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Millipede Molting Question

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Katronmaster, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Katronmaster

    Katronmaster Arachnoknight

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    I recently obtained a large female african black from a pet shop, I've kept one before for about a year. She has numerous broken plates along her, none of which are serious but still rather odd looking.

    I've never had one molt in my care, and I'm curious if those plates will be fixed when she does or if they will stay chipped? I've heard they don't molt at once like spiders do, but piece by piece.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. The cracks are on the exoskeleton so my personal opinion is that if it sheds it will be fully or at least drastically healed so I would not worry. {D
     
  3. Nope, millipedes molt all at once. They then eat most of the shed exoskeleton. If the cracks aren't too serious to be life threatening, the pede should grow back a more durable exoskeleton next time it molts.
     
  4. Katronmaster

    Katronmaster Arachnoknight

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    Much thanks. They don't seem to be a health issue, I was just a bit worried about my new 'baby'.
     
  5. fantasticp

    fantasticp Arachnocompulsive Old Timer

    Have you seen a millipede eat an exoskeleton? I thought it just crumbled and became part of the dirt.
     
  6. Crunchie

    Crunchie Arachnoangel Old Timer

    most of the time they do eat the old exoskeleton to regain lost chittin. :)
     
  7. Yup, I actually have seen a millipede eating its shed exoskeleton a few times. I once accidentally dug up a molting pede, so I put him in a deli cup, where he wouldn't be disturbed. Over the course of about a week, I saw him slowly eat up the majority of his old exoskeleton. He also refused any other food during this time.

    More recently, I've had several of my Puerto Rican arboreal pedes molt on the surface. They have a little coconut shell house, and on a few occasions, I've lifted the shell to see a pede sitting there in mid molt. These guys too have eaten up most of their old skins. It always seems to be my PR White/Black w/red dots, Anadenobolus arboreus gundlachi, that do this. Anyone else seen surface molting in this species?
     
  8. thedreadedone

    thedreadedone Arachnoknight Old Timer

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    my burmese millipedes moult on the surface (sorry, dont know the latin name)
     
  9. fantasticp

    fantasticp Arachnocompulsive Old Timer

    I have seen Tanzanian yellow leg millis and N. Americanus molt on the surface, but have yet to see one nibble on it. Maybe next time I see one molt I will have to call in sick.
     
  10. Better take a week off from work then. It can take that long, especially for the big guys. The one that I actually watched eating his exoskeleton is an 8 inch big boy (sorry, I don't know what species he is, but I'm thinking he might be a bronze). The Puerto Rican pedes are only about 4 inches long, and the shed exos seem to disappear within 2 or 3 days.