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Harpaphe pedelings!!!

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by ErinM31, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    A HUGE thank you to @Bugs In Cyberspace for the pair of Harpaphe millipedes and Douglas fir debris and to @zonbonzovi for the advice and more Douglas fir debris!!! :woot:

    I received a pair of adults this past May. I found them mating upon arrival but they were restless in their enclosure until I added bits of wood and needles from Douglas fir upon which they calmed down immediately. The male died before long anyway, but the female lived on many months and would often burrow in the substrate. I got a wine cooler around June and have kept her Sterilite box in there ever since (at 65F, except for brief periods at 54F when it reset). She died a month or so ago (she never ate supplement food and the substrate never dries out in the wine cooler so I just checked once in a while) but I kept the box in the cooler with the small hope that she had laid eggs. My hopes were realized:

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  2. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince

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  3. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Hey, look at that! They look well developed. Any idea how many were produced? I hope they make it through to adulthood and continue the cycle. Good luck!
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  4. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    At LEAST a dozen -- they hide when I take them out and open the lid and I've tried not to disturb them too much -- but I suspect there are several dozen. :happy: Did you ever get pedelings? I seem to remember reading that you did but lost them do to a temperature disturbance. I feel like I should DO something to ensure that they do well, but I've added a bit of fresh substrate (more of the Douglas Fir debris you sent and some fermented oak sawdust) and beyond that, I think the best thing I can do for them is keep them in the cooler and minimize disturbing them.

    Thank you again for your help and advice! :D
  5. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Nice! I did get pedelings on two(?) occasions but failed because of neglect the first time and temperature spikes(I presume) the 2nd time. I think you're on the right track keeping them cool and moist. Outside of that, as long as they have a food source as has been offered and material to build molting chambers it'll work.

    Rowland Shelley's photo:
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  6. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Congrats on the plings! Awesome to see reproduction in this species!
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  7. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    Thank you so much! :happy: Hopefully, they'll mature successfully!

    I believe that it was after reading some of your posts that I decided to get the wine cooler. ;) Do you know whether any other Xystodesmids have successfully reproduced in captivity?

    Thank you for the link! :D
  8. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    Update: The Harpaphe pedelings are doing well and growing -- I just rehoused them as much of the substrate had become frass and I counted over a hundred! The eggs must have been laid over a period of time as there are some larger than my initial posting but many more a good deal smaller (so the first probably hatched in September, for sure by October). All were laid by a single female who had last mated in May.

    Husbandry: I kept the adult and now the pedelings in a wine cooler set at 65°F in substrate
    primarily composed of dirt, decaying wood and Douglas Fir debris (especially old needles) from Washington state. I also mixed in some millipede substrate from BugsInCyberspace and have added fermented oak sawdust on occasion but I believe their primary food is the Douglas Fir leaves. I keep their substrate very moist but never saturated.
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  9. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    Many had already burrowed into the substrate but I tried to get some photos. My iPod kept adjusting exposure for the substrate instead of the millipedes! :banghead: Getting a pro camera is a priority for this year! :snaphappy:

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  10. BobBarley

    BobBarley Arachnoprince Active Member

    Awesome, good luck! What's their body-length at right now?
  11. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince

    Congrats, Erin! Those are amazing.
  12. SlugPod

    SlugPod Arachnoknight


    They're so cute and congrats!
    Good luck with them as well!
    I'd love to see more progress shots once they're bigger and I'm sure you will keep us updated as they grow.
  13. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    Thank you! :) Right now the largest are 2 cm long, which is about half the length of adults of the species.

    Thank you so much! :happy: I am encouraged to try more of the notoriously difficult Xystodesmids -- but only if I can get substrate and plant debris from their native habitat. My experience with Harpaphe haydienna, as well as our collective experience with Mytoxia, leads me to believe that millipedes of this family have very specific requirements.

    Thank you! I'll definitely keep the community updated and hopefully I can get a better camera in the near future to better show how both these and other millipede pedelings change in form and color as they grow. :happy:
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  14. SlugPod

    SlugPod Arachnoknight

    You're very welcome!
    Macro lens are good for taking pictures of small things, like millipeds.
    Although you'd need a camera that you can attach the lens to if you don't already have one.

    You might already know that though. If you do, sorry!
  15. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Nice work, I never got my kids past the monochrome stage. I'm glad the substrate is working out.
  16. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoprince Active Member

  17. Hisserdude

    Hisserdude Arachnoprince

    Congrats, glad you got so many offspring, and I'm glad they are doing well for you! Here's hoping they reach adulthood successfully! :D
  18. ErinM31

    ErinM31 Arthropodess Arachnosupporter

    Update: Several of the offspring are nearly adults! :woot:

    Husbandry: I must amend my previous statement about their dietary requirements. They definitely require some Douglas Fir debris in their enclosure, but I do not know whether or not they eat any of it. Their diet is rather typical, consisting of mostly decaying hardwood leaves and wood. Sadly, I lost quite a few pedelings after the first rehousing as I used the Douglas Fir debris as the primary ingredient in the substrate and either that was too much or hardwood debris was too lacking.

    In summary, I would recommend keeping these millipedes at or below 70F with low ventilation and substrate composed primarily of compost and decaying hardwood and leaves and fermented oak sawdust and mix in or add on top a bit of Douglas Fir debris. Keep most of the substrate moist but never water-logged. Minimize rehousings. They seem to spend a while in their molting chambers and have an even higher death rate than normal if disturbed during this period. Unless there is an urgent reason to remove them from their current set-up, I would recommend adding additional food on top or carefully only replacing a portion of the substrate instead.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
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  19. keks

    keks Arachnobaron

    Congratulations to this success!
    They only need around one year to be adult? Interesting.
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  20. mickiem

    mickiem Arachnoprince

    Since you didn't mention it, I assume you didn't see eggs? Do you know how they lay them, in a cluster or capsule? Under wood or in the substrate? I have had some of my flat millipedes several months; hoping for offspring. My feather millipedes have a few offspring in their enclosure but I didn't witness any of the egg laying activity. I have seen in photos that a male will guard a cluster of eggs. That would be interesting to witness. I have seen the Auturus evides make huge molting chambers. Do they ever lay eggs in those?

    Congrats on being soo close to maturity. Round 2 coming up!
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