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My Centipedes

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by LawnShrimp, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

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    Jules stopped fasting today!

    He's usually burrowed with terminals and/or antennae poking out of the substrate, like he's lying in wait for some prey to blunder by. Well today, he was invisible, but there had been some more digging done and there was a fresh hole on one side of the enclosure. I blew on said hole, and like a Lovecraftian deity summoned from the eldritch ooze, about six inches of centipede flew out of the hole and stood straight up, resting on the enclosure wall. I popped an adult female cricket in, and, as expected, the cricket is now being digested.

    It seems like Jules has grown a lot since last molt, unlike the multidens that didn't really get that much bigger after its. Jules' colors are also much darker: his antennae are almost orange, his legs a dark, intense teal, and even the tergites have darkened to a moody maroon.
     
  2. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoprince Active Member

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    Beautiful pedes bro! Jules makes me want to get mint legs!
     
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  3. LeFanDesBugs

    LeFanDesBugs Arachnobaron

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    Post a pic of the Jules' new colours ;)
     
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  4. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    Was planning to do that just now! (2nd is more accurate)
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  5. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

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    Some love for the mutilans! These three have been fasting for a while and have become very skittish. I think they are getting ready for winter; as a temperate species they probably have a fairly rigid internal clock and are responding to the cold weather.
     
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  6. LeFanDesBugs

    LeFanDesBugs Arachnobaron

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    They look great!
    My very young mint legs looks quite brown and not red like yours. Do you think it'll get the color with time?
     
  7. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    Not sure. Your picture on Instagram looks similar to mine, but the colors probably deepen as the centipede ages.
     
  8. LeFanDesBugs

    LeFanDesBugs Arachnobaron

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    Hopefully. It's a common occurrence for sure
     
  9. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

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    Some pictures of the S. multidens. It's a very aggressive 'pede, but it has calmed down considerably, not running away from lights or movement. However, it is a big fan of biting things, repeatedly attacking clumps of moss and tongs after feeding which is quite amusing to watch. You can see that its 20th left leg (on the right in the photo) was regenerated last molt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  10. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

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    I also have some sad news; the smallest, weakest S. mutilans male was cannibalized a while back, hardly anything left but tergites, sternites, and legs. The other pair pictured here were fed just as much as the other one was and never visibly attacked him. However, the male was often seen alone and the other two were curled up next to one another, and the pair also rarely allowed the male under their hide (he would stick his head under the bark and retreat). I doubt they attacked and killed him though: The male was weak and often dragged his legs/antennae similar to how the others that died of the black cysts acted, which leads me to believe he died of the same disease and the others took advantage of the large meal. Just for safety reasons, I separated the other two from one another and the old communal tub now has a hainanum in it. It truly is a shame the only mutilans in the U.S. are from farms in China as they are undoubtedly deeply inbred there. This would be the only case where a wild-caught might be better.

    I don't think I'll be keeping any more centipedes communal. While it is great for display and is convenient, feeding them is difficult because communal species also happen to be fond of hiding and it is hard to tell who needs a meal if I only see one or two at a time. And of course, there is the risk of cannibalism. I was very surprised by this; mutilans is the communal centipede that has been kept communally for years in the hobby. Anyway, I learned a lesson but I wish I didn't have to had lost a 'pede.
     
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  11. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnobaron Active Member

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    It's a real shame you lost that male, he was gorgeous. My subspinipes has been acting a little like your pedes were when it was cold. It's been a little chilly lately and it's burrowed into the substrate and hasn't eaten in a few weeks. I can see it if I pick up the enclosure because it's resting against the bottom of the plastic and I know it's alive because it'll move away from the light I shine in. I suppose I'll just keep waiting too. Also are you planning on selling some of those plings?
     
  12. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    A cold 'pede is lethargic, but the 'disorder' that mine have is quirky. They are very skittish around prey and often only eat if the food is already dead. Oftentimes they kill it and leave it for later which is highly unusual. The smaller of the living pair has a very odd, jerky way of walking, similar to the head wobble that spider ball pythons do. It's hard to explain in words but it is very clear when they walk that something is wrong with them. I don't plan on breeding them and I don't expect them to live for as long as my other species.

    Yes, I will be selling hainanum pedelings after they molt once.
     
  13. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnobaron Active Member

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    Mine took a bit of a tumble once and it was acting really funny afterwards, curling its front legs up under it and twisting around in a ball. Eventually it lost almost all coordination and I was sure it was going to die but the next morning it had fully recovered. Could yours have been injured at some point in its life and had permanent damage?
     
  14. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    The ones that arrived dead/damaged and the several that molted, ate, and died all had a large, black, foul-smelling cyst in their neck. One of the ones I saw die could not move its legs from the 6th segment to the head and sure enough, after dissection, the cyst was embedded under the 6th segment. I assume the inbreeding has caused them to have very weak immune systems or genetic defects. The surviving ones may just be lucky or perhaps stronger than the others, only exhibiting behavioral abnormalities and not getting sick.

    I don't know if it has been injured but I would assume most injuries are fixed during molts and permanent damage is pretty rare but possible. Thanks for the suggestion, I will take a closer look at my 'pedes if something seems odd.
     
  15. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnoknight

    I have two of those red leg mutilans too (3 originally) and they never look healthy. Often won't tackle crickets. I've got them in with the yellow legs but feel their care requirements are different somehow. They're meant to originate from Taiwan, and live in caves (?). Shame as they are really cool colours, and a good bit more active than the yellow legs which only come out when it's pitch black.
     
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  16. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    Mine often only take prekilled prey, fleeing from even small roaches or crickets 8 times out of 10. I also agree that they are very active; mine are almost always visible.

    S. mutilans has a very wide distribution, and there certainly is a red legged morph that originates in Taiwan. However, the Taiwanese red legged mutilans are fairly rare and are only found in a few smaller islands that surround the main island from information I can gather. The red legged morph that is mass-reared in China as medicine/fishing bait (and that is most common in the European and American hobby due to that reason) most likely originates in Korea. The Korean red legged mutilans have more of an orange look to them than the deep red of the Taiwanese variant, and of course have all of the defects of years of inbreeding. (Of course that's probably wrong, centipede taxonomy strikes again)

    That last bit is what's preventing me from buying the beautiful hypomelanistic, jade/blue, and other captive morphs that have popped up in farms as those are probably even further inbred than the regular red legs. I quite like this species but I think I'd only attempt breeding with yellow legged morphs or wild caught individuals. Maybe with enough effort, money, and time hobbyists can import different mutilans morphs and cross them with WC to breed more vigorous morphs... *sigh*
     
  17. Scoly

    Scoly Arachnoknight

    What is the deal with inbreeding invertebrates? I think they are probably quite immune to its effects.

    Think of all the captive bred tarantulas... Many species originate from one or perhaps a handful of initial breedings with WC specimens, each of which will have produced a slew of spiderlings. These are then sold off to different sources, and a number of those will end up being unwittingly paired at maturity. In some cases there was only one original WC-WC breeding. There must be a hell of of CB tarantulas which are very close relatives of one another.

    Another thing is when you look at the spread of species like S. morsitans or S. subspinipes, which presumably happened by human carriage or driftwood. In many cases it would have been a single female laden with eggs, or at best, a very small number of individuals.

    As for Chinese farms, the sheer numbers would guarantee quite a high genetic diversity, perhaps even more so than in the wild in some cases.

    But then the selection pressures are also perhaps different, and they may indeed have lost some of the resilience of wild centipedes. Who knows?
     
  18. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnoangel

    I am aware that inverts are not affected as badly as vertebrates by inbreeding but I kind of pictured it like this: Man finds a pair of mutilans, keeps them together. Eggs laid, hatch, young live communally with parents, then those young breed together, and the cycle continues. There is no need for the owner to separate them, just put them in a bigger container. No need to add other centipedes, as you get a massive amount of babies each clutch laid. Red legged centipedes are the only ones with purported medical properties (according to Chinese medicine books; the yellow legged ones are still used anyway) so it makes sense that a few of these could be aquired and mass reared.

    Alternatively, they could just be suffering from bad care or an influx of parasites due to communal rearing. Pictures I've seen of them show dozens of centipedes living on top of bales of hay. I have no clue how or what they are fed, what environmental conditions they are given, etc., all of which could impact their health. There is also a very interesting article on S. abnormis, a very communal species living on Serpent Island and Round Island near Mauritius. Due to their sheer population size (12 adults per square meter of hiding spots) and the fact that they live close to one another, 70-100% of S. abnormis carry microscopic parasites that seem to have a similar affect to what killed the mutilans (swelling, localized paralysis). Most of the centipedes died in captivity after collection for the study.