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Millipede Questions

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Kasha, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Kasha

    Kasha Arachnoknight Old Timer

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    For all the millipede gurus out there, I have some questions about my new little friends. Laugh if you must, but I have to learn somewhere. :)

    1. Do they molt? If so how often and how will I know?

    2. I have a little brown one of uknown identity and she stays buried in the substrate all the time, is this normal? I dig her up every other day to make sure she is ok. What could she possible be doing in there all the time?!

    3. Can they OD on mushrooms? My AGB will eat mushrooms until they are all gone.

    4. Since the reclusive little brown was adopted to be his (the AGB's) company but she never wants to be social, does he need a buddy?

    If you have any other tidbits of advice I would love to hear them!
     
  2. Black Hawk

    Black Hawk Arachnolord Old Timer

    1. not sure, someone else will have to take that one.

    2. it's normal for some species to be constantly buried, that's just the way they are. don't worry about it.

    3. hahaha i've never heard of that happening, i imagine they can eat as much as they want to with no ill affects.

    4. not sure they need a buddy. i have a giant hisser in with my AGB and they get along fine. i only use one tho, i don't want a breeding frenzy hahaha.
     
  3. OK, I'm not an export, but I have had my pedes for a few years, so here's some info:

    1. Yes, they do molt. The time of molt can vary all over the place, depending on the type of millipede, age, conditions in their cage, time of year, etc. They burrow themselves into the substrate to molt, so you will never see them doing it. Actually, I should say that you "should" never see them doing it. Never dig around looking for a pede if you think he is molting. It could kill him if you handle him in this stage. So if they go missing for a few days, just let them be. Also, they usually eat the majority of their old exoskeleton, so you may not even ever come across more than bits of an old molt.

    2. It's fine for your pede to burrow itself most of the time. Normally, they only come out at night anyway. They burrow because the substrate is nice and moist below the surface. Be sure to mist the cage often and you might see the lil guy topside more often. Because of what I mentioned above regarding molting, I wouldn't recommend digging him up all the time (he'll probably be more inclined to hide if he's always getting disturbed). Here's a trick I just learned recently. Apply a layer (about 1/2 inch or so) of dryed up, decaying oak leaves over the entire top of the existing substrate. Millipedes love eating this stuff, and it will encourage them to surface more regularly (the change can be quite amazing).

    3. Nope! Let him go ahead and eat all he wants. They aren't like mantid where they can die from overfeeding. Try offering them cucumbers, as most species love those too, as well as the afore mentioned oak leaves.

    4. Technically speaking, they don't need companions. However, nobody likes to be lonely. Just keep in mind that buddies might make babies. In my experience, even if you fill up a cage with pedes, only ones of the same type will socialize (er... try to mate). The other ones may investigate each other, but the encounters are usually brief and they go wandering off in different directions. My oldest millipede, a Tanzanian Pink Leg, seems to be oblivious to all the other pedes in the tank. I often see her walking right overtop her cagemates, without even stopping to see why the thing she's walking on is moving.
     
  4. Crunchie

    Crunchie Arachnoangel Old Timer

    NiGHTS has got it all pretty much right (in my experience anyway). Though I will add that sometimes millipedes do not always feel like sticking to their own species to mate with and one species may even favour a particular other species if females of its own kind aren't around (my Tanzanian red legged will gladly hop on an amber banded if the females aren't out and about though I've never seen them get their way. It's only them amber bandeds they seem to favour over all the other species in my tank though).
     
  5. Black Hawk

    Black Hawk Arachnolord Old Timer

    ya, i agree with crunchie. pedes are horny and will try to mate with whatever's available :D
     
  6. Kasha

    Kasha Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Whew! Good to know all those things! I just worry about my little brown one (Coco, the psuedo mole) being buried all the time. She is a pretty recent adoption from Petco and they weren't sure what she was, but she was in a tank with 3 others just like her and 4 others that were alot smaller ( I was later told they are the juvenile version of her...yeah right). So could she be having little Cocos under there?! BABIES?! OMG....how would I know?!
     
  7. J Morningstar

    J Morningstar Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Unfortunately ,...you wouldn't know. Under normal circumstances that is anyway. I have seen millipedes cluster the eggs on the underside of the tank and "little ones" against the tank bottom often. But remember that you may have to wait an awful long time to see them and they are decieving. They are often mistaken for "grubs or maggots". But if inspected closey they are the millipede you know and love just with fewer legs and that is only when they are very small.
     
  8. It's funny that you mentioned that Crunchie. Just today I observed my new Puerto Rican White (the variety with the orange stripe down its back) male actively mating with a female Puerto Rican Zebra Striped (looks similar but is larger and doesn't have the stripe). They were completely going at it, with exchange of the gooey stuff and all that other X-rated business. Maybe he just didn't notice that she wasn't sporting a stripe :razz: . That's a first for me though.