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New pet: Chilopoda Lithobiomorpha (temperate species need love too)

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by Voracious, May 1, 2005.

  1. Voracious

    Voracious Arachnopeon

    This is a specimen I found while cleaning up dead leaves in a recessed entry to our basement. It is a 1" chilopoda lithobiomorpha - a species indigenous to the Pacific Northwest.

    These are the small temperate cousins to the much-celebrated Scolopendra sp. Committed hobbiests will immediately recognize at least a superficial semblance to larger tropical cousins, such as S. Subspinipes. Living here for many years, I have seen them grow as large as 3".

    Like the rest of you wierdos ;-) I too have an odd fascination for these hideous yet interesting wormlike creatures. My wife won't let me get a large tropical species, and with a two-year-old child in the house that would not be wise anyways. So I've settled for this little fellow I found yesterday quite by accident. I hope my meager presentation and photos can make up for the nonexotic nature of the little creature in question.

    I apologize for the large size of these photos. The nonstandard markup language does not allow:

    width=800 height=600

    in the tags.

    (taken with Olympus C-770)
    First meal in captivity - going to town on a pinch of hamburger.

    (taken with Sony Cybershot DSC-75)
    Hungry little bug.

    Movie of the little pede eating its first meal in captivity
  2. Voracious

    Voracious Arachnopeon

    He died while I was posting this :(


    * Had a small spider in the cage, as a portential prey item. Had seen them fight yesterday (and yes, I have a movie of it)... could the little spider have prevailed? He was at the bottom of the cage...
    * Had Saran wrap with holes punched to maintain moisture level: too much heat.
    * Too much moisture.
    * Toxins in the soil used, from potting plants.
    * The hamburger?

    Other ideas?


  3. Randolph XX()

    Randolph XX() Arachnoprince Old Timer

    i just caught one in Chilliwack the other day
    1. it might be too old, smaller species got shorter life span
    2. might not be the spider, as far as i know, they can take down prey as big as themselve
    3. too much heat or too much humidity won't kill the pede straight away, it'll be slow
    4. might be the soil or other chemicals such as pesticide
    5. power feeding might accelerate the life, too fast to live, too you to die, you know
    nice shot anyway
  4. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    i keep stone centipedes on occasion, when i catch a big one whilst looking for something else. i've found they can dehydrate in a heart beat. most centipedes are very susceptible to dessication, but scolopendra can sort of close off their spiracles (er, or something) to slow water loss... lithobiomorpha seems to not be able to

    i either have one tiny vent hole or none at all, and have had the best luck with that. also, i keep a lump of very soft absorbant wood in the cage and the stones are almost always on it. in nature you always find these guys in a moist environment... in captivity you must emulate this.

    i believe i saw one of mine laying eggs yesterday... hopefully i didn't disturb her too much :) the babies are almost impossible to keep, for myself. i might just let this batch go instead of toasting them in the name of psuedo-science =P

    cool pic :)
  5. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    i have to disagree about the too much heat killing slowly.

    when collecting i have to be sure the jar/container i store them in NEVER touches sunlight... i had one die in about 3minutes from either dessication or heat.
  6. Voracious

    Voracious Arachnopeon

    That's what I think killed it. Oh well... I'll make a little trip out to some rotting wood and try to find another one and hopefully have better luck next time.

    Thanks all for your help :)