mickiem said, substrate doesn't have to be perfect, as long as the necessary components are there, they'll work with it and should still do fine. I've given various species a substrate that's just a mix of all that with some extra leaves on top and they thrived.
     
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  18. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    Because I'm new at this I'm trying to be careful, im sure 6 months from now I'll feel like a pro and won't even trip on substrate etc. Because I'm buying these for my daughter (for me as well) I want them to do well, I don't want to have to explain dead bugs to a 7 year old. That would suck. Once we get the hang of it, it would be cool to breed them as well, but right now I just want them to survive.
     
  19. socalqueen

    socalqueen Arachnoknight

    So we decided on Bumblebee milli's. They will be arriving this week. We laid substrate but I'm wondering what kind of leaves would be good for them? And any advice on Bumblebees is welcome. I'm excited to see these guys in person.
     
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  20. SolFeliz

    SolFeliz Arachnosquire Active Member

    So this is a really late reply, but I've stumbled across this thread while looking for info on T dolffusi millis, and I saw lots of people talking about them and how hard it is to find them. Clearly, most of the people who commented on this thread live in America, but there's this awesome insect breeder site in the UK, and I'm not sure if they deliver to America, but if there's anyone in the uk, go to Spider Shop, they sell all sorts and have T dolffusi as well!