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My Polymorpha is always underground

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by many many legs, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. many many legs

    many many legs Arachnopeon Active Member

    Hey yall,
    I bought a younger Polymorpha a few weeks ago. Gave it cover, coco substrate mixed with sand and a water dish. She ignored all my lovingly placed cholla wood, desert rocks and leaf litter and just burrowed instantly. I put crickets in at night and they are gone in the morning, so I know she's in there. The few times I do see her I can tell she's getting bigger, but I'd love to see her out and about more often. Is there anything I can do to encourage her to be above the surface or is this just the nature of my beast?
  2. Staehilomyces

    Staehilomyces Arachnoprince Active Member

    Give it time, and perhaps try feeding it during the day (that may mean digging it up though).
    My pedes almost always end up getting used to light, and sit on the surface most of the time once settled in for a few weeks.
  3. Mirandarachnid

    Mirandarachnid Arachnobaron Active Member

    I'll preface this by saying I'm a newbie to pedes.

    I only have two, one polymorpha and one heros, both wild caught.

    I'd say my heros is out and about 7 out of 10 times I visit my spider room, but I tend to see my polymorpha only a few times a month or less. I've also seen wild heros out hunting during the day, but I can't recall seeing wild polymorpha out in the daylight. Maybe polymorpha is more photosensitive?

    Personally, I don't mind when an animal of mine is secretive because it becomes such a treat when they make an appearance.
  4. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    The thing with polymorpha is that it is in their nature to hide underground during the daytime, and only emerge around dusk (or later) to hunt - and then only if they're hungry. If you want to see them more often, you can keep them on shallow substrate with a piece of easily-removable cork bark flat on the surface for a hide. Any time you want to see it, you just lift of the bark and there it is! The only problem is that while shallow sub makes for a highly visible 'pede, it does not make for a "happy" or healthy 'pede. Having deeper substrate that encourages burrowing, with a moisture gradient where they can choose how moist they want to be, leads to healthier, longer-lived centipedes - but you don't necessarily get to see them very often. I have two polymorpha right now, and I only occasionally see them when I go in late at night for feedings. I never see them in the daytime, but I know they're alive and well from the occasional glimpses, the vanishing crickets, and the burrows that they sometimes dig next to the glass. My heros, on the other hand, is out in the open most of the time - particularly in the daytime. For some reason, he is more likely to go down his burrow or under his hide at night. I guess that's why so many of us keep multiple inverts - so even when some of our pets are hiding away, we can usually find something to look at!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. many many legs

    many many legs Arachnopeon Active Member

    So after I posted this thread she magically started becoming more active. I was even able to feed her a cricket with tweezers which felt like treat. I'd rather her be happy and I do notice she prefers the substrate under her water dish to the drier areas. I actually am a game designer by trade, so this feels a lot like level design with the centipede as my player and I love it. I'm going to work on new arrangements that give her moisture and deep substrate next to glass and kind of "encourage" her to be visible even when underground. Other than that, I guess I'll have to become a night owl if I want to see her more.
    I recently caught a baja bark scorpion and she is just super active and entertaining. Uses every nook and cranny I give her, plus I can design her level, um, i mean enclosure, in so many interesting ways because she likes to climb on literally anything.
  6. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

    Mine is the same. Especially over the winter, didn't see it for months, actually dug it out twice to make sure it was still alive.
  7. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    That's great! I know mine are a lot more active during the summer months, despite being in a climate controlled environment - and in the winter they may disappear for a month or more at at time.

    When you redesign her "level" to have more substrate and more moisture, be sure you don't go overboard on the moisture part. While they do need moisture, if it's too wet you can have problems with mycosis. What I do is overflow the water dish and give the glass near the water dish a good soaking, so it seeps down deep into the substrate at that side of the tank - while leaving the other side pretty dry. That allows the centipede to select the moisture level it wants to hang out in, rather than forcing it to accept a uniformly wet (or dry) tank.
  8. many many legs

    many many legs Arachnopeon Active Member

    This is exactly what I do as well and she is pretty much always under there, except for last night! She was out and I fed her a grub!